A tale of two cats – A short story

It was a lazy Autumn afternoon. Tofli was lounging after a heartwarming meal of cream and bread. It was suddenly enveloped by the strangest feeling. A sense of being watched…
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Tofli sprang to attention and its ears perked up. Its light green eyes darted back and forth.

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It slowly shifted its glossy body into various positions to get a 360 degree view of its surroundings.

Soon it’s eyes landed on a creature quite like itself, in form. But so very different in looks. It was another cat. A strange one, at that. It sported an extraordinary fur, colored in shades of brown with flecks of gold and beige all over, resulting in arrestingly bizarre patterns.

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At first glance it appeared like designs had been etched deliberately on its fur. A message? Tofli’s eyes narrowed as it contemplated the cruelty humans are capable of. On further observation, it realized the the patterms were as natural as they come.
As it continued to stare, it realized the splash of mysterious whorls spread across the entire length of the cat’s sleek body rendering it both stunning and a tad bit dangerous too.
It watched Tofli unblinkingly from its vantage position on the wall as it sat partially obscured by the branches of a tree. Tofli’s gaze continued to slowly and lazily sweep over the cat, taking in its fluffy tail, sleek shape, unique fur and its well shaped head.
The moment their eyes locked, Tofli felt a distinct twang in the region where its heart is supposed to be. The strange cat leapt off the wall on catching Tofli staring back at it, breaking the eye-contact abruptly.
Turning away, it ambled into a pile of sand nearby.

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Tofli’s eyes followed the stranger’s slow and measured gait, mesmerized. Then as if pulled by invisible strings it got up and moved in the same direction. It approached the strange cat hesitantly.
“Hello there, I am Tofli, short for Tom Flash Lightning,” it introduced itself tentatively.

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“Are you talking to me?” the beautiful stranger responded, its eyes flashing fire. Its whiskers quivered. Whether it was from emotion or the wind, Tofli could not tell.

“Yes, I believe I am,” stuttered Tofli, before adding, “Are you a wild cat?”

“What do you think?” the stranger purred before breaking into a feline grin and replying in a silky smooth voice, “I am Firaya.”

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“F…i…r…a…y…a!” The name rolled off Tofli’s tongue with exquisite ease. It pronounced the name slowly, stretching out each letter like taffy, as if savouring each letter on its tongue. “Such an apt name for someone so unique and striking,” it sighed.
A faraway look entered Tofli’s eyes.

Firaya let out a long low growl before purring, “Tofleeeeee…” That broke the spell Tofli was under and it blinked.

“Look at you. You are no less enchanting!” remarked Firaya, its emerald green eyes sparkling with amusement and something more. It walked around Tofli. “Thick furry coat with a blend of snow white, peach and grey, a classic beauty no less!” It said appraisingly.

Tofli blushed from the tip of its tail to its pointy ears.

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“You have a rather fragrant pile of sand here. May I?” enquired Firaya in a deeply feline voice.

“Sure! Go ahead. There is enough space for both of us here.” answered Tofli, its heart beating faster.

Firaya, dipped its head into the sand and took in a deep shuddering breath. It  waited a beat before delicately dabbing the fine grains of sand with the tip of its tongue as if sampling and familiarizing itself with the earthy elements.
Tofli followed suit, without taking its eyes off Firaya.

Once they had inhaled and tasted the essence of the sand pile, branding it with a flavour of their own, they lifted up their heads and eyed each other warily. Tofli crouched low. Its thoughts flowed into incoherent words and dissolved before they could land on its tongue and be uttered.

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A gush of wind swept up the fallen leaves, weaving them together before scattering them. The wind broke into a wail. This was punctuated by the chirping of birds and cawing of crows, as they called out to their flocks to join them for their daily get-togethers. This only intensified the silence between the two cats as the wordless moment stretched.

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“Time to go!” said Firaya, shattering the silence and stepped away, ready to leave.

Tofli scrambled to follow Firaya, its head spinning from the rapid movement.

“Will I see you again?” Tofli enquired facing Firaya. Its light green eyes were luminous with hope.

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Firaya tossed its head haughtily and chuckled. A whimsical look entered its eyes.

“Maybe this will convince you!” said Firaya with a wink. Then without any warning, Firaya swiftly closed the distance between the two of them and landed a feather light kiss on Tofli’s mouth, their whiskers tangling.

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Just then a flash of lightning lit up the evening sky, taking a snapshot of the moment for eternal storage. It was followed by a clap  of thunder as if in sweet applause.

 

Copyright © 2017 RajaRajeshwari Nagasigamani

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