“I lie on the couch. One of my eyes is almost shut. Derek gave me some milk on my blue saucer but, Paddy the family Labrador retriever came rushing forcing me to jump and observe as he licks all the milk. Derek came in picked the saucer and took the beast out of the room. I
I study the children as they come in.
“Hey Derry, your cat Mimi looks tired. Look at his yawn.” Laughter.
Derek strokes my fur. I love this. His hands have some special warmth. “Oh my Mimi, why are you tired? He teases.
“Put that old man down!” Christine orders. She hates me. She has inherited the traits of Christine my wife in my previous life. We lived here two hundred years ago. Just like my Christine, she hates cats. I don’t like the way she sounds when she calls me “Old Man” She grabs me from Derek and smashes me on the marble wall. This hurts. I limp towards the bedroom and lie on Derek’s well-spread bed .I can hear Christine and Derek fight over me, Mimi.
“You two should stop fighting. I can hear my great grandson talking to the two rivals.” He sits them down and tries to hear them out. Christine is not ready to accept Derek’s accusations. The old man dial’s a button on the wall, the curtains bring the whole episode to life.
“Chris, you must be kind to animals, you shouldn’t have hurled Mimi, Derek’s cat so ruthlessly. Imagine, how you would feel if you incarnated into a cat (“like me,” I thought) and some ruthless girl hurled you against a hard surface, how would you feel? She mumbles an apology. I could hear Derek complaining, rejecting her apology claiming it was too casual. The human control system signals. I leap from the bed and move stealthily into the lounge. I avoid Christine, who like my previous Christine is as alert as ever. “You didn’t die?” She screams.
“A Cat has nine lives.” Derek mocks her, lifts me and places me on his lap.
The human control signals again. Christine’s light shines. The curtains open a court room. “Christine Joseph, you are charged for administering cruelty to an animal. A Few minutes ago, you hurled a cat Mimi against the wall,” the prosecutor says. “Guilty or not guilty?” He asks her.
“Guilty Sir,” Christine replies.
I am amazed at the development. The courtroom is everywhere. Each household and every individual is controlled. No backlog in courts, no escape for law-breakers but also no free will. Gadget- controlled humans, accountable to monitored systems.
After the judgement, I am glad that this little brat has learnt her lesson, but I am also sorry that her relationship to the rest is tainted because of me. She talks only when she is talked to and the chip in her hand signals orange – the colour of hate whenever she sees me, with Derek. The old man, their grandfather, my grandson has tried in vain to reconcile them. He has tried to involve their mother, his daughter through the system to be an arbitrator but systems have no feelings, do they?
The old man combs through the library and brings Christine some books from the antique to cheer her up and stop her light from showing the colour of anger-red. Just then, her colour changes to the colour of anxiety-sky-blue. She has got diaries with her name. I get anxious. I had never known that Christine my wife kept diaries, then, I would have discovered her secrets and intentions before her disappearance.
Enters my great granddaughter the children’s mother. No hugs No Kisses, No display of affections. Just signals. Violet lights from all corners.
“Hey Lady, Old George has given me diaries of another Christine.”
I meow. I am disappointed. The way these modern humans address their elders is disheartening.
“Well, that must be my great grandmother. Old George’s grandmother.” My grandson says.
“Do you have her image anywhere?” Derek asked.
“No, she pulled all her photographs, paintings down before she disappeared. My father told me that even the networks had her images erased prior to her disappearance.” The old man said.
“How did you then get these dairies?” Christine asked.
“The great granddaughter of her friend brought them years after her mother died. My father was already dead so, I just kept them considering that I never even knew her.” Old George explained further.
Christine begins to study the diaries. She reads silently, the others read and listen to the reports on the walls. I move from Derek’s lap onto the lampstand. “No interruptions please” The signal puts this on the wall.
“This is the year she disappeared, 2019, two hundred years ago.”
The party is over. Everyone including Mimi, the cat is asleep. I am expected to do the woman’s job- cleaning. I regret being a mother to boys. They are already in the system. Value is still attached to only them. “Should every cat here be called Mimi?”
I am annoyed. I growl
Judas called a meeting. We did a budget of back to school requirements. I am expected to contribute. The boys have laid down their demands before me. Judas gave examples of families where the wives have been submissive enough to give their husbands all their salaries and loans .The boys added this list. They have become birds of the same feathers who flock together.
Hard times. The bank gave me a loan. I wanted to play the submissive wife and gave the whole of it to Judas.
The boys caught me trying to sell some grains so that I purchase cooking oil and gamble. I cannot do without betting. I’m an addict. They reported to Judas. I received the longest lecture from them. Judas compared me to his mother who was widowed just a few months after marriage, then becoming widowed again after before giving birth to their younger sister. Surely do they expect me to live a miserable life simply because Judas’ mother survived through misery.
Judas has purchased a vast piece of land. The boys celebrated. They walk everywhere with their heads high. They demand for food claiming that working on the field while I and the girls did nothing at home. We are used to this grumbling. We have been forced to accept this fate- We are second –rate citizens- according to them. Judas used the good book to put this point across.
