Sylvester, True Tales I

Posted: November 26, 2016 in Sylvester, True Tales
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In Which Our Hero Finds a Home…

He wasn’t quite a black cat, he wasn’t quite a white cat. His fur was black from the points of his ears to the tip of his tail. The black draped down his sides and joined together over his belly like a waistcoat. He was white as freshly fallen snow across his chest and the front of his throat. The white covered his chin, his cheeks and his nose. Like a hood worn for a masquerade the black fell over the top of his head and settled over both his eyes. His front paws were white up to his wrists after which the black travelled up his legs to join with the dark coat that covered his sides. The bottom three quarters of his rear legs were white. Along the seams where the two colours met they intermixed in a salt and pepper fashion which created an almost blurred effect. His fur was not quite long but neither was it short. It was soft as silk to the touch.

He was a little fellow, not even five months old. When he curled up to sleep he could easily fit in the palm of two hands.

Age and size aside, he was on his own.

The streets were bigger than he expected, filled with more wonder than he could have dreamed and more danger than he could have imagined. The days were filled with noises both natural and unnatural with movement everywhere to frighten and entice him. There was so much new to be seen in the world that he found he could spend all of the daylight chasing after whatever movement caught his eye and never tire of the experience.

The nights were dark, cold and scary. Every sound, every movement caught by the corner of his eyes took on a spooky, more sinister feel than they had under the warmth of the sun. He would curl up in any nook or cranny he could find as he shivered the night away.

Day was exhilarating, liberating. Night was frightening, entangling.

He needed a change, he needed to keep the days but lose the nights.

A place with other cats where he could be among his own kind. He could play and sleep the days away in relative safety. A place where he could close his eyes as the sun set and not open them until it rose again the next morning. No noises to disturb him, no danger to keep him awake.

It was settled, as far as the little cat was concerned. He would find a home where there were other cats to play with, where the nights were safe and warm, where food was plentiful and easy to catch. He would find this place and have a home.

Today was marvellous. The sun shone up above warming the black fur along his back. It was enough to put the thought of lying down and stretching out on the ground into his head. But it was a fleeting thought, any other day a nap would have been a viable choice.

Today had a different focus.

He padded along through the neighbourhood. The grass was cool under his feet as he zigzagged around trees, under fences and around lawn debris. He kept his ears alert for the sounds of other cats as he darted across an alley. The sounds would alert him of where other cats might congregate and then he could use his sense of smell to confirm the existence of a colony.

That find was his goal.

He dove beneath an RV and quickly lay behind a wheel. Grass had grown up around his shelter but the RV had been parked there awhile and underneath was bare soil. It felt cool under his body as he lay flat behind the tire, his long tail stretched out behind him. He flexed his front paws absentmindedly as he scanned the scene before him. The act of tugging at the dirt brought comfort as he analyzed his current situation.

He could smell the musty scent of the raw earth. He could feel it tear apart beneath his paws as he slowly worked his claws in and out.

The RV he was hidden under sat just outside of a small yard contained within a chain link fence. The fence was too tall for him to jump over, but that was of no concern to him as there was a gate with a gap at the bottom that he could squeeze through if he needed. The gate was at the end of the fence right where it attached to a garage. The yard was cluttered with wooden structures, chairs, swing sets, barrels of water, a couple of trees, and numerous toys of varying sizes. Uncut grass and dried dirt formed the base of the yard. Cement tiles were laid down to form a path from a gate to a set of stairs that led up to the house opposite the garage. Ten steps made up the stairway. A large dog house could be seen peeking out from under the stairs. The door to the house was open to the yard.

His eyes scanned the yard for movement. Primarily he was looking for potential threats; humans, dogs, other cats. Part of him was hoping for smaller creatures, a mouse or a bird would make for a nice snack. He couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten. That morning? The previous evening? Maybe. It felt like it had been awhile.

He turned his ears toward the yard. He hadn’t seen anything but he could swear that he had heard something. It was hushed, almost a whisper, but something was moving through the maze of clutter. If only the footsteps were louder, they were so quiet it was impossible to even guess as to what was out there.

The stink that accompanied humans filled the air. He would never understand why the smell of burning always seemed to be connected to people. Beneath the pervasive smell of humans he could detect the distinct odour of dog, potentially a problem but some dogs were alright. There was something more, something beyond that.

He tilted his nose upwards a bit and sniffed deeply. There it was. Faint but unmistakable. The scent of other cats. Lots of them.

A nice chunk of luck.

There was still the unknown owner of the hushed footsteps out there somewhere so caution was called for. He slid from his hiding spot, keeping his body as close to the ground as he could, and slowly moved toward the gate. He kept his eyes open as wide as he could so he could catch any movement ahead of him. His ears were turned toward the yard hoping to pick up any potential noise. His muscles were tense and he was prepared to flee at the first sign of danger.

He passed under the gate and pushed his body into the ground, his movement stopped. Out of the scattered mess a massive cat emerged. It was twice as large as any other cat, its body covered by long grey hair. The new cat rose to its full height and glanced briefly at the kitten before turning and bounding up the stairs. It stopped at the top to look back at the huddled kitten before it turned and walked through the open door.

The large cat had seemed nice. The little cat ran up the stairs. This could turn into a wonderful home. He darted into the house on the trail of the grey giant. All worries of his homeless life fell off his shoulders and into the past. He had made his choice, he had a new home and life was about to being anew.

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