Tale #51: The Cat In The Graveyard

“I saw a cat here once.

“It was walking along the path from gate to gate, from grave to grave. I was sat on the steps of that old tomb there, just waiting around like today. Loitering, lingering. And I watched it walking around for a while. It hadn’t seen me, or if it had it hadn’t cared enough to show it, and I felt as if I was witness to some great secret, or some intimate privacy. Something, anyway, that I wasn’t supposed to see.

“And so, really, I shouldn’t have made myself known. It’s always a cruelty to do that, to someone who believed themselves alone. I should have left, and let it be. But I could not. It was a cat. A cat! How could I resist? So I called it to me on its next circuit past, made that old noise my mother used to use to call our cats in at night when I was a child, that horrible old sound they couldn’t ever resist, their ears and then their bodies turning inexorably towards the noise, towards my mother as she called. Vvvvvvvvvvrm! Vvvvvvvvvrm!

“The cat stopped in its stride and looked at me, and then came, slowly, towards me, head cocked to the side, meowing in return, imitating my sound as best it could. And then when it reached me it pushed itself heavily against my leg as if in greeting.

“As I leant down to stroke it, a shadow cast itself over everything, somehow, looming over me from behind. I felt a hand upon my shoulder, and the cat slipped past my legs and hurried up the steps on which I was sat.

“Yet when I turned to look there was nothing behind me but the sealed doors of the tomb.”

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Notes:

1. Written on 26th July, 2015
2. Although this pared down version is from July 2018

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