Kiara and David walked out of their favorite restaurant after a dinner date when a black cat ran by right in front of their feet.

“Not again!” Kiara exclaimed as she stopped in her tracks.

David instinctively stopped beside her and opened his mouth to ask a question. Before he could make a sound, a lightning bolt hit the street sign at the corner, causing it to fall right where they would have been standing.

They both screamed and rushed back into the building. A waiter nearby made sure they were okay and told them they could sit down until they recover.

“What do you mean ‘again’?” David asked after a couple minutes of shocked silence.

“That cat,” she replied. “It started off as little things, but if I didn’t know any better, I’d think it was trying to kill me.”

“What would a cat have against you?” Before she could reply he added, “wait, does that mean you’ve seen the same cat before?”

“I’m pretty sure. I mean, black cats all look pretty similar, but it really feels like this one is following me around.”

“When di you first see it?” he asked.

“This morning. Right outside my apartment building.”

“This morning? How many times did you see it today then?”

“Let me think. So, I was going to meet Emily for breakfast before work, but when I opened the outside door the cat ran by. I closed the door just as a newspaper was flung into the door by the delivery guy.

Then, I went to let the property managers know because I complained about this before. On my way back to my car it ran in front of me again. This time the dumpster nearby was being emptied and one of the trash bags flew out nearly hitting me on the head. So, that’s two.”

She put up two fingers and kept count as she continued, “Let’s see, there was the car that almost hit me on the way to work, the street sign that fell down right in front of my face, puddle that nearly drenched me during my lunch break, the biker who just about hit me on my way into the supermarket after work, and then walking back to my car I almost got ran over by one of those shopping cart vehicles.”

“That’s eight,” David observed.

“There’s more. Once I got home, I thought I was safe, but then I saw the cat run across my windowsill in the living room, just as a paining fell off the wall. I was actually scared to leave, but I didn’t want to cancel on you. Plus, I thought I’d be safer. The last one was while I was waiting for you to pick me up. I was about to leave the apartment when I heard a meow from outside the window. The next moment there was a crash right outside my door. I opened it and found that an upstairs neighbor was throwing some stuff out but tried to carry too much at once and dropped most of it down the staircase. It would have hit me for sure.”

“So that’s a total of 10 cat sightings and 10 misfortunes. But none of them actually hurt you, right?”

“Only emotionally,” she tried to joke.

“If it didn’t sound crazy it almost seems like that cat was trying to warn you.”

“Or it just has low level bad luck. Plus, they seem to be getting worse.”

“Why don’t you stay at my place tonight? Tomorrow’s Saturday anyway so you won’t have to get up for work.”

She nodded and thanked him as they got up and headed to David’s car. Kiara couldn’t help but search for the cat, sure that it could be behind any bush ready to add to her misfortune. But they didn’t see it as they got into his car, or during the drive home.

“That’s odd, the porch light must have gone out,” David commented as he pulled into his driveway.

They got out and clamber up the stairs. David let Kiara go first so she was the one that came face to face with the glowing green eyes as the cat turned toward them in the doorway. It took a couple of steps towards her, disappearing almost entirely when it blinked.

“What do we do?” Kiara asked. She tried to take a step back, but David was frozen behind her.

The cat moved closer still and let out a meow. The porch light came back on just as the cat reached her leg. As Kiara stood shaking the cat rubbed its head on her shin and started purring. Then it looked up at her rolled onto its back, exposing its belly and a long scar along the left side of it.

“Looks like its friendly after all,” David finally managed to say.

Kiara’s focus was glued to the scar. She knelt down and extended her pointer finger towards the cat. Immediately the cat met her finger with her front paw and purred louder.

“I know this cat.” She finally turned towards David smiling, “I don’t know what’s going on, but this cat would never try to hurt me.”

“You never told me anything about a cat.”

“When I first moved here, I found her. She was a kitten and she had a really bad cut on her stomach. I managed to lure her into my apartment with some food, but she wouldn’t let me anywhere near her at first. I got her to trust me using my pointer finger. I would balance food on it and hold it out while looking the other way. After a while she started to rub her head on my finger after taking the food. Finally, it got to the point where I could get her to a vet. However, the medical expenses were too much because she was also sick from being outside. Since I didn’t pay, they wouldn’t let me keep her, but I found out later she had been adopted. I wonder what happened.”

“How would a cat know all those things would go wrong?” David wondered out loud.

“I have no clue,” she replied as she scooped the cat up. “But now that I know it’s her, I can’t leave her outside. If you don’t want her in your house can you drive me home?”

“Nonsense, bring her in,” he says as he unlocks the door.

The next morning Kiara searched online for a vet office that would be open on a Saturday and finally found one that agreed to check the cat for a microchip.

“Its very strange,” the vet told them. “She does have a chip, but it was transferred to the local animal shelter 2 days ago. Let me call them and see if she had gotten adopted.”

A few minutes later the vet came back into the room, “so it turns out that they came into the shelter yesterday morning to find her gone and –”

“That means she’s adoptable!” Kiara exclaimed before the vet could finish.

“You want to adopt her after yesterday?” David asked.

“I think you were right; she really was trying to protect me.”

David reluctantly brought Kiara and the cat to the shelter to fill out the paperwork.

“We were wondering if we would ever see this cat again, and we certainly didn’t expect it to happen like this,” Ashely, the shelter manager, said when they arrived. “Its fitting though, her old owners had named her Boomerang because of the shape of her scar, but she seems to live up to it in more ways than one.”

“That is the perfect name for her,” Kiara replied.

October 31, 2019 18:11

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RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

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