The Little Black Cat

Submitted into Contest #169 in response to: Start your story with a character encountering a black cat.... view prompt


High School Lesbian LGBTQ+

Mia Moore had always considered herself to be more of a dog person. That is, she got along well enough with her grandparents' little chihuahua, Cupcake, although that was basically the extent of her experience with animals of any sort. They simply were not something that crossed her mind very often—until the day she had a most dreadful breakup.

She had been sitting upon the front steps of her porch, lamenting and glowering over her day, when a little black cat had just so happened to approach her, its eyes wide as it let out a sheepish meow, likely scouring for some attention.

She simply stared at it for a long moment. Then, she presumed her lamenting once again. Wasn't it bad luck to spot a black cat? Not that she was a very superstitious person, mind you—but today had been rather hard on Mia, and quite honestly, at this point, she didn't know what to think. "As if my luck isn't bad enough," she said, absentmindedly.

But perhaps the sound of her voice (or just the fact she so much as acknowledged the small creature) had only prompted the little black cat to linger longer around her. It sniffed at her hand. She pulled back, as if disgusted, causing it to jump ever so slightly for only a moment.

"Just leave me alone," she said, bitterly. She attempted to shoo it away, with little to no avail.

This continued for rather a long time—Mia merely trying to make the little black cat go away, but it just wasn't having it. Eventually, she gave up, letting out a sigh of defeat.

"Fine, then. Have it your way, I guess," she groaned.

Then, after it sniffed her hand once more, it let out another small, high-pitched meow, before it rubbed its face against her leg. In spite of herself, she smiled at this.

"I guess you are pretty cute…"

But that smile didn't last for long—for thoughts of Amelie continued to plague her brain. She wondered if she would ever be able to stop thinking about her, even as she reluctantly reached out to pet the little black cat on its head.

"Be glad you're not a human," she said. "It's, like, so totally not fun. I think if I were to be anything else, I'd be a cat, like you. Cats must have it so easy. You just eat and sleep, and everyone loves you for it."

It flopped over onto its back, exposing its tummy to her. She stared at it once again, curiously, tilting her head—before realizing that perhaps it wanted belly rubs. Although the first time she attempted to pet its tummy, it lightly clawed at her hand—not enough to truly hurt, but enough to indicate that it wasn't exactly pleased. She tried again with a much gentler touch, and it began to purr.

As she continued to pet the little black cat, she proceeded to vent. "Like, at least you don't have to worry about things like relationships. Who even needs relationships, anyway? Certainly not me. Not after the way Amelie totally dumped me."

She stopped for a brief moment. It meowed and pawed at her, practically pulling her hand with its paw to the top of its head. She complied by scratching behind its ears.

"It's all her fault it didn't work out, y' know. She's been, like, totally boring lately, ever since her parents were arrested or whatever. Don't get me wrong. I know that must be, like, hard and stuff. And I tried to help her feel better, I really did! She usually loves my jokes, but it's like she doesn't even have a sense of humor anymore. What else does she want me to do, huh?"

The little black cat stood up, turning around to show her its backside. She scratched its back, her hand trailing to the front of its tail.

"And she barely has any time to hang out anymore either! Or had, I guess—past tense, 'cause we are so totally over. I mean, I know she had to, like, start working and stuff. She's busy, I get that. But that doesn't mean she can't make extra time for her girlfriend, y' know! Or, couldn't. Y' know, past tense. My dad works, like, all the time, but he still makes time for me!"

The little black cat yawned and stretched out its body.

"I just miss the way things used to be," she said. "I miss when we were in the cheer team together. I miss when we'd go to the mall after school. Now she's just… lame. And sad."

Once again it rolled over onto its back, and Mia proceeded to gently pet its tummy. It soon began to fall asleep, soundly purring still.

"Our friends agree, y' know. That she's lame now. She doesn't hang out with us at all—not even at school. Last week, she just started crying in the middle of class. It was, like, mega embarrassing for me—"

All of a sudden, the little black cat yelped, swiping at her hand. Perhaps she had been a little too rough on its tummy again and hadn't noticed in the midst of her frustrations. She winced, cradling her now bleeding finger.

"Ow! Jeez, stupid cat!"

The little black cat then turned around and began to saunter off.

"Hey, wait, where are you going? Come back!"

But away it continued. Fearing that she would be left all alone, Mia brought her knees up to her chest, before burying her face in her arms and beginning to sob.

"Great! Now you're leaving me too," she cried.

But then she felt something soft nuzzle against her hand again. She looked up, and there it was, the little black cat. Oh, how quickly it was to forgive and forget. Did she even deserve it?

Mia sniffled, wiping the tears onto her sleeve. "I'm sorry, kitty," she said. "I'll be more gentle, I promise. I pinkie promise."

And so she held her pinkie up, true to her word. The little black cat only nudged her hand with its face again, and she continued to pet it once again.

"I guess I did lose my temper pretty badly…"

It circled around her, before letting out another soft meow.

"At her, I mean. I said some pretty mean things…"

It began to purr.

"She really needed me to be there for her, didn't she? But all I knew to do was make stupid jokes… but it isn't the time for jokes, is it? Oh, jeez…"

She stopped to look at the little black cat. She hadn't noticed it before, but the poor thing's ribs were showing. No wonder it was so little, so small, so tiny.

"Oh, my god! You look like you're totally starving! Um, wait right here. I'll– I'll get you some food, okay?"

She hopped right up to her feet, running into the house. When she eventually emerged back outside, she had a bowl of leftover beef. She watched as the little black cat ate away as if its life depended on it. Well, probably because it did.

"I guess that's what you really wanted all along, huh? Just some food…" For a short moment, she smiled, happy to have helped. "But you listened to me anyway. I just went on and on this whole time, and didn't even notice how hungry you were 'til now. Sorry…"

An idea eventually struck her.

"Y' know, I could ask my mom about you. About keeping you, I mean. Wait right here!"

Again, she rushed inside. Then, not too long after, she rushed back out, all smiles. She was absolutely beside herself with joy.

"She said I can keep you! You won't ever be hungry again, kitty! Oh, but what should I name you—wait, huh?"

But the little black cat was already gone, leaving nothing but the empty bowl behind. Mia looked every which way, but it was nowhere to be seen. Once again, she felt her eyes well up with tears—but she knew there was nothing else she could do. If the little black cat wanted to remain a stray cat, she supposed that was its own choice to make. Still, she was happy all the same that she was able to provide it a proper meal before its departure.

As she headed back inside for the final time, Mia pulled out her cellphone and dialed her favorite numbers.

"Hey, um, Amelie? Um… I just wanted to say, like, I'm sorry."

October 26, 2022 20:58

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