The night was warm and crisp; the autumn leaves littered the ground, large as my paw, and cracked like chips when I stepped on them. I stalked through the night, searching for the prey that eluded me once before. This mouse was sharp, having found a way out of my grasp once, and staying well hidden ever since. My stomach growled and I growled back at it; I havenÕt eaten in over three days, and right now I would eat almost anything. This ravenous hunger bit at me, twisted my insides more than ever before. I was about ready to leave this dismal forest and give up when I heard it. A small crack of leaves, soft as a whisper to some, but to my acute sense of hearing it was loud enough to prove it was the mouse. I crouched low; hind end in the air, muscles tense, eyes focused on the spot. There, under some low brush, was the poor rodent. My dinner, or soon it will become. It nibbled on a twig, gnawed on a leaf, and tasted a small beetle (which it detested very much), before he saw me. His poor black orb-like eyes seemed to radiate the fear in the little creature, but as he turned to run, I jumped. It seemed to go in slow motion, me springing from the spot leaving a cloud of leaves and dust, the mouse turning to run, me crashing down on itÕs small body, and the mouse in my hand. Despite the poor creatures squeaks and struggles I would not free him. I had him grasped between my paws, slowly cutting off his air, feeling his squirming, and through his pain it pained me. I never thought it would be like this, me having to kill for food, but that is what it has become. He was straining for air, squirming with all his might, squeaking louder than any mouse should, or was it my hearing amplifying it? Whichever the cause, he fell silent. His protests ended, his body fell limp, and he was dead. 'My dinner.' I thought. After eating the food I set out for a place to sleep. I havenÕt thought about sleeping because eating was my main priority, but now that my stomach is satisfied, I thought about sleep. Another problem was the fatigued feeling that came to me. I walked down the forest, careful not to crunch leaves for fear a larger predator will find me, and possibly, kill me. This fear ended when I found a great pine tree, the width of one of those humanÕs homes, and taller than I can ever imagine. I clawed the soft bark and made my way up. I climbed for what seemed like hours until I reached the bottom branch. This branch was well out of reach for anything under me, so I settled down in the fork between two other limbs and let sleep take meÉ I woke with a start; somewhere off in the distance I heard a loud crack. I almost fell off my branch if it werenÕt for my claws dug deeply into the bark. There was a bright flash that left the image of the forest imprinted in my eyes. I saw an endless line of trees, infinite grass, and above all, a bear. This scared me, but apparently the crash of thunder scared it even more. There was nothing I could do. I dug my claws deeper in the branch and watched between flashes at the bear picking itÕs way through the forest. I sat there in panic and shock, unknowing what to do. My heart was racing faster than it has ever gone, even in my most worrisome times. The bear was slowly making its way to my tree when I heard it. A faint pat of water on leaves, little splashes here and there, slow at first, but gradually getting louder. Cats donÕt like water, and they vary much fear rain. The bear didnÕt either, and he ran off when the rain worsened. The small drops were growing larger and denser, and the forest was soon hidden behind a torrent of rain. The pitter-patter turned to a constant roar, and even the tree I was sitting in couldnÕt hold it much longer. Almost as if it was timed the water the leaves had been collecting poured down at the same time, right on the spot I was sitting. It made me jump, and as I landed, I missed the branch. Down I went, all the way to the forest floor. As usual, cats land on their feet, and so did I. I scurried under a bush and watched the rain pour and the ground flood. 'This is going to be a long night.' I said to myself, deafened by the loud crashes of lightning.
A Night In The Life Of A Cat
September 1, 2007