It was Wednesday night. My favorite night of the week because my father and wretched step-mother stayed out late after work to play poker in building he owned downtown. The first floor of the building was his business, the second floor was mainly for storage with the exception of the room where he set up his poker room, a man-cave we would call it now. The other floors were practically vacant, I was never sure why we didn’t pimp it out into living quarters. The fourth floor had roof access, which, in hindsight would have been a pretty sweet place to hang, had it been renovated as such.
He, his friends, his wife, some family, law enforcement types and customers alike, would gather to gamble, smoke and drink until the wee hours of the morning. That left my brother and I home alone on Wednesday nights. Most times I took full advantage of it by having friends over and doing things that would get me in trouble had I been caught.
This particular Wednesday night, however, I decided to stay in alone. I’m not sure where my brother was, perhaps at a friend’s house.
I was watching TV on one of those giant TV’s that sits on the floor, the kind with a screen that if you ran your fingernail across it, it made a “zipping” sound. It was old, perhaps fancy at one time, but for us it was surly from an auction. It donned a greenish/purplely/yellow dot the size of a basketball smack dab in the center of the screen. I got used it after a while.
Whatever I was watching made me laugh.
You know when you’re watching TV with someone and when something funny happens you glance over at them to see if they are laughing too? Well, I knew I was alone, except for my cat. My cat was perched atop a recliner, where she usually sat. I didn’t exactly look to see if she was there, I just knew she was there because of the shadow she cast on the floor.
I laughed and instinctually glanced over at my friend, the cat, only to find she was not there. I looked down at the floor. No more shadow.
“Huh. No big deal.” I thought.
“She just moved to another room.”
I called for her and she came in, licking her chops.
“Ah, she was eating.”
She then assumed her position atop the recliner.
After an hour or so I made my way to my bedroom to get some sleep. I made sure she was still on the recliner and NOT in my room. She was a persnickety sleeper and I did not want her in there with me. I had a tiny half-bath in my room, a toilet and a sink. The sink had a wicked old faucet, the kind you have to pull upward to turn on. Since it was old, it took some elbow grease to turn on which meant that you were at full blast when the water began to flow. There was no in-between. It did, however, shut off with ease. I brushed my teeth, shut my door and hit the sheets.
After about 45min, I awoke to my cat jumping up on my bed.
“Damn it, I thought I shut the door all the way.”
I was lying in a semi-fetal position and I felt her brush up against the back of my slightly bent knees. That was where she liked to lie, unless of course I budged an inch or breathed, and then she was up at the door meowing to be let out as I disturbed her sleep.
I reached down to pet her and felt nothing.
Sitting up in the dark, I felt all around the bed. No cat. I flicked on the lights, sometimes she would go under my bed.
“Even worse!” I grumbled, thinking she was under the bed.
I went into the living room where I could see the recliner. There she was, fast asleep. I chalked it up to a dream and went back to bed.
Back in my room, I heard my faucet on full blast. The old, super loud faucet that was difficult to turn on, yes THAT one. I knew I didn’t leave it on earlier because I would have heard it. It sounded like a friggin’ fire hose.