måndag 23 juli 2012


A flash of lightning.
The claws slashes the air,hitting their mark,sending the enemy of howling in pain. Leaving only a trail of fresh blood leading into the night.
He did it! He,Gary,scared of that wretched menace,a fox,that´s what it must have been.

A fox!
He had heard of them sneaking in to town in hunt of pray,vicious orange beasts who are only looking to kill and he,Gary,had not only scared one off bleeding he had rescued a fellow feline from becoming the beasts next meal. A fox.
The other cat groans quietly as it licks one of it´s paws,Gary tentatively takes a few steps towards the cat ready to back off if needed but the cat just quietly sits there licking it´s paw,taking no notice of Gary what so ever.
"Was that really a fox?" Gary asks,the adrenaline rush who only minutes ago had fueled his tiny body is starting to wear off and the night and smell of danger has started to make him acutely aware of his surroundings. He has no idea where he is,he has never been here before,everything smells different. 
He had been following a rat through the alleys of the city when he had heard the noises,it sounded like a fight and curious he had made his way towards it,the rat forgotten. He turned the corner and there they were,the fox ready to attack and the black cat lying on the ground.
Thats when he had done it. With a hiss he ran straight up to the fox clawing and biting at whatever he could find until the beast had run off defeated,leaving Gary and the other cat alone in the alley. 
Gary takes a better look at the cat,it´s big with long fur black as the night,it is now sitting perfectly still looking at Gary,it´s green eyes showing calm and a dominance that makes Gary feel that this is a cat that demands respect wherever it goes. He sits down at a secure distance,looking back at the cat.
"Yes,that was a fox", the cat says. You scared it off,that was very brave of you."
Gary feels a burst of pride warming his heart,this magnificent cat had just called him brave,he moves a little closer.
The big cat gets up to leave,carefully testing it´s front paw and after deciding that the pain isn´t so bad,walks off into the alley. After a few paces it stops and looks at Gary who gets up and starts to follow the big cat into the night.

As they walk something suddenly dawns on Gary,a thought so fantastic that his heart skips a beat. He looks at the other cat again,as for the first time,and he can´t believe what he is seeing. Gary has seen this cat before,many times,on the hunt and always surrounded by it´s friends. That huge mane of jet black fur around it´s neck,like a black lion,the confidence in it´s steps,this is the leader of the Back Alley Cats!
The Back Alley Cats,a fierce group of cats who runs this city. Gary had admired them,from a distance of course,hoping that one day somehow he would be one to. His whole body,whiskers to tail,used to ache with longing for that day. It´s what he dreams about when he lies down to rest in his paper box. A family. To belong.
Gary used to belong,it seems like another lifetime now but one of his earliest memories is being lifted up into her soft lap,her warm fragile hands gently stroking his fur,making him purr with delight.
Oh what a wonderful time! Warm and safe,with the smell of flowers and spices he would never know the name of in the air. He was loved.
One day the woman was gone,Gary waited patiently for her to come back,day after day after day,but she never did. Until one day some strange men came and started tearing apart their happy home,loud strange smelling men taking all the furniture,piece by piece shattering Gary´s existence.
He cried out for them to stop,he cried out for his human,the woman with the warm hands who smelled so comforting,but nobody came to his aide. Nobody even payed any attention to him and soon he found himself not only out of the apartment but out on the street. Gary had never been outside the apartment before and he could still remember the sheer horror he had felt that day when the doors of the building had closed behind him and nothing would ever be the same again.
He had managed to survive on the streets,he slept behind dumpsters and ate what he could find,mostly bugs and food humans had discarded. The rats were a bit too smart for him and always managed to scurry away. Right now he had found a box to sleep in,it leaked something terrible when it rained but at least it provided shelter from the wind and nobody bothered him in there.
The other cat notices that Gary is staring,so he looks down trying to keep calm,but on the inside Gary is practically screaming with joy and amazement.
A Back Alley Cat! He had saved a Back Alley Cat from a fox attack,no,not only had he saved a Back Alley Cat he had saved the leader of the Back Alley Cats! Wow,him,Gary!
And now they are walking together,side by side like equals,him and this magnificent black cat,black like Gary. This was it,he could feel it,he is going to become a Back Alley Cat. Where else would the cat lead him if not to their lair to make Gary a Back Alley Cat. Little Gary who hasn´t even seen his second birthday yet and is very much still a kitten is going to be a Back Alley Cat,wow! He starts to sway his tail from side to side out of joy,he can´t help it.
"I,I know who you are",he says to the other cat. "You do,do you?",says the cat,giving him a little smile.
"Yes,you are the leader of the Back Alley Cats." And by saying it out loud Gary can no longer contain all the questions bubbling up inside of him.
"Is that where we are going,are you gonna take me to the Back Alley Cats,are you gonna make me a member,is it far,I´ll work really hard!"
The Back Alley Cat silences him with a stern look and they walk in silence for a while until the black cat says, "You are indeed a very brave little cat,we could sure use someone like you in our group." As if those words 
wasn´t enough to send Gary soaring into the sky,it´s what the cat says next that makes Gary wanna jump with joy. "Gary,he says with that little smile,how would you like to become a Back Alley Cat?"
Yes,yes,yes of course he wants,it´s all he´ll ever want.
"Good,it is settled then. We´ll soon be home."
Home. He will have a home,he will belong.
That burst of pride he had felt earlier that night when he had been called brave is nothing to the explosion of pure happiness now spreading it´s warmth in his chest,seeping out into the rest of his body. What a wonderful warmth,like he will never be cold again,or hungry or afraid. Because he is going to be a Back Alley Cat,little Gary. He is going to have brothers and sisters and they are gonna teach him how to hunt properly and they will play and he will never be lonely again! When it´s time to rest they will curl up next to each other for warmth,no more leaking box for Gary,no sir! Because he had been chosen,the leader of the Back Alley Cats had chosen him,and soon they will be home.

