A Cat’s Love
by Samantha Memi
Cupid fingered the feathers of an arrow, placed it on the string of his bow, aimed, and fired.
A cat washing its paws near a bus-stop was suddenly struck with love for a woman waiting for a bus looking at a man who stood just behind a cat. The man looked down the road for a bus and then went into a shop. The woman wondered if she had time to nip into the shop, buy some chocolate and perhaps nudge the man gently, smile and say sorry. She looked into the shop and just as she decided to go in, the cat, a beautiful Siamese, pushed against her leg. As it was summer she wore no tights, and the fur of the cat was so soft and sensual she wanted to feel it in her hands and against her face. Just as she picked up the purring creature and felt it push its whiskers against her cheeks and heard its purrs and looked into its soft loving eyes, the man came out of the shop looked at the woman and said,
'That's a beautiful cat. Is it yours?'
'No. It just came up and made friends with me.'
The cat, for whom the man was a rival, narrowed its eyes as he came over and, as he reached to stroke its head, the claws in its paw opened and in a painful swipe drew blood on the back of the man's hand. Immediately the woman dropped the cat, said, 'Oh, I'm so sorry,' to the man and reached into her handbag for a tissue.
'It's nothing,' said the man, half-wishing the woman wasn't there so he could kick the cat. 'It could probably smell the dog of a friend of mine. I've just been round there. There's no harm done.'
By friend he meant girlfriend and her dog was a Chihuahua that he hated because it constantly yapped.
'I've got some Rescue Cream. It will stop any scaring.'
The man disliked all the fuss over a tiny scratch in front of the other waiting bus passengers but to please the woman he acquiesced as she spread the cooling, healing solution on the back of his hand. He tried to see her face as she applied the cream but as her head was tipped forward he saw more of her eyelashes than her eyes and none of her face except the ridge of her nose.
A 61 arrived.
'This is my bus,' he said.
'Mine too,' she lied.
She would be late for work but this was a chance too good to miss. The woman got on the bus. The man followed. The cat too, unnoticed by the driver. They sat together and just as the woman had made herself comfortable the cat jumped on her lap.
'It obviously likes you,' said the man.
'I wish I could say the same after what its done to your hand,' said the woman and she lifted the cat from her lap and put it on the floor.
The man said his name was David. He worked as a driver, delivering washing machines and fridges all round the south-east. Her name was Diane and she worked as a cashier at a supermarket in Holloway Road.
'You're on the wrong bus,' he said.
'I've got the morning off,' she lied, 'I'm going to see a friend,' and she told him she had to get off at the next stop. He asked her if she'd like to meet for a drink sometime.'
'Okay,' she said, fluttering her eyelashes and pretending to be shy. She gave him her phone number.
When she got off the bus the cat followed. She was in Farringdon. How the hell do I get to Holloway Road, she thought. She realised she was 20 minutes late already. By the time she got to work she would be at least an hour late. Then she felt the cat curling round her leg as she stood and wondered what to do. How weird, she thought, is this thing following me? She picked it up and loved its softness stroking against her and the breezy purring helped her relax. I'll take the morning off she decided and phoned work to say she couldn't get in till the afternoon. Then Diane and cat caught the bus home.
The cat immediately made itself at home, and when she got back that evening with cat food and milk, the cat curled round her legs and its purrs were full of affection. She lifted it up and it pushed its face against hers and she embraced its warmth into her life.
He never phoned, but she didn’t care. Her beautiful cat gave her all the love she needed.