Pet Sitting Story: The Mystery Cat

For almost a month, I have been taking care of a very kind woman’s cats while she is away on vacation. But there are a lot of cats, and they’re all Siamese or a mixed Siamese. For a time, it was a little confusing.

For the first two weeks, I made friends with Milo and Beau, the two perkiest, rub-on-your-legs cats who were always at the door as soon as I arrived. Jac Jac kept to himself, doing somersaults all over a carrot toy in the corner, and Agnes always perched on the other side of the room.

Always.

It was like a magnetic force kept her a steady, constant distance away from me, all while keeping me on lockdown with her stern, suspecting gaze.

I tried to call out to her.

“Agnes!” I said, in a soft tone. “Here, kitty!”­­

Her gaze, if possible, narrowed even more.

“Come here, Agnes,” I said. “I won’t hurt you, kitty.”

Her back leg would shoot out in a swift gymnastic kick and she aggressively licked her inner thigh, a move that was somehow more appealing than communicating with me.

With time, Agnes decided that I might not be half-bad, and now takes up residence on my lap as soon as I sit down. Sometimes, she decides that I should be sitting down and tries to climb up my leg while I’m still standing. Success! I made a new friend.

 
 
 
 


Soon enough, Jac Jac, Milo, Beau, and even Agnes, are all comfortable with me and follow me everywhere. Even as I travel the house to clean the numerous litter boxes, we make a companion parade, each cat following in a row with a choir of chirpy meows, each so sweet and different that I can now tell them apart.

Recently, I was settled on the couch visiting with my new friends. Milo was perched near my shoulder, Agnes and Beau curled up on my lap, and Jac Jac purred against my side.

That’s when I saw it.

The Mystery Cat.

At the top of the stairs leading to the basement, a wide-eyed blue gaze stared back at me. It had a sleek, very grey face.

Before I could blink, the phantom was gone.  

I looked around me and did a quick inventory. Four cats here. One cat who permanently resides upstairs is certainly still there.

Who did I just see?

For a time, I sat and considered that I might have simply confused myself and saw one of the cats I already knew. They do all look incredibly similar. Maybe one had flounced off and I hadn’t noticed.

Maybe it was a stray? But that was unlikely, as it was also a Siamese cat and not a random breed.

Then, I decided it must have been a ghost cat.

Surely the owner had had a multitude of all Siamese cats over the years. It must have been an apparition, with its sleek grey face and penetrating eyes.

When this bizarre idea passed, it was time to investigate.

I had to find The Mystery Cat.

I understood that The Mystery Cat must have lurked into the basement, the perfect location of nearly every protagonist’s demise in a typical horror movie. With my parade of cat friends, we switched on all the lights and ventured down the stairs.

I stepped onto the cold cement floor and looked around.

But there was nothing but boxes, on old dresser, a few children’s bikes, and other storage items. Very likely, a very shy cat’s ideal location to hide.

FOR ALMOST A MONTH.

I had never met such a stealth expert.

After shifting several boxes and looking under tables, The Mystery Cat was nowhere in sight. Beau and Milo even seemed to support my quest, poking around an old rocking chair and pile of blankets in a heartfelt pursuit. Without any luck, or even any sign of another cat’s company, we all returned upstairs.

I sat on the sofa and tried to remain as still as possible. Maybe if the cat thought I was gone, it would reappear. Jac Jac rolled in the corner with his carrot toy. Milo cozied up to his favorite cat tree. Agnes lost interest in all the activity and sauntered off to the nearest vent to bask in the heat.

Over an hour later, The Mystery Cat emerged.

I wasn’t crazy! It wasn’t a ghost!

I didn’t dare move.

The Mystery Cat was clearly just as curious about me as I was about it. It paused at the top of the stairs and watched me. The face was long and especially grey, more so than the others, as I had noticed earlier.

The sharp blue eyes didn’t blink. It didn’t move. It almost looked like a statute. I was almost nervous, caught up in the thrill and excitement of the search and discovery.

“Hello…” I said, very quietly.

The Mystery Cat shot back into the basement, safe in the blanket of darkness.

Later, I learned from the owner, that the cat’s name is Amelia and is Agnes’s sister. I had thought this cat was taken along with the owner on vacation for medical reasons, but she had stayed home. Since then, I have made very slow progress with her, but it is still progress that I am happy to make.

A few days after the first sighting, I sat on the floor across the room from Amelia. She was perched at the top of the basement stairs. With my back facing her, I inched my way across the carpet until I was only a few feet away. I reached behind me, and dared to peek over my shoulder.

Amelia looked up, curious as ever, and reached forward to sniff my fingers. She studied my hand for moment, then sauntered back downstairs to her comfort zone.

I’m excited to see what progress we’ll make tomorrow.

 



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