Cat of Malice

Alice snatched Mr. Sporratt’s cat when he went inside his house to fetch the clippers to trim his prize rose bush.

She was surprised at herself.IMG_4631

She knew she hated Mr. Sporratt’s cat, the way it sat on the wall staring at her, flicking its tail from side to side. She felt in her bones it was a cat of pure malice.

But there had been no plan to snatch the cat, no premeditation.

The problem was, now that she had Mr. Sporratt’s cat, what was she to do with it?

And why was it not trying to escape? Why was it lying so passively in her arms? As though the cat snatching had been its own idea and she had only done what it demanded of her?

Impossible, she decided, even for a cat of pure malice. It was she herself who had decided – a perfectly random, on-the-spur-of-the-moment whim.

It was out of pure boredom that Johnny, for his part, was wandering about town. He was supposed to be at an interview for a job he didn’t want but desperately needed. He’d thought of going to it but then couldn’t be bothered. (He’d also promised his mother he’d take her to the clinic at exactly the same time as the interview, but he’d totally forgotten about that.)

Instead he found himself mooching aimlessly along the streets, taking a left turn here, a right turn there.

It was pure coincidence that Alice and Johnny were both walking past 3277 Crailey Street South (Sunny’s Ice Cream and Tacos) at exactly 3.24 that afternoon, albeit in opposite directions.

And even then, that might not have been enough but for the fact that Alice stepped aside for a cyclist who was riding illegally on the sidewalk (having himself swerved to avoid another cyclist who’d screeched to a stop at sighting a friend). Her foot caught on the end of a metal bar abandoned in disgust by a mugger in the wee hours that very morning after an unsuccessful night on the prowl.

As Alice fell against Johnny, the cat shot out of her arms and into a dark alley, disappearing behind a stack of bulging garbage bags.

It was all pure coincidence.

Or was it? The cat of malice emerged from behind the garbage bags with two-day old left-overs in its mouth, whiskers glistening with rancid salmon oil, and sat on the sidewalk, tail flicking side to side, looking at Alice looking at Johnny.

*****

Thank you for dropping by to read this week’s Blurt. It was inspired by the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Pure.

Please note: all stories and material on this website, except for comments by others, are © Susi Lovell.

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