The feral cat shook its fur on the blanket. It stretched its back a bit, carefully enough not to wake up completely.
If feral cats can yawn, it yawned, too.
“So, this is where I am” – noted with narrowly opened eyes. It was dark in the room.
“It’s okay to be here”, continued its thoughts “though…” and the thoughts became foggier.
“Where was I?” asked itself while falling back asleep again.
“Now, I know” woke up again. Well, this was more of a purr than a real waking up. The one everyone makes especially feral cats.
“I could be loved more”.
“Definitely, I could be patted and loved more.”
“My fur needs to be combed more often. Holy Mice, this silky fur needs combing, at all!”
“And I could have a real name, not just this temporary.”
“Humans are so weird, why couldn’t I have a normal name, like Johnny? Or just simply, John?”
So, John, the feral cat fell asleep again. This time he was dreaming about being patted, loved, cared and always fed more than he could think of.
He wasn’t greedy at all. John was among those who always appreciated each and every little bite – never thinking of how pathetic the situation could look like.
“Come Kitty-kitty, jump here to the window shield!” or “Kitty-kitty, catch the food!” and sometimes “Come let’s play! Where is your food? Can you smell it? Yes, it’s right in that tiny box, can you grab it out, Kitty-kitty?” But he didn’t care. Actually, time to time he even liked these silly games.
Originally, John (or Johnny for friends), had a shelter in the street, next to a crowded road. Life in a shelter is not fun; all humans know this well, so as feral cats. However, this was his home and he liked it. He liked it even in downpour; those times he was just sitting and let the raindrops wash the dust away from his hair. He enjoyed watching the rain and feeling the fresh air as it was cleaned from the pollution.
John took a deep breath in his sleep.
Other times, he was just laying in the grass, watching some buzzing bugs flying around the dandelions. He didn’t know so much about bugs but he respected them. On the contrary to those fellow feral cats who behaved like birds and had a tendency to keep bugs on the daily menu, John was just watching them.
If feral cats can smile, those times he was smiling, too.
And John was a peaceful love seeker.
He was curving in the blanket now.
John’s memories were full of nice moments with children whom (and this was something he was really proud of) never ever bitten or scratched.
He had just a special feel for them.
He enjoyed their laugh and certainly he enjoyed when they pat him.
Once he even jumped into a baby cart. The three young siblings were laughing and patting him and the mother was taking photo of him. That was a nice feeling: belonging to somewhere, belonging to someone. For a moment John forgot he was a stray, an unplanned and unwanted; a useless beggar in the eyes of many. He was just happy and comforted.
John didn’t know then, but that was the very moment when his whole life was about to change completely.
John walked into to the other room and laid down to the feet of the children. He immediately fell asleep again. As he was sleeping, with one of his ears he was constantly checking the young children’s breath to see if everything was okay with them.
by Joshua Dragon
(Love Unbounded is a series of short stories from real life.)