Cats (: formerly published)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Cat-ghosts, is that possible?

Submitted: November 27, 2009

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Submitted: November 27, 2009

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The first time I heard the sound I didn't believe my own ears. Was it the wind that made this strange slobbering sound like thousand tongues working on something tasty? No, that couldn't be, the wind never had this strange sound, but then, what was it?
I listened more closely and then I caught something like crying or a muffled begging, blended with slobberings, even blended with something I couldn't make out. The only thing to do was to shrug it off and to forget about it, but that's difficult when the sound reappears over and over again over some time.
When I talked to my next door neighbour I mentioned the sounds and also the shadows moving in the rooms. She looked at me with very big eyes growing bigger as I spoke. "Oh," she said, "something like cats being fed?" I thought it over for quite a while and then said: "Yes, maybe like cats, but then hordes and hordes of them ... But also there are some shadows moving about at a speed. Very fast and sort of disconnected to objects that normally cast a shadow. They are so unexpected ...." She let out a sigh and shook her head. "I suppose you know what happened in the flat?"
"No," I said looking appealing at her in the hope that she would tell me, "I just bought it, and was glad to find it as it's uncommonly cheap for the size and the neighbourhood ..."
"Oh yeah, I imagine so ... Well, I'm sure there is a rational reason for this, some kind of creaking boards, the water pipes or something like that." She smiled reassuringly, but eyeing me in a somewhat strange way before she closed her door.
Her using the words "rational reason" made me think that what she in reality had implied was that neither the sounds nor the shadows were rational so next time they occurred I really pricked up my ears. Yes, definitely sobbings, and also slobberings, and it was everywhere, not only in the kitchen where I had heard it the first time. Very, very strange and even uncanny, especially when the shadows also reappeared.
Somehow my home, my one-in-a-million-flat, had turned into a world of sounds and shadows and from now on I always hesitated on the treshold when I returned after my more and more frequent trips to the outside world of everyday sounds and shadows.

I often saw the janitor, but felt that he did his utmost to avoid me. However, one day I cornered him on the staircase and asked him about the most recent owner of the flat. "Oh," he said, "he didn't stay for long, only 3-4 months, then he left ..."
"Why?" I asked.
"Didn't like it here .... never stayed at home, always away somewhere."
"But I thought that the former owner lived here for years ..."
"Yes, but that was the one before him. She lived here all her life actually. Inherited the flat from her parents and might even have been born there."
"And where is she now?" I asked, very curious all of a sudden.
"Oh, she died ... Very, very old, and also quite lonely, except for her cats ..."
"That's so sad, old people shouldn't die like that."
"No, that's for sure, not like that, and not after living like that, all walled in by debris, spoilt food, dead kittens and so."
"In my flat!" I sad, aghast at the thought of that sunny place defiled by heaps of debris.
"Well, you may as well know it as somebody will tell you anyway. She fell down in her kitchen, hit her head and died one or two days after. We can't be sure as she wasn't found until the smell got too nasty. As to the cats, well, that's tragic too, all had died, except some crazed skeleton-like ones leaping about as best they could ..."
"That's sad, " I said as I imagined those poor, crazed animals, trying to avoid being caught by the ASPCA.
"Yes, but you see, she never saw any humans, but she collected cats. Found them in the streets, brought them home and kept them with her, but most often she seems to have forgotten to feed them. They were imprisoned by her, but not fed properly by her, so when she died they soon after went berserk ... well, she was dead, so ..."
"What do you mean?" I said, fearing to hear his answer as the scenery dawned upon me.
"They had nothing to eat, no water, nothing, so what happened wasn't unnatural, only very, very unhappy and it made it difficult for the paramedics - and the police - to make out the cause of her death. We think that she fell on the floor and then died some days after, but we could see that she fought hard to get up ... or maybe to ward off ... something ... a lot of cat's hair where she was found ..."
The scenery closed in on me and I simply couldn't stand hearing anymore, but bid him goodbye and made it into the flat which all of a sudden was totally without sounds, without shadows, just very, very bleak. Also with a sort of expectant quality to its total quietness, its feeling of total closedness ...

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