A collection of short stories about and by, cats.
Excerpt Black Street Cat:
I am the black cat of night: No name: I walk the dark, lonely streets of the night-time city answering to no-one. The city is my home, my identity and my existence.
I am alone, belonging to no-one, no-one belonging to me. I depend on no-one, no-one depends on me. I am always alone. Such is my life. I would have it no other way.
I wander the streets alone, because in loneliness there is safety. I try to avoid all living things, because in them there is danger. I must often go against my desire to avoid all the other creatures of the night since I must eat. The mice and other vermin are my prey. Their deaths mean that I will live another day. I take no pleasure in the killing, it is simply that I must often kill to survive.
There are places I must go to feed. There are places I must go to hide away during the daylight hours. There are places I must avoid because of the danger. These places are my life, and this is my story.
I once lived with humans. I was quite happy then, I think. I was well fed, and lacked for nothing, but change came in the form of a child human and I was no longer wanted. I was neglected so I ran away and made a new life in the jungle of the city.
When I was owned by humans I suppose that I had a name. That tends to be a people thing, that everything must have a name to indicate its place. Whatever it was, I have forgotten it. Names are not important in the night of the city. They do not add anything to ones chances of survival so they have no value. I no longer need a name to tell me who I am. I know that I am alone, and thus unnamed and unwanted.
My humans had been good to me. I always had food, a warm spot to sleep and loving attention. The new child changed all that. It became the focus of attention and I was ousted from my warm spots. I no longer received any attention, other than being chased away from the sleeping child when I wanted a warm spot to sleep. Life became less than heavenly. I could do nothing right where the child was concerned. My only thought at the time was to escape, but to where, I had no idea. I just needed to go.
While I lived with the humans I never left the house. I was kept inside all the time. Being alone and unwanted out in the wild of the city was the hardest burden to bear, at first, but I soon became used to it. Coping with being alone was necessary for my survival. I soon learnt to fight for my life.
While I lived with humans I was quite unaware of the other world that existed outside my home. I had everything I needed, food, warmth, and company. I don’t know what I thought of it at the time, but I probably thought that I was in some sort of heaven. I never thought much in those days, if I did at all, life was too easy. I didn’t need to think to survive. Life turned out to be very different in the night time city. There I had to learn to think to stay alive. I had to revert to the thinking of my ancestors, the feline predators of the jungle. Only by being a better predator than those around me could I survive.
Being alone also meant learning many new skills. I learnt to rely on no-one, to find my own food and to find happiness, or at least, as little unhappiness as possible, in my own company. I am now self-sufficient. I no longer see humans as friends and providers. I fend for myself. I have learnt to fight and kill to survive. Independence has became my byword and the key to my survival.
Once I found my way out of my old home into the open city I quickly learnt to cope with it. My survival depended upon it. I learnt to hunt and kill without thought other than that it was necessary that I eat to live. I learnt to fight other cats and other animals such as dogs and rats. Again, it was necessary for my survival. I learnt aggression, but also learnt to control it so that I could use it, rather than letting it use me. And so I survived. I’ve lost track of the time I’ve been living in the city but many summers and winters have come and gone since I sought my freedom.
I walk the lonely streets of the city at night. The only people who share the streets with me are the night-time people, such as police officers and taxi drivers and the people who live on the streets because they have no homes. They don’t bother me: They have their own concerns. More important to my survival are the other animals that wake up to share the dark with me, the cats, the dogs and the rats. Some of those are dangerous to me and will fight to the death over food or territory. Against those I must be constantly vigilant. I have no friends, everyone is an enemy or rival in search of food or living space.
I live in an uneasy peace with my fellow predators. We live and let live as far as possible. Except when food is scarce or territory is threatened, fighting has little to gain. Death or defeat may be the end. In the wild of the city, defeat is as good as death, since a vanquished animal will no longer be able to maintain his or her position, and none of us wants to be in a position where we cannot maintain our standing in the complex society of night animals. We need to be unbeaten, or at least unbowed, to survive.
Find more work by Rod Pitcher on : GoogleDrive