The rain had been falling all night, and the roar of the river could be heard even from the cabin high on the hill. The last of the autumn had washed away, leaves fluttering to the ground and plastering themselves over the lawn with the force of the water falling. Dawn hadn’t been breaking so much as struggling to the surface, gasping for breath.
The cat of the house opened one golden eye a slit, then closed it again. He tucked a paw over his nose. It wasn’t time yet, and he was going to sleep while he could.
In another room, a familiar noise didn’t even make a whisker twitch. He’d lived his entire life with the familiar gurgling, spitting and pungency of the coffee maker. Had it not been happening, he might have stretched and gone strolling around the house to check on it. His people were still sleeping, but they would waken when the coffee finished.
The pot was about half full when the internal clock in the cat’s mind struck the mark he’d noted before curling up. He yawned, the faint light gleaming off tiny pearly fangs. Slipping down from his basket bed high atop a perch built onto the wall, he padded across the wood floor towards the light. There was a rug, there by the glass that reached far enough down he could sit and look through it without jumping onto a forbidden bookshelf topped in pots and plants. He sat, wrapping his tail over his white forepaws, and stared at the darkness of the gloomy morning.
Another pair of eyes watched from the cold wet treeline. When the outside was satisfied no humans moved behind the inner watcher, stealthy movement began. The orange tabby cat watched through the patio door as the mountain lion padded across the deck. When the big cat reached the transparent barrier that prevented them from exchanging sniffs, he mimicked the cat’s pose, staring down at the tabby.
There was no sound, other than the distant river and the sputter of the coffee pot finishing it’s job. There was enough light to see from the door to the trees, now, if anyone were looking. The cats had locked eyes, and sat staring. They didn’t move. Even when the orange cat heard the soft thud of feet hitting the floor, then the bathroom door closing deeper into the house, he didn’t so much as turn an ear.
It was the light coming on in the kitchen that caused the lion to stand, then lean into a casual stretch, bracing his fores against the glass while he loosened up his whole spine to the tip of his twitching tail. Only then, with a lazy blink, did he turn and pace away.
“Tom? What are you looking at, kitty?” The man wandered over, coffee mug clutched in his hand, the steam gently curling in front of his eyes as he peered blearily out into the dim day. “Huh. Cats. Probably a ghost…” He took a sip. “Time to wake the bride.”
He headed for the kitchen, while the tabby stalked in the direction of the bedroom, where he’d leap onto the bed and purr on her bladder until she gave up and joined the man in a morning ritual that involved a few drops of cream. Like the communing he’d done with the lion, this was all part of life for the cat. He flipped his ears backwards, but didn’t look back toward the door. His friend would be long gone. Until tomorrow.
I was prompted by Leigh Kimmel with “The orange tabby cat watched through the patio door as the mountain lion padded across the deck.”
I prompted Leigh in return with “It did not hold up to analytical observation”
You can see all of the prompts and responses at More Odds Than Ends. You can also join in and get a jumpstart on your creativity if you’re in a slump!