The Cat and The Crane Fly

I crouched in the corner of the room, rigid with fear. A smouldering yellow eye gleamed with hatred and cunning. I breathed in slowly, watching, waiting. If it was my time, my time to die, just get it over quickly, I prayed. Please, strike now, and don't leave me here in such suspense. If you're going to kill me, kill me now.

 

The cat dabbed its white paw forward, then drew back quickly as if afriad. It lowered its head and sniffed hard. The cat cocked its head, and dabbed again with its paw, claws invisible, or else not there, its ears erect and its wits in order.

This time the crane fly took fright and flew blindly out of its corner, brushing the cat's nose on its way.

The cat blinked, cross-eyed as it looked down its nose. It shook its head violently, then glanced about, searching the room, on the prowl for its fun new toy.

The crane fly was perched on the wooden back of the chair about two feet in the air, shivering perpetually in fear.

The cat spotted it at once in the crane fly's shaking state, and gathered its body directly under the crane fly's place on the chair back. The cat paused, mustering strength almost visibly, and then it jumped.

Back legs extended, like a long fluffy white scarf, the cat rose in the air, making a swipe with its paw at the top of its range. Then it dropped down again, and its eyes darted eagerly to and fro, taking its head with their movement, expecting the crane fly to be writhing somewhere on the floor.

Then the cat saw it. A black splodge on the white wall. No longer trembling, the crane fly saw that cat looking its way and detatched itself from the wall. It came sautering along just above the cat's head.

Predictably, the cat cocked its head again and gave another swipe, no claws, just a fluffy white paw. But the crane fly was unharmed.

The cat's green eyes burned with a playful fire, and the crane fly came dancing past again, just above the cat's head. The cat swiped once more, but the crane fly was laughing as it bumbled round and round the cat's head, rejoicing in the cat's confusion as it swiped again and again at the crane fly.

The crane fly led the cat on a waltz around the room, over the table and under the sofa, on top of the sideboard where it was a matter of a couple of jumps to get to the mobile hanging on the ceiling. The doorhandle was the last straw as a gust of icy air froze the whole house.

"Blofeld!" someone called from the kitchen. "What are you doing?"

The cat stopped mid-swipe, and came over to the kitchen door, on its way jumping right over the table, bringing the best jug with it. Footsteps could be heard from the kitchen. Then the door scraped open and two slippers surveyed the room.

The jug was smashed, the mobile brought down, the important papers fallen from the sideboard. The door was open, the dust from under the sofa sprayed everywhere, the tablecloth covered in hair. And in the middle of the mess a fluffy white cat sat on its haunches licking its paw, then preening itself behind the ear in true 'me? wasn't me, don't be ridiculous, I've been sitting here washing myself, not making a fool of myself at all, me? a fool? don't be ridiculous' cat fashion, so composed and serene.

The slippers seemed to shrug. "Come out of here, Blof, and I'll get you some food," they said.

The cat came round throbbing with purrs, rubbing against the ankles that seemed to sprout out of the slippers, sickly sweet and utterly smug if ever a cat was.

The crane fly had vanished.

The End

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