I won the bet today.
I purchased a big piece of land. I will plant what I want on this one. I hate the control from these Adams.
We attended The Annual General meeting in Judas Company. The day was a great success .I put on the dress Judas had purchased from a business trip in Dubai. One the ladies had the same dress. This must be the lady he is rumoured to entertain – his side chick. She arrogantly poked her tongue and rolled her chameleon eyes whenever my eyes knocked against hers. She made me see her green Lexus before leaving the venue.
“Silly girl!” I hiss then sneeze. I’m glad no human development has made them understand my language. “But, the girl picked the deadly Corona Virus on a trip to China and I saw her wrapped corpse thrown into a pit one day after her demise. The screens displayed everything. Where did Christine go to?” I purr.
I have already begun my plan. Judas and his soldiers, (so the good book calls them according to the Prophet with royal origin. Living in the king’s courtyard) have gotten word of my land. I pretend to go to the stream. I carry the Title Deed plus some diaries to Yvonne, my friend and confidant. She makes a solemn promise to keep the diaries and take the document to a body which champions women’ rights.
“So it was Yvonne. The one who pretended to know nothing. The one who tricked everyone into believing she missed Christine, I mourn. A rat approaches. “She must Yvonne incarnate.” I presume and run after her. She is too swift for me and escapes being my meal.
I move to the streets. Systematized robots are constructing sky scrapers, bridges and intertwined roads. I owned this industry but employed fellow humans. I look at the stadium. There are no spectators. Everyone is watching the game from their walls. The players have some strange force pushing each other a two metres away from each other. No wonder the field has doubled in size. I climb the bridge and study the surrounding. The land Christine gave out is a complex dealing with women’s affair. There is the network system dealing with women’s health, the technical institute training women on technical matters. In short it is a woman’s zone just like Christine would have desired.
I go back to the house depressed ignoring the milk Derek put on the saucer. Derek coos me to take a sip, but my tongue is too heavy for this. He dials a number on his hand. The vet appears through the wall. Some rays pass through me. “The feline is depressed. Give it plenty of rest. Derek lifts me gently and places me on his warm bed, stroking my fur and singing for me. Tomorrow I will take my place early enough to get the rest of the diary. I know Christine must have read some while I wondered away. I need to understand more about my wife, Chris.
Christine has begun early today. I missed some updates when I ran after the wretched thing. My great granddaughter has already left for work. The relationship between Derek and her sister has improved. My grandson isn’t here yet.
“I’ve always wondered why all the males from this family have always ended up failing. The diary made me realize that our great grandma cursed them.” Derek commented.
“Grandpa Judas is portrayed as a successful entrepreneur by the historians. He pioneered many projects and was greatly respected. Look at this ancient photograph.” Said Christine.
I move closer as Derek studies the photograph. The expensive car I drove is now called Vintage. Unlike theirs, they simply tell theirs where they want to be. Then, off the things go. I can’t help wondering how they avoid bumping into things. However, I have observed some of them exploding, turning into vapour and disappearing completely.
This is my last Christmas here. Judas slapped me during this day. Everyone celebrated except MYSELF. After the slap, his sons- our sons his soldiers kept yelling at me. They don’t value me. They don’t respect me. Judas is of great value due to his esteemed social and economic status- His money, his friends, his empire. They are blinded by the material things but overlooking the human wealth. They value me just like a slave master does to his strongest slave. I hope they don’t miss me.
I convinced Napoleon and his dogs (I have changed Judas name to Napoleon and his sons to his dogs from “THE ANIMAL FARM) to allow me to visit my kinsmen. I have kept the Green Card safely. I fight back tears but ENOUGH IS ENOUGH NO MAN IS WORTH MY TEARS. NKT.
This was the last time I ever heard of her. Her relative became too harsh. I used my resources and power to find her in vain.
“Oh so Napoleon and his dogs frustrated Christine so much.” Derek complained.
“This story is not found on any website, yet written so boldly elsewhere. My grandfather never got over the mysterious disappearance of his wife.” Old George said as he entered through the revolving door.”
“Serves him right.” Christine the feminist interjected
My throat hurt, I move out making an ugly cat’s sound. Derek follows calling
Old George is following Christine. The three are calling me. I climb the tower. I don’t care about the screams miles below me. Derek is crying hysterically staring at the tower above. Old George and Christine are holding him, trying to comfort him. My great granddaughter has arrived plus the systematized workers and machines. They think they’ll rescue me. Never! I will not let them .I Take my human form.
“Grandpa Judas!” Old George screams and collapses, the rest take to their heels. I go deep down the ocean. This is the same spot where the plane which I was in crashed, two hundred years ago. I was flying back home from an advanced facility abroad where I had a chemotherapy for the prostate cancer which was eating me gradually but steadily. It was in stage four, so the doctor said. Now that the grace period ended, I can’t pray but wish that in my third life, I get the chance of mending the broken and leaving a better legacy. Can I hear an “AMEN?”