A black cat jumps my garden fence every evening and walks to my neighbour’s house. It is a regular occurrence that I have got used to by now. Its exquisite features make it different from an ordinary domestic black cat. Just below its neck, it has a heart-shaped white patch of fur. Moreover, the whiskers and paws are white too. Its beautiful shiny eyes glow like diamonds, especially in the dark. One winter evening, a few months ago, when I came back from work, as I parked my car and turned off the engine, everything was pitch black, but I saw a pair of glimmering eyes staring at me like the burning lava in an active volcano. It was scary, but magnificent too.
On another day I wanted to take a picture of it, so I decided to use my phone. I took the first click, but it saw me. It slowed down its pace and looked cautiously at me. I took gentle steps forward so that I would not frighten it, and so I could get a closer shot. It stared at me with a sharp gaze, and I thought that it was going to run away. But it surprised me with an explicit pause. As I finished my task, it slowly walked pass by me.
I thought to myself, “What a clever being, you understood my intentions and acted on them.”
The cat has a routine, and I often think about whether it goes out to chill with its friends, or to hunt rodents. The way it walks, it looks so powerful and independent. I do wonder whether it has a home or not; I have not seen a collar or tag on its neck. If a black cat runs in front of you while you are going somewhere it is considered bad luck. Even though people say this, I believe this is a myth. The poor little thing has no idea that people make it a villain by turning it into something out of a horror movie.
I keenly wait every day while I am at home for my four-legged guest to turn up, as it is my only regular visitor in these restricted lock-down times.
~ Chinchu Gibu
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