Welcome to the Attic!

Card Challenge: Day 34

This story is one of the cards the originally inspired me, and an idea I’ve looked forward to trying out. It’s definitely something a bit different for me. Hope you enjoy it!

Card Day 34: A cat looking at a fish in a crystal ball.

Hunger was his consuming thought upon waking. It gnawed in his stomach, radiating throughout all of him. The easiest to identify was the raw, animal hunger for food growing in his gut, the rippling of his empty organ grinding against air. There was also a hunger that, while perhaps not quite so life threatening, roared for human companionship and friendship.

But for now, his quest for food would have to take the primary place, the most pressing need he had at the moment. Oliver looked up at the clock, the numbers a spinning gibberish that certainly foretold some important event, but it was no help in his quest.

How long had it been since he had eaten? His memory was a fuzzy, hazy mess of impressions since waking. The cling of sleep still sat heavily on his thoughts, making it hard to make sense of what was happening. He knew he had awoken in his favorite chair out of a deep, restful sleep. Before that?

The world was a bit of a mystery before that. Oliver carefully inspected his surroundings, piecing together a plan to satisfy the craving he felt. There was the chair, plush and dark, where he had fallen asleep without a care in the world. The sunlight poured in through the window, making the spot a luxury in the otherwise dim apartment. His morning had been a very busy one. He had spent some time rearranging the house, then had spent some time bathing to best prepare for the day. Oliver recalled watching a few children throwing a ball outside, birds chirping and skipping along branches. After his morning chores were complete, he had gotten comfortable in the chair and, before he knew it, fallen asleep.

After a long night awake, alert, and patrolling the apartment, he had fallen asleep more quickly than expected. The apartment had been his home for years now, but the constant creaks and groans of neighbors moving about, as well as a thousand other unusual smells and sounds, always left him a bit on edge. Besides, he had always been a bit more of a night owl, and so it suited him to be active during the day.

Jessa always woke up to her alarm just as sun was streaming in through the living room windows. Oliver made sure to help her through her morning routine, greeting her with a kiss and keeping her company through the minutiae of getting ready for the day. It was the least he could do for the love of his life.

The thought gave him a sense of peace, settling his aching loneliness. It was getting pretty late, and he was sure she should be home soon. Then, he would get to see her and have dinner, which seemed like a paradise.

Oliver stretched, pulling his body long and shaking out the last remaining vestiges of his impromptu nap. His neck ached slightly, suggesting he had probably fallen asleep twisted in some strange knot that was less than conducive to restful sleep. Awake and trying to think of anything but his hunger, Oliver continued his survey of the apartment. He wandered over towards the ball lying on the floor, tossing it back and forth thoughtfully as he considered how to spend the time.

Outside, there were noises and people milling about. He glanced out to see people shuffling in from their cars, the doors swinging shut with heavy crashes. It always caught him a bit off guard, but he watched them marching in, faces tired and drawn after a long day of work. Soon, that would be Jessa. Hopefully it would be soon. It seemed as if she was getting home later and later each day, which sent a stroke of worry through his mind. What if one day she just did not come home? What if she decided she did not love him, and just left him alone in the cavernous apartment? Anxiety taking the reins he glanced nervously at the door, sitting in his chair so that he could stare intently at it. He tried calling for her, but she did not respond, and the door knob did not turn. As the sun began to set, darkness and winter’s chill began to fill the apartment.

Oliver did not mind the dark, but it was the dark and loneliness, as well as his growing hunger, that left him despondent. Again, he looked up at the clock, but it offered no answers. It was resolute, its hands swinging steadily about the face, portents that he could not decipher. His unfocused wandering led him to the bedroom, the mess of clothes and sheets that seemed to define the room. Unfortunately, there were no answers waiting in there either, and the sight of her empty bed only made him miss her even more.

Oliver felt his mind drift back to a time before Jessa, a time when he had truly been alone in the world. It had been a dark, scary world. He had lacked confidence, and was best described as skittish. Every event left him shaken, as if the whole world was waiting to turn against him. The crowd he hung around with was equally rough, and he was often the last man on the hierarchical totem pole. His life had been in shambles, stumbling from meal to meal, sleep to sleep without purpose or light. At first, Jessa had even been terrifying. Someone so warm, loving, and kind must certainly have ulterior motives.

Moving in with her was the best day of his life. It was the difference between night and day, salvation and damnation. She took care of him, helped him learn to live and love in helathy ways. Oliver knew he owed her his life, and thus he spent every day trying to shower her with the same love she showed him.

His spirits soared at the sound of a key in the door, and he rushed to meet her.

“Oliver! Did you miss me?”

Yes, he wanted to scream. He stared at her, in awe of her loving eyes and bright smile. She took off her coat, hung it on the hook, and tossed her keys into the basket.

“Have you been up to no good today?”

Oliver quickly recounted the events of his day, oblivious to her distracted smile. She never quite responded how he expected, but she always seemed eager to hear him talk. Finally, she took him in her arms, drawing him close.

“I’m glad to see you, too. Now let’s get some dinner.”

Oliver raced her to the kitchen, finally feeling his loneliness sated; his hunger promised to follow. She reached into the cabinet, pulling out his dinner, and carefully put it on the floor. Oliver dove into it, devouring the meal with fervor as he purred loudly. Jessa carefully petted him, paying special attention to that spot just behind his ears.

Oliver the cat eagerly ate and basked in the wonder of his beloved life.

Creative Commons License
This work by Katherine C is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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