All’s Well That Ends Well | Flash Post 424
(A first-person account by Messi, our ginger cat, who went missing.)
Women can be such teasers! Mama, the female cat and I live in separate apartments of the same building. She came by the window I was sitting on blissfully gazing outside and watching dawn turn to day. I do this every morning because I find that time of day magical. Every member of my family is asleep and I enjoy the quiet when even the leaves on the trees are still. I don’t like rainy mornings because that switch when dawn wakes up and stretches itself into another day is missing and it’s all dark and dreary.
Mama—let me make it clear that she’s not my mama—came visiting and distracted my morning ritual by pacing up and down in the compound below and kept calling to draw my attention. She is lovely to look at, no doubt, and that scrubbed after-shower appearance in the morning made her look like a bride attired in a white gown.
I caught her antics from the corner of my eye and noticed she was making improper gestures at me.
The window I sit on has been fitted with a fishnet to prevent me from going out and dilly-dallying with Mama and other neighbourhood cats. Basically, I am a home cat because my family had taken me in when I was tiny—barely a few days old—and brought me up to be an obedient and well-behaved boy. Commandments scrawled on a writing board for me are:
1. Play on the terrace but do not go out.
2. Live in harmony with other pets in the house.
3. Eat without spilling.
4. Do not kill to eat.
5. Use your sand box for bodily functions like a gentleman.
6. Do not spill sand when you use the sand box.
7. Keep yourself clean.
8. Answer when you are called.
I guess they do this because they love me and I understand and appreciate their stance.
By this time, I was fully awake and began pacing up and down the window teasing her all the while. Little did I realise that the net had torn in two places leaving a gaping holes at the base and, before I knew it, I suddenly found myself falling. I flailed my legs to find a grip and hold on to something but, to my horror, I realised that I was grasping at straws. That downward fall seemed to last forever but, even in the midst of it, I wished I could have replaced Alice in Wonderland and met with the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, the perpetually late White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter as well as make some new friends. I was looking forward to all of this when I hit the gravelled floor with a loud thud. Once I found my bearings, I looked around for Mama but she was not around.
I looked up at the window pondering of a way I could jump up and find my way back inside the house but the window seemed too high and any chance of conquering that height seemed remote.
There was enough reason for me to be scared but I just had to find my way back or the family could get sick worrying about my sudden disappearance.
I called out loudly at first praying some member would recognise my call and come looking for me. When I didn’t see any of the familiar faces I have been used to seeing all these years, I got disheartened. Wasn’t anyone missing me, I wondered! I called out again and again and again and each time my voice grew weaker till even a whimper didn’t emerge. The sun was beating down on me and I realised that if I didn’t find some shade to protect myself from the harsh sun, I’d pass out. I was thirsty and hungry as I hadn’t eaten my breakfast of kibbles that morning. That’s when I slipped out of the gate and ran into the next building. My heart was pounding but I finally found some shade under which I could relax, collect my wits and think of a way to get back home.
Just then, I heard some voices calling my name. The voices seemed close and familiar but I was too exhausted to answer. And then, suddenly out of the blue, I felt two soft hands encircle me, pick me up gently, pull me close to her chest and whisper my name in my ear. I knew I was home.