We have a black cat. He is terribly fat and lazy. He has been with us since he was a kitten, and is now nine years old and considered part of the family. He arrived together with three other kittens, all of them belonging to the breed NSB (No Specific Breed!). Last year we lost two of our cats to kidney trouble.
Our cats can often be found sleeping together on the sitting-room sofa. Be it daytime or in the evening, they seem to guess when we are in the hall of our flat, for as soon as we open the door there they are waiting to greet us. It is so wonderful to be received at home by these animals.
It is exactly there where the danger lies. The black cat just loves trying to bypass us and reach the hall, but every time he does, we push him back with our feet. Once he was able to dodge me and landed in the middle of the hall. When I called after him, he came back running, most likely by finding himself in a strange environment. We do pay a lot of attention so that neither of the cats escape, though the other cat is rather quiet and his paws have never crossed the threshold of our flat.
When I am at home, I like calling the cats, and they generally come along, and when I let them, they climb onto my lap. One day, the black cat did not answer my call and disappeared. I hunted for him all over the place, but no sign of him. He was in none of his customary hiding places: behind the computer: no! Under the sofa: no! I was quite certain that he had not escaped, but just to be on the safe side, I went into the hall, and called after him. Nothing! When I went back inside I thought I heard a faint meow. Was he teasing me? I went looking for him again: nothing! I was almost giving up, when I heard that meow once again. Following the sound I saw him high up, almost touching the ceiling, on top of our china cabinet. He was looking at me innocently as if saying: “Are you looking for me?”. How the devil did he climb up there? Well, he stretched himself and let out a strong meow: “Now that you have found me, what do you want?”
On a certain fateful day, the black cat was successful in getting around my legs, and in a matter of seconds made for the hallway and his escape! He stopped at the staircase that leads to the floor below, looked over at me in defiance: “Come and catch me!”. Just then our neighbour's bulldog decided to bark behind the door of their flat. That sure frightened the cat, that bolted down the stairs. I ran after him. He halted in the hall of that floor; he seemed to hesitate, not knowing what to do next. He hears my footsteps and my gasping breath. He waits for me and down he flies to another floor. This time he finds an open door to one of the flats, and in he rushes, I am sure thinking that it were our flat. I am almost there, sweating profusely, when I am literally run over by him, as he dashes up the flight of steps, pursued by a large marmalade-coloured Main Coon. I know that these big cats are rather meek and harmless, but my black cat had invaded his home... So back upstairs I go to find out what is happening. When I reached my flat, I saw an unexpected scene: the Maine Coon and my other cat were there socialising, rubbing each other just by the doorstep.
And what of the black cat? That cowardly creature was found later, hidden under the sofa. He stayed two days without eating, scared stiff by his outing. Nowadays he does not come to greet us anymore when we arrive home. He must be having nightmares about the Maine Coon, the largest domestic cat in existence, and perhaps to him some sort of monster!