My name is Kat, not black Kat or wicked Kat. I am blessed with black silky fur that shines the brown of roof shingle when the sun is out in the sky. I have emerald eyes that glow in the night. They are beautiful .I see them in my reflection in clear water during the rainy season.
I am from Cat town. A silent town in Nigeria, that is home to many unwanted cats. It has the scent of fish smell. Delightful to my nose. I live on the street. I am hardly hungry, there is enough to eat. If I can’t get food in the waste baskets there are enough rats to eat. Someday I catch the unwary bird.
“Wicked cat” said a woman in a wrapper, blouse and veil.” Leave my house” and she threw a stick at me .I ran on my four small legs, she reeked with wickedness.
I was thrown out on the street when I was a small Kitten. The only crime I had committed was to have black fur. Since I have no hand in my creation, I own no apology to the humans. They all reek with hatred. To be truthful, some humans have a softer smell.
Lady beautiful scent, who owns a white cat, is a good example. Her cat is a beautiful spoiled cat with brown stripes. The pampered thing never lives her house. She is always stroked. I envy that cat on cold rainy days, when the sky rages and throw tantrums of thunder bolts that make me feel vulnerable and small. At such times I yearn for family.
Until a cold dark raining afternoon brought Sameer in to my life. I was laying under a battered blue Peugeot 504, when my upper lip lifted up and my nostrils twitched. I smelled a cat .It reeked of lonesomeness and suffering. The cat entered under the car. It was shivering like me .After sniffing him, we became comrades in cold. We snuggled close and a cat- ship was made, Kat and Sameer friends forever.
Sameer had dry listless coat, and he shakes uncontrollable. He was suffering from an unknown illness. He had sores on his skin. There was nothing I could do for him .I had no knowledge of cat sickness. There is no charity for a sick cat; most humans were not charitable to themselves. I see children begging everywhere wearing round bowls on their head and rags and ringworms on their skin. They had no charity for cats; we were a form of sport. Each time the group of the beggars see us coming, they chased us .It seems they cherished the idea of being better than us.
Sameer suffered more; he was always tired and listless. Each time they ran after us, he takes time to recover. His brown eyes looked like pain. He hardly had appetite and refuses to eat from waste bins, so we took to begging for food. We chose our favourite fish restaurant. The smell was like ambrosia. Fried, grilled, roasted fish filled the air .It was a Cat’s heaven. An open space fish restaurant decorated with white plastic chairs and white tables. We never care to look at the humans face, we begged in pitiful meows chanting for fish for the love of God. Women were more inclined to give us fish. Each time I stare at the women, sniffing I catch the scent of kindness. My eyes keep shouting save me, save me. No one answers; the humans are blind devils in disguise. I kept my thoughts to myself, Sameer had hatred towards humanity. His earliest memory was of helplessness, feeling choked in a brown sack , tied and thrown away on a road to nowhere. He was freed when a beggar child, a fellow prisoner of fate opened the bag in search of good things of life. Sameer came out trembling with fear and suspicion. He never had any yearning for a family.
As for me, I was once loved. I lived with a family for 12 weeks of my life. Until they moved with my mom and litter mates’ .They left me behind in a carton in front of a three bedroom flat, because I was a black cat. They made me feel unloved, unwanted and helpless. Sometimes I wonder if there is space for me in the universe. I broke out of my reverie.
‘’Sameer, we should go to the restaurant.’’
We went and we were surprised. The owner of the restaurant kept a fish for us. It was a beautiful fish that gleamed silver in the sunlight. We ate happily and died choking out blood. We died together Sameer and I.
I had no name.
The lady restaurant picked our bodies and tied us in a black bag. She threw us like garbage. My spirit looked on, I vowed revenge and beg God for a boon. Sameer was happy to be free of pain, he looked beautiful a vibrant black cat.
I came back for my pound of flesh on a rainy winding night. The lady was driving her small blue clean Kia motor. I appeared suddenly on her windscreen. She screamed very loudly, staring at the black cat holding a silver Fish in its paws .I came for my pound of flesh. The car skid off the road somersaulted.
They said she had a heart attack.
I say why kill what you can’t create.
I had hopes and dreams too.