He lets out a little purr when he sees a saucer of milk a friendly human has put out by a back door. Obeying the hunger that is screaming in his belly he hurries over and starts to drink the sweet liquid,not hearing the other cat calling out for him to stop.
The cat calls out to him again and now he hears it,the cat sounds angry it´s voice hard. It takes Gary a second but then he understands,how stupid of him,he should have let the other cat drink first. He is the alpha cat he drinks first of course,how stupid of him. Stupid,stupid,stupid!
He turns around slowly,ready to lie down in submission if the other cat shows any sign of demanding that.
So he is very surprised when the only thing he sees when he finally musters up the courage to look the other cat in the eye,is a deep sadness. The other cat doesn´t look angry at all,only sad,and there is something else. Desperation?
Gary doesn´t understand. Then he feels it,a sharp pain in his stomach burning like a thousand fires,the last thing he hears before he faints is the other cat saying his name again.

He is dreaming.
Everything is the same but different,like painted with watercolours. He once saw a human paint with watercolours in the park,it was pretty,this is not pretty it´s dark and wet and cold. Very cold. He sits up by the saucer,where he had fainted and looks at his surroundings,the other cat is gone but other than that the alley looks the same. No wait,there is something there,the alley is filled with animals lying on the ground,dead.
Mostly cats but he can see some raccoons too and closer to the saucer there are some rats and spiders lying on their backs with their legs curled up in the air. Gary would find the look of the spiders amusing if he wasn´t so terrified,dead they are all dead.
The panic starts to build up inside of him,what is this what is he doing here?
Then a little voice starts to whisper in the back of his head and he remembers a story told by the other animals living on the street. A story about a butcher who hates animals,cats in particular,he hates them so much that every night he puts out a saucer of milk by his back door. Milk mixed with poison. 
The panic has now spread throughout his body,filling his veins with ice,drowning every ounce of happiness that was overflowing his body just moments before.
But that is just a story,it can´t be true,he says to himself.
This is Gary´s night,this is the night! 
He is going to be a Back Alley Cat and he is going to have brothers and sisters and they where gonna teach him how to hunt properly and they would play and when it´s time to rest they where gonna curl up next to each other for warmth and he would never ever be lonely again. He will have a home. Tonight.
It´s just a story.
An icy cold vise is squeezing his heart until he can´t bare to take another breath,he closes his eyes hoping it will go away but knowing it wont.
When he opens them again he is lying on the ground in the alley,all the dead animals are gone and he is left alone. He tries to get up,the fire is still there in his stomach making him both hot and cold,and walks over to the saucer on shaky legs. Exhausted by those few steps he sits down and sees the black cat,it is still with him,it´s green eyes watching him carefully from the shadows.
The black cat doesn´t matter any more,nothing matters anymore he knows that now.
He dips his paw into the milk and swirls it around,as he lifts it he watches the milk running between his toes forming beads.
"Well,here´s looking at you kit,we really painted the town red tonight",he says before licking his paw clean from the treacherous drops.
The pain in his stomach is gone now,all he can feel is a strange void inside of him.
As from a distance he can hear the black cat gently purring a soothing song for him,when a pair of warm familiar hands lifts him up and hugs him. Holding him close to her heart before she puts him down into her soft lap,she is gently stroking his fur and the smell of flowers and spices he will never know the name of is in the air,he is warm again.
He belongs.