Spaghetti and Cats

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A suicidal attempt turned into a travel to the animal realm.

SPAGHETTI AND CATS

By Heidi Mendoza

hdmheidi@gmail.com

 

 

I might kill myself.

See, I am not depressed or anything of the sort. It’s just that there are days when I walk myself home and it strikes me that ending my life might be the best thing to do. I am in good terms with my family, I have a number of friends, and no exes to count. I am working in a government office as a planning officer, and many of my proposals lately have been approved, and have been endorsed by our director. I was able to travel abroad thrice last year, and was able to save up more than I should. But the thought lingers each day.

 

But I won’t kill myself today, not yet. There are two things I have yet to do before I finally end this life.

 

I can only think of two things – cook a spaghetti, and talk to a cat.

 

Mom always served spaghetti when we were younger. My three brothers and I would stop playing and run towards the kitchen to eat the spaghetti. We always argued who deserved to have a bigger share of the spaghetti.

 

It tasted a lot better than those pasta you could buy from the stores. Mom always cooked it with so much love – cooked-to-perfection pasta; thick, red, tomato sauce; large chunks of meat, and; a handful of grated cheese. I don’t know what other spices she used, but it sure smelled like heaven. We’d leave whatever it was we were doing just to get a share. The sauce would often drip as we made different pasta-eating sounds.

 

“You’re the youngest, so you only get whatever remains,” the three of them would say. I didn’t argue, because I was scared – these brothers might punch me in the face that the spaghetti won’t entice me anymore. So I always got the smallest share, and always thought how it be like to eat a bowlful of spaghetti.

 

It didn’t really matter whether I got the biggest or smallest share; all I wanted was a taste of Mom’s perfect dish.

 

When I went to college, I lived on my own, and only visited them downtown during weekends, or sometimes during holidays and vacations. Never in my college days was I able to cook myself a decent spaghetti. I usually bought the packed ones, with the pre-made sauce. The sauce would normally look bloody red, with only bits of meat. It didn’t look and taste as good as Mom’s spaghetti.

 

There is something about spaghetti, don’t you think?

 

After graduating from college, I immediately took a job in the city, and still lived on my own. One particular day – that Tuesday evening I can’t forget – I was riding the subway. It wasn’t so much of a rush hour so everyone got to sit comfortably. In front of me sat a quiet lady, I’d guess she was in her mid-thirties.

 

She wore a black cardigan over a mid-length gray dress. She had her hair pushed back, and wore a stern, boring face. I looked at her from time to time, thinking what went wrong with her Tuesday. She didn’t even look at me, but she always looked down, and checked her phone frequently. But no one was calling or texting her.

 

I fixed my bag, and was about to go down on the next station, when she finally looked at me. She didn’t speak, but her cheeks went red, and she held her mouth. I was the only one looking at her at that time, then she threw up. Everyone looked at her in disgust, and covered their nose.

 

I looked down on the floor, and I couldn’t be mistaken for what I saw. The first thing I saw were the scattered white noodles, and the next thing was the thick red sauce. Then the last thing I saw were the small undigested pieces of meat. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to throw up all the pasta I ate in my entire life.

 

It was a good thing she didn’t throw up on my shoes, or anyone else’s. I stood up, and hurried my way out when we arrived at the station.

 

Since then I wasn’t able to eat spaghetti, and any other pasta. The scene of that lady throwing up, and the actual mess of her probable dinner could send me to amoeba land.

 

Mom thought I was sick, or something; every time I went home, I requested for another meal. My brothers, all grown up and old, of course didn’t mind me; but sure still fought over the overrated red sauce.

“You always had the smallest share of my spaghetti, and now that you can have all the share that you want, you’re telling me to cook you another dish,” Mom would always tell me. I could feel she was a little annoyed. Everyone loved her spaghetti, except maybe for her youngest son who preferred to eat a sandwich or a stew.

 

Blame the lady in the subway, I wanted to answer her. Instead I just apologized, and said that I had spaghetti for the whole week; which was quite weird and seemed a lot sicker to me.

 

So I decided that before I hang myself to death, I’d be cooking my last taste of spaghetti. During one of my visits, I watched Mom prepare the ingredients, and watched her cook. It shouldn’t be so hard when I get to cook it myself in my apartment.

 

It may sound ridiculous, but I really am going to cook myself a spaghetti. For old time’s sake, and for feeding myself with my favorite food.

 

Now, with talking to the cat, it’s quite more complicated than it sounds. When I say talk to the cat, I actually mean, converse with the cat. I want to ask the cat questions, and have it answer back. Of all the animals, I think cats would give me the most sophisticated answers. Not that I have talked with them before; just looking at them, sitting on the front porch, gives me so much feeling that one day, the cat could tell me valuable answers.

 

I never owned a pet, simply because I prefer a simple life. A life without anything to look after to, or anything to feed before I leave the house. I’d probably even compute the money I’d be spending for the food, and tell myself how I could’ve spent the amount in better, and more productive ways.

