The CatMature

A short story I came up with one day after seeing a cat run through the university. Maybe I'll alter and include it into one of my other stories, but for now it's just practice.

There it was.

Just sitting there in the middle of the car park. It was the soft 'meow' that caught his attention and made him turn around. And there it was, the cat.

It was obviously lost; he had never seen a cat in the university before, and he could tell by the meow that it was distressed. As he watched, the cat suddenly let out another meow and trotted a short way across the car park, before stopping by a parked car.

Zack looked around. It was getting late in the evening, and getting cold, so the car park and the surrounding buildings were deserted. He knew it would be better to just turn around and continue home, but he couldn't just leave the cat there, not when he could help it. Cautious to the rest of the world, he slowly began to make his way back to the cat, and let out a soft, but reassuring meow. Inquisitively, the cat looked up, ready to take fight or flight. Zack dropped down into a low squat, let out another soft meow, and then took off his glove and patted the ground. The cat began to make its way hesitantly over. Just a bit closer, thought Zack, and turned his palm up.  Curious, the cat sniffed his hand. For a brief second, it's nose touched his skin. It was all that was required.

Zack knew what people like him were called. 'Empaths'. Or at least, that was the closest thing he had ever read about to describe it. 'Psychometry' was another word that might better describe it. There was a secret that he had never shared, or let anyone else known, not even his parents. Whenever he came into physical contact with another living being, he could be one with it, understand it, even read its thoughts. And, of late, he was beginning to wonder if he could actually influence their thoughts- though he had only ever tried it on animals, so had no idea if he was actually correct. It was the reason why he never let anyone touch him; humans were just so full of life, it was almost irresistible to hold back from sharing their history, their passions, their thoughts. But he knew he shouldn't. It was the supreme invasion of privacy, and they had no idea he was doing it. So it was better to not have to resist the temptation, to make everyone think that he just had extreme intimacy issues; a bubble around him that nobody else was allowed to enter.

"I'm not going to hurt you, you're safe." Not in words, but in feelings, he tried to tell the cat. He wasn't sure if he was imagining it or not, but the cat seemed to relax. Like slowly opening a door, Zack let the cat's mind be one with his. He was right; it was scared, and it was lost, its mind was desperately trying to make sense of its surroundings, find familiar markers, but it was having to make its way through unknown territory, where any object could be a threat. Zack delved slightly deeper, what did its surroundings normally look like? Where did it live? The images came, and he looked for markers, parks, streets, intersections he knew. He found one not ten minutes walk from here; a major intersection. How to get home from there? A few minutes' walk down some side streets.

It was a slight detour from the way to his house, but that didn't matter. He slowly picked up the cat, reassuring it as he did so, and began to walk with it tucked warmly in his arms.

The End

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