• Joia

The Cat Came Down from the Shelf

Dedicated to Rory

One day the cat came down from the shelf.

I don't know why he came down. Actually, I don't know why he was up there in the first place, but he'd been sitting up there above the books on the highest shelf of the bookcase for several weeks.

On the first day I said, "Are you mad at me? Estás zangado comigo? I said it in Portuguese too, because he is a Portuguese cat after all.

On the second day we just glared at each other.

On the third and fourth days I started to say "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Desculpe-me! But I didn't know what I was sorry for.

The cat didn't stay up there all the time, of course. He'd come down to eat from his bowl or visit his box. Then he'd run as fast as he could back to the shelf and climb back up to his perch.

Finally I got used to this and I'd say "Good morning!" Bom dia! when I got up and "Good night!" Boa noite! when I went to bed, but during the day I'd say silly things like "Are you the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland?" or "Are you Bulgakov's Behemoth, waiting for chess and vodka?" or "Are you the reincarnated Genghis Khan?"

Until one day I looked for him on the shelf, but he wasn't there.

He wasn't in the kitchen by his bowl.

He wasn't on the porch under the trellis.

He wasn't hiding in his box.

Where was he?

I looked outside the door.

He wasn't in the hall.

Then I saw him, sitting by the couch.

"There you are!" I was so happy to see him.

He waited for me to sit down, and then jumped up in my lap.

And there he stayed, every day until today, and today, too.

Well, he gets down sometimes.

Then he runs right back to me, and climbs right up.

The End

10 November 2021

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