Saturday, 28 March 2015

A Cat Called Michelle - by Sarah Kunz

by Amita Murray

Let me introduce myself. I am called Michelle. I am rather beautiful, rather big cat, a male cat, although my owners hadn’t realized that yet when they named me Michelle. Humans… I love to stroll around the neighborhood, enjoy the sun and pick up a bit of chit chat on the way. And I hear all sorts of things, sitting on our neighbor’s windowsill, watching all those petty and not so petty scenes going on in these peoples’ homes. And all those poor humans think I don’t understand any of what is going on. Little do they know. Its amazing really, much better than that reality TV that my people watch at home. And sometimes I’m even fed some tuna sitting on those window sills. Those are lucky days.

The other day I observed this scene while enjoying the first spring sun. I was just doing a bit of stretching and relaxing on the windowsill of our neighbor’s kitchen and let me tell you I felt rather sorry for this poor chap Ben. Actually, I have been watching those people for some time now. It used to be such fun, such a happy home always someone in the kitchen, chatting and laughing, oh I really picked up some juicy gossip on that windowsill. But lately, none of that. Some of the people must have moved out, I never see them anymore…Ah, things really have changed. The only one that’s left of the old crew is this poor fellow Ben. He is always such an enthusiastic guy, smiling, friendly chap, gives me a bite of tuna sometimes. Generous man really. Though lately he is always alone in that kitchen, no more smiling and hatting….and no more tuna if I think about it. And that day this new girl, she always looks so broody, rarely a word, just flitting in an out of the kitchen, never any tuna, never and stroking of my lovely grey fur. And oh I could see my friend Ben got annoyed that day. When I arrived they were chatting, I was surprised, it seemed to be going well, almost like one of those friendly chats like they used to be but then… Ben had turned around, stirring the stew he was preparing, telling what I thought was a rather funny anecdote of the class he had taught that day, but then…. he turned around in mid-sentence and could see what I had seen all along. Michelle had taken a phone call in the middle of their conversation (I didn’t want to tell you but yes she is called Michelle, just like me) and by now she was absent-mindedly discussing with her mum what they should have for tea. No ‘sorry, let me just answer that phone call’ or ‘excuse me but I need to answer this’. Oh I could see poor Ben, irked annoyed, in shock really. Locked in an internal battle, I could see it all on his face, the battle between empathy (‘this poor girl is new in London, lonely and really misses her mum) and offence (‘what a rude behavior’). I felt sad really, I don’t think I’ll go back relax on that windowsill anytime soon. Too depressing all of it.

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