cat master

AT SOME MOMENT in the night, I heard a door slam shut. It was a loud, forceful sound, as if a person had closed it on the way out in a hurry. I thought it must be the wind, and it must be one of the corridor doors, but when I awoke, and upon scrutiny, detective work, and inspection, I discovered they were all shut tight. After the door slam, I began to hear a strange tinkling sound, almost like a xylophone imitated by a computer, but with no particular melody, just tinkling and transmitting into the air, blending with the Christmas lights of the tree. “Aliens,” I thought. “They have come to abduct me. Just like in Whitley Streiber’s Communion!” Instead, a shadowy, four-legged creature prowled out of the darkness into view. It was Kurru the Cat. Once before, I had a strange experience with Kurru, when, half asleep, I heard someone whisper, “Look over here, look at me over here,” and awoke and turned my head in the direction of the whispers to see Kurru eyeing me from a chair and licking her fur. It was 3 or 4 am. Again it was 3 or 4 am when Kurru arrived to the sound of the strange tinkling electronic xylophone music. I stared at her for a while and she stopped and stared at me. This was highly irregular, as Kurru seldom allows me to even pet her and only shows me any notice when she wants to go out or needs food. Yet there she was, staring at me through the dark. “Is this strange sound your cat language?” I thought. “Is this what the cats hear when they talk to each other?” Kurru just watched me. It wasn’t as if an animal was watching me. It was as if a fully embodied, advanced entity had taken notice of my awareness of its existence. Then I turned over in my blanket and I heard Kurru’s paws shuffle into my daughter’s room and next I heard her jump up onto the bed, where she usually sleeps most nights. She made herself a nest, licked her paws a few times, and soon was asleep too. I got the sense that we belonged more to her than she belonged to us. The roles were reversed. We had been her pets all along. Kurru the Cat was master.

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