A few days ago, I was going to Mr. Nugget to get my dose of neighborhood-cat-cuddles, when this blue-eyed beauty crossed my path.
She was sweet, purring, and oh-so-fluffy. Her gorgeous eyes reminded me of a cat from one of my favorite childhood books from Denmark: Mis med de blå øjne (The blue-eyed Kitty) by Egon Mathiesen.
After, I couldn't help feeling that there might be some sort of competition in the neighborhood between the cute kitties. Or perhaps not? What would Mr. Nugget think?
The Neighborhood Cat Saga. Part 1
The sparrow jumps between the branches, nervous. She knows she’s being watched. She knows I’m here. Somewhere. Lurking. The next move could be her last. She’s been taunting me all morning and has it coming. While I lay in the windowsill and soaked in the sunbeam, she tweeted and twittered. Annoying. It was when she came to the porch, I couldn’t resist anymore. It was time for my daily patrol anyway.
Her wings flicker and I creep forwards. Barely a step. The ground is cold under my paws.
I am stealth. I am death.
My ears twitch at a sound behind me. Footsteps. They are loud. Humans. I ignore them and their call for attention. They’ll come back another day. The bird is what I want. She looks away and my step quickens. My paws are silence. I am movement. Every jump she makes creates a ripple in her attention and edges me forwards. She’s within reach. Only a leap away.
Eyes are focused. Claws are ready. Kill mode; engaged.
The chiming bell between the leaves itches in my ears. It’s a sweet sound that reminds me of the stuffed mouse that now hides in the dusty corner under the couch in my living room. It is not though. It’s a trinket made for treason and the sound is to distract. It works. The sparrow is sure now that she’s not alone. She doesn’t hesitate and takes to the sky under a rapid sequence of shrill tweets. I follow her path and raise up on my back paws, but she is already too high in the sky. It’s not worth it. Sour, my tail whisps on the ground. What a waste of good sneaking.
Ms. Blue comes out of the shadows. Her stride is confident, and fluffy tail lifted. The little bell is tied in her collar, and what her humans' have cursed her with, she has now made her mission to curse the neighborhood with.
“What a nice afternoon to be lurking in,” she says and I meet her greeting with a scowl. It would have been nice, had she not just made my target fly away!
“What are you doing here?”
“Always the suspicious tone, Nugget,” Ms. Blue says and leans forwards on her front paws. With a soft bump, she rolls to the ground and stretches out wide, her paws spreading and claws extending.
“So … no bird for you, huh?” she continues and rolls to her side. Leaves and dirt sticks to her thick fur like pearls of wilderness.
“Obviously not,” I say and give her a warningly growl when her paws come inches from mine. She rolls to her other side and yawns widely, shows off her line of sharp teeth, and curls her pink tongue. Grains of sand twinkle in her fur.
“This is my corner, Blue,” I say with a narrow-eyed stare. She knows perfectly well.
“Is it now?” Her head cranes back and her blue eyes watches me from up-side-down, amused. “I just wanted to let you know I had a visitor yesterday. She mentioned you.” My tail whisps behind me and Blue rolls once more and sits up. She shakes her head and the bell chimes softly in a cloud of dust.
“She said I had the fluffiest fluffy fur she’d ever seen.” Ms. Blue licks her paw. “She even said she might have to re-route her walk to come see me again.” She stretches her back legs and shakes again.
“It’s not a competition,” I say and her bell shingles in the sunlight. A tiny star around her neck.
“Never said it was.” She struts past me and her soft tail whaps me on the cheek. Her tail is high, a soft curve on the tip as she strolls down the road. My whiskers pull up in a smile. No competition indeed!
To be continued...