“How do you know it’s not a real cat?” he said. “I mean it’s not like you’re an authority here, what gives you the right to decide what qualifies as a real cat?”
“Because, as I said, this isn’t a cat. Cats don’t speak six thousand year old dead languages. One word or a thousand.”
[“Wakarimasen!”] it said, stretching.
“We don’t even know what we’re doing with it.” he said. He stood, began to pace the room, absently eyeing her.
“I mean it’s just a cat. The hell is it so complicated? Throw it the fuck back outside.”
“That’s something we don’t want to do, Noa.”
“And why not?”
“Straycats have to be taken back to their owners. It won’t leave otherwise. It’s bound here.”
He sat there for a long time, absently fondling the small animal’s ears. He took a sip of the coffee.
“Fine then, whatever, I’m not working tomorrow anyway.” He said finally, standing, slipping into some dusty leather boots by the door. She’s standing there already, thumbing the lock, twisting the tumbler and pushing through, cat scooped up in her arms.
Those lights lining second district have a tendency of making static forms pop when they’re around. I’ve admired this effect; it makes the universe seem a bit more real, more defined, standing there behind her, behind Noa, smelling her hair as she walks through the damp fog that settled there a bit after sundown. The streets are like dry concrete riverbeds, where not even twelve hours earlier around sixteen thousand black suits, ties, and pairs of leather loafers flowed like some crazy ocean current towards jobs and schools in the center of the city. It’s dead silent and it makes me nervous, just like that cat.
“You don’t even know where you’re going at all.” She heard him say, that cat perched a top his head, paws dangling, half-covering the dull look marked across his face, over a cheap patchwork hoodie he threw on. He saw his breath, thought about lighting a cigarette. Noa watched her crouch in the middle of the street, half obscured by shadow.