It was one of those hot, sultry afternoons. You could smell the heat of the asphalt rising in the air, the choking wafts of body odour emitting from sweaty underarms of random strangers. The fireball in the sky blazed in its full golden glory as copious amounts of sweat leaked out of him.
He bent his footsteps towards a shaded alley for some relief from the sweltering heat. As he turned the corner, he looked down to see a grey kitten mewing piteously at him with beseeching eyes. His expression softened as he bent down to stroke the adorable feline. She had no collar on, but looked well groomed. He ran his fingers through her silky smooth fur, scratching her head to the tune of her indulgent purring. Obviously not a stray. He wondered where she had come from.
He picked her up and started walking away. He would take her to Sheldon. She would love this cute little ball of grey fur. As he approached the walkway to his flat entrance, the grey kitten stirred in the crook of his arm. She started kneading her claws into his shoulder, purring louder than ever. He quite liked the feel of her claws. They were more playful than they were sharp.
He entered his flat and went into the living room in search of Sheldon. She was hunched over the computer, coffee in one hand and spliff in the other. She looked up as he walked in and flashed him an evil grin.
‘What are you doing home so early?’, she asked.
‘It’s too hot out there today. Decided to get out of the sun for a bit. Here, I brought a little surprise for you.’ He gently placed the grey kitten on her desk.
She looked up at him inquiringly. The grey kitten started nuzzling her fingers.
He said, ‘Do you like it?’
She continued looking at him with quizzical eyes, oblivious to the kitten that was now diligently washing its face next to her.
He said, ‘The grey kitten’, pointing at it.
She looked at him with troubled eyes and said gently, ‘There’s no grey kitten here, Tim…….’
(cue suspense music)
Image: Alan Huett