… until there came a small disturbance.
One morning, she noticed something weird in her ‘territory’. Her ears picked up sounds of wailing coming from the darkness of the alley. The idea of abandoned kitties briefly flashed her head but then the black cat remembered hearing somewhere that human babies would make similar sounds.
Why in the world a baby was here, she wondered.
No passers-by (and there were not many passers-by to begin with) seemed to notice the strange wails that she had been hearing for days. Either those humans were unable to hear them or they were too hurried to bother checking a stray cat’s mind could not explain.
Her instinct warned her against coming near the source but her curiosity got the better out of her.
They said curiosity killed the cat and she, as a cat, would strongly oppose. Her curiosity, by far, had not killed her; however, as soon as the black cat saw her ‘discovery’, she already regretted going against her instinct.
Even Hell could not present a more horrible sight.
She would have called it a lump of meat (and a rotting one at that) had it not for the two holes she could roughly defined as ‘eyes’. Blood had already run dry and in the reddish brown sockets, there were nothing but maggots.
Maggots! All the black cat could see was hundreds thousands of maggots coating the lump of meat. And if the sight of those tiny little worms were not terrifying enough, there was the sounds of their tiny little mouth-hooks raking in decaying flesh.
Her hair stood on their ends as she realized the wails were coming out of this red hole where a human mouth should be.
That ‘thing’ was a human baby, she concluded, or used to be. Though maggots had consumed the majority of its body, it kept calling for its mother like any other babies would. Was it in pain and in need of a mother’s comfort? Such thought provoked the motherly instinct in her, despite she had not given birth to any kitties and briefly she considered licking the baby. The maggots quickly dissuaded her.
She lied in her lair, covering her ears in hope of muffing the haunting sound. It was no avail. No matter how she tried to ignore it, the baby only cried louder and louder with each day passing.
One night, the wailing stopped. In mild curiosity, the black cat ventured to the alley. There she witnessed a pillar of light at the baby’s place, from which came out an angel.
An angel. That was the only thought occurring in her mind. Though he looked nothing like the human’s description of angels, with white robes, white feathered wings and a halo over their heads, still, from the very first glance, the black cat knew he was God-sent.
The angel gently embraced the baby, who had ceased its haunting wailing. From the tip of his ivory fingers, light spread out and engulfed its rotting form, cleansing all the maggots which clung onto its flesh. The baby looked as pure as the moment the world had welcomed its arrival.
Its little mouth caught a lock of gold from the angel’s mane and the angel smiled sweetly to its mischief, kissing its fluffy cheeks. He whispered in a tongue unknown to mortals and cats but somehow, the baby understood and responded with giggles. With the baby in his arms, the angel spread his silver wings and vanished in the pillar of light, returning the alley to darkness.
Would the baby cry in Heaven, the black cat wondered.
She was drowned in anxiety and guilt for a few days. However, after a week since she rid herself of that ‘burden’, she experienced a sense of ease and freedom.
Give birth to it she would, for an abortion would only endanger her life. But she would not keep it; she was still young and there was no way she would allow a single miscalculation to wreck the rest of her years.
Perhaps some orphanage would do.
The moment she saw it, wrapped in the blanket in the midwife’s arms, she was sick with disgust. It was a red lump of meat with no limbs; its eyes stared at her and its lipless mouth opened wide in wails.
She laid it in the darkness of a desolate alley and turned on her heels with no remorse.
Behind her back it continued to wail.
Life should go on.
That morning she woke up with unusual fatigue and a considerable weight in her lower body. When she looked down, she almost fainted at the sight of her swelling belly.
She could even feel its phantom limbs kicking at the inside of her womb.
Her blood ran cold at the soft whisper in her ears:
“It’s warm in here, mommy. Not like that cold place you left me.”
She screamed and clawed at the skin of her belly in panic.
“Out! I don’t want you inside me!! Out!”
“But I want to be with you, mommy.”
She hit the lump with her fists, again and again.
“You monster! I don’t want you. I hate you.”
It was no avail; the whisper would not stop and all the damages were on her body only; the baby remained safe and sound.
“From now on, we’ll always be together no matter what. That, he has promised me.”