 

The streets are the home of the cats – poor cats, and fat cats. I’m thinking which cat would be better to talk to. The poor cats, of course barely getting by, and scavenging for food among the trash cans, can give me priceless stories, and thoughts on life and wealth. Thoughts on how we should be forever thankful for what we have. Of course, some poor cats could tell me stories of how they have been transformed by the city and by hunger.

 

On the other hand, the fat cats purring on the front porch of my rich neighbor could tell me stories of different people passing by her house. The fat cat has all the time in the world to watch people, and maybe envy them for being so well-equipped. Or maybe pity them, for being so complicated, that life becomes so mundane, and burdensome.

 

I told myself I’d wait for the first cat to pass by. I sat on an open garden few blocks away from my apartment. I didn’t bring with me my phone, so I could just sit there, concentrate, and hopefully catch a conversation with a witty, witty cat.

 

“What a lonesome man could you be,” a cat purred behind me. I didn’t turn around, because it felt weird. I felt like I was losing myself for really hearing a cat talk to me.

 

“You’re bordering sanity and insanity, but yes, I am talking to you. If you must keep your face from me, the cat shall speak no more.”

 

I stood up, and walked to see if the cat was real. Behind the green bench sat a white cat with big, round, yellow eyes.

 

“Still not speaking to me?”

 

“How do I…”

 

“It’s simple. Cats can sense when human wants to take their souls a notch higher. See, a normal human soul can only converse with another human. But for those who desire to speak with other beings, like animals, the soul has to travel to our dimension. And I must say, you’re quite wise to choose cats. Dogs can’t really sense a human soul in the field, mostly because they’ve been too attached with them.

 

“Cats, on the contrary, are very much detached with the humans. See, this level of detachment we keep with humans is near perfect. Near perfect we can sense you in both worlds.”

 

“When did you feel my soul roaming and searching in your realm?”

 

“A few days ago, I guess. So, why strike a conversation with a cat?”

 

“I told myself I can only proceed with taking my life after having a conversation with a cat.”

 

The cat licked her front paws, and sat up with its back perfectly arched. It looked at me, “Go ahead, and speak of your last piece to this wonderful world.”

 

I sat on the ground, and placed my hands on my knees. “Are cats ever jealous of humans?”

 

The cat purr purr purr purred a long time. “That’s ridiculous. Cats are never, and will never be jealous of humans. You toil all day, just so you could feed with yourself, and your pets at home. Cats never have to do anything, but we get great food.

 

Plus, the nine lives, can you ever get away with death for more than one encounter? Humans are bound to give in after one, direct encounter with the reaper.”

“I have another few questions from your answer. But how about the stray cats? Don’t they ever get that feeling of resentment? And yes, the nine lives, how come?”

 

“You underestimate the lives of the cats. Stray cats are the strongest of our kind, and they are very well respected in the community. Cats do not live with the assurance and safety houses have to offer, but we live in the uncertainty and dirt of the streets.

 

Big houses, cat food, and cheerful kids bore us the most among many others.”

 

“That’s why you never show enthusiasm and interest in kids, and you like to sleep all day. And that’s why you love sitting on front porches.”

 

“Dogs are made for the children; cats are made for the streets. Now, with our nine lives, if I may speak, we have our way with the reaper.

 

“Do you know how fascinated we are with yarns? It’s only because the fibers of the yarns mix so well with our precious fur. When we come to a near death moment, and the reaper comes over, all he sees is a ball of fur.”

 

“But you can only fool the reaper for nine times?”

 

“Yes, after the ninth time, the reaper rushes his way and cuts us off. And that’s the saddest purr in the cat reality, you know.

 

“I don’t know if it’s quite the same with the humans. I don’t think you feel the lifting of souls whenever a human dies.”

 

“Only those people and incidences we know of.”

 

“That’s very unfortunate, poor human,” the cat purred, and crawled up for its very comfortable position. It wagged its tail and motioned me to follow. It felt like the cat had so much to offer, that whatever was in my hands just disappeared into thin air.

 

The cat went to an empty alley, and stop before it even made a turn. It licked its paws again, and stared at me.

 

“Where are you taking me?” I asked, but it didn’t answer; neither did I feel the warmth of the cat. Its yellow eyes were already scary to look at, it lost the vibe it had earlier. The vibe that said, come and talk to me.  It climbed up the old, dark walls and before I knew it, the cat was gone.

I walked my way home, and opened the television, just to confirm that I am still a human, and can still understand our language. I opened the fridge, and all I saw was a pack of meat. I turned to the pantry, and saw a pack of noodles, and a can of tomato sauce.

 

It’s been a while.

 

I started slicing onions, and heated up the pans.


Submitted: August 01, 2015

© Copyright 2022 alexafilipina. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Chris Green

The title grabbed me initially. This is a very unusual story and I enjoyed it a lot. I think that you write very well and I will be looking out for more of your work on booksie
Regards
Chris

Sat, August 1st, 2015 2:19pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, Chris! Cheers, to writing new stories.

Sat, August 1st, 2015 7:35pm

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