Another Friday, week-end shopping to take care of, otherwise just take it easy. I awoke and discovered an itch behind my ear. No problem I lifted my back right leg, claws protruded, and gave it a scratch.
I did what? Something wrong somewhere. I arose on all four legs and walked over to the mirror. What did I see. I saw a tabby cat that glared back, an enemy in my territory. That was the feline side of my brain, but I am human, so I am looking at my reflection. I am a cat. Is this a new version of the Kafka novel The Metamorphosis, where I awake as a member of the feline race. Will I be shunned, ignored by all, left to die of negligence and starvation? Is this the punishment for something I did wrong?
“Meow Mrs. Human” and I was looking into the eyes of my chief cat Nera. “How does it feel?”
“Nera I do not like jokes, this is not funny. I know I often wondered how it must be as a feline, but just wondered.”
“No problem Mrs. Human. I had a word with Bast, you know our chieftain, and he said that he would grant you our wish for you to become a feline, just for a day.”
“Did someone ask me?”
“Mrs. Humans, we felines do not ask, we command. Tabby, Fluffy and I were pleased to see how you coped with the scratch behind the ear.”
“But now something seems to be moving at my fur roots.”
“Just open your mouth and give it a bite. I wouldn’t worry, it is just a cat’s fur life. Might be something or nothing, but you will not die from it. Probably some sort of microbe. If it is a flea it will jump out, but we do not have fleas. We are clean felines. Now I would suggest having a lick all over, just to keep the fur clean.”
So I began to lick my fur. There were some places I could not reach. The side of my head for example, but Tabby gave me advice.
“Mrs. Human, lick your front paw and then wipe it over your head. No, not like that. You have to begin at the back of your ears and go forward to the mouth.”
“Ah yes, I see, what a great feeling. I feel newly born. I am also hungry.”
“Just sniff your way to the food bowl” said Fluffy “the way I do.”
“I can smell the food, but the bowl is blurred at the edges. Nearly everything near is blurred, but I can see a bird in the tree on the other side of the garden quite clearly”.
“Mrs. Human we felines are short sighted. That is why you should use your nose as well to find something worth eating. You cannot see anything in front of your nose, only things on the other side of the field” advised Tabby.
“That is why I told you to sniff your way to the food bowl; that is always successfulI” said Fluffy.
“Yuck, what is that? I have a mouth full of something that is tasty, but I have to crunch it. Sort of hard pellets, not even with a soft centre: it seems to go down well, but not exactly my taste. Any tuna fish available?”
“Nera that is not funny, where is the tuna fish?”
“Mrs. Human, did you open a tin of tuna fish yesterday for our meal. Did you prepare three bowls for Fluffy, Tabby and myself? No, because for some strange reason it was not Wednesday, whatever Wednesday is and we only have tuna fish once a human week on Wednesday.”
“Where is the tin, I will open a tin for us all. How do you expect me to survive on prefabricated pellets of dehydrated something that has a faint taste of chicken?
“The same as you expect we three felines to survive. It is supposed to be full of vitamins and good for you. That is what you are always telling us in your human life. Now it looks like you will have to eat it yourself. Felines do not open tins, they are paw proof. Just remember that tomorrow.”
I choked half a bowl of food down, gave myself another licked wash and felt tired.
“Where can I sleep Nera?”
“I don’t care Mrs. Human. Do we care Tabby, Fluffy.?
and all three felines looked at me with astonishment on their whiskered faces.
“Just find somewhere that appeals, a bed, a chair, even on some grass, turn once or twice in a circle and sink down, but pull your tail in.”
“I have a tail? Of course I have a tail, silly question, forget it.”
I slept, and slept and slept and slept etc. etc. That is an advantage of being a cat, you never suffer from insomnia, although I noticed you still realise what is happening around you when sleeping. I must ask Nera how that works.
Tempo passati, it was Saturday. No Freaky Friday any more. My day of Kafkaesque existence was over. What do I do to celebrate, I open a tin of tuna fish and serve it in four dishes. Four dishes? I only have three felines, so who eats the fourth dish. OK, you guessed. I also did not forget to burn a candle for Bast and tell him to forget the experiment in future. I promised to serve tuna fish twice a week instead of only on Wednesday.