An Unlikely Tale of Two Felines

Two cats reflecting one another on a chilly winter day…

Mirroring off of pools of water are shades of red, green, and yellow that filter in on the city streets from distant traffic lights. Rain teems down and pelts the bustling traffic; cars that drive by and honk noisily. The business of people certainly doesn’t stop; they scurry down the busy streets in a constant turmoil to avoid the steady downpour.

In all of this mayhem a single black cat rests underneath the shelter of a cardboard box, rustling his fur as droplets of water are shaken off of his glossy pelt. He observes the busy flow of humans as they pass by with particular curiosity. Their hurriedness an unknown spectacle to the feline who is entirely at ease by staying put in one place for hours at a time. His tail curls comfortably around his small body as he lays down and he takes a moment to yawn with torpid satisfaction.

His owner named him Bori after the peculiar way that he chewed and in Bori’s life things were quite easy. How he ended up on the city streets was simple. His owner left him there one day and this was now where he lived.

Although his life could be quite lonely, Bori is not particularly sad. In fact he is quite content. Lately his days are full of napping and when he feels like it stretching to let his muscles relax from the stiff cold of the winter.

Nearby a human struggles against the wind with an odd contraption above his head to block out the rain. Bori realizes at this moment that he has never been faced with such a tedious struggle. The human clutches the odd object but to no avail. The object then goes tumbling through the crowd disrupting the passerby’s who slip and stumble. Bori blinks once, twice, to let the absurdity of this situation sink in.

The cold breeze reaches Bori and his whiskers twitch agitatedly. That was the only thing that he disliked the most. The Icy wind. The rain he could easily hide away from, but the cold fronts would gust through his matted fur and send shivers down his spine.

In time the rain let up and though the gray stormy clouds were billowing above they only let off a light spray that came to gently sprinkle tiny droplets on the people hurrying by. Bori took this as a time to go, for he was hungry and the local markets were plentiful.

There was a nice man at the market who fed Bori from time to time. He would sometimes let Bori climb up on the roof of his shop. Bori goes there, but is surprised to see that the nice man was gone and instead the shopkeepers daughter is there instead.

Bori goes up to the shopkeepers daughter and meows, but she doesn’t seem to notice him or rather she blatantly disregards his presence. Bori becomes easily annoyed at having to try to get her attention and he triumphantly sits down right at the front entrance of her shop.

“What are you doing this is my place.” A voice hisses out of nowhere.

Another scent penetrates his senses and there was the sound of bells jingling in the silence. Bori reluctantly moves his head to the right to see two yellow eyes peering at him from the shadows.

Into the light, sprung another black cat, who was bristling at his presence. “I told you to leave!”

This cat smells female. She is wearing a red ribbon with a bell around her neck that jingles when she moves toward him. Bori shakes water droplets from his fur and his whiskers twitch. “Your place…This is my place.” He rasps stubbornly.

And with that the intruder cat prowls around him. “I am the shopkeepers new pet. They have named me Muna. What is your name? You have no business here.”

The shopkeepers new pet? Bori stifles a trill of amusement. But he was the closest thing the shopkeeper had to a pet. Staring at Muna he found himself feeling like he was looking at his own reflection. The shopkeeper must have mistaken her for him!

“Nonsense! You are not the shopkeepers pet but an imposter. Now leave this place before I unsheathe my claws!” Bori says, bracing himself for what was to come next.

Muna’s gaze was hostile, her yellow eyes piercing. Bori has never seen a cat with such hostility. She is ready to pounce on him in an instant, but as soon as she is about to the shopkeepers daughter comes in between them and grabs Muna by the scruff of her fur.

Bori lets out a trill of laughter at seeing her being scooped up like a mother cat would her kit. Muna can do nothing but be humiliated. Bori follows the shopkeepers daughter and watches her carry Muna over and plop her down.

Muna hisses and fights off the shopkeepers daughter. Bori pads up to her expectantly. “It is strange what humans do to remind us each and every day of our limitations.”

Muna huffs defiantly at him. “It is strange that you are still here!”

Bori only turns away licking a paw, carelessly. “You know if you just wait I’m sure she’ll give both of us some food.”

Muna does not seem to want to wait long to find out. Sure enough the shopkeepers daughter places two bowls of food down so she doesn’t have to. Muna sighs letting out a deep huff that ruffles her whiskers. “We can eat together but only this once.”

So the two identical cats eat their food in silence. Their day a reflection of each other and their lives continuing to unfold. As the bustling people go by in the local markets they take no notice of the two identical cats.

Bori hates to admit that having a new companion may be a fun addition to his tedious life and as he eats he finds himself slowly starting to warm up against the frigid winter breeze.

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Joelle Shusterman

Joelle Shusterman

• An aspiring novelist inspired by her father • Feel free to indulge in her writing!