A Story of a Cat Called ~ Camus!
Serban Andrei Mazilu
Cam loved the lobby. He’d been there for as long as he could remember and, unlike other local species, the company of these noisy creatures, roaming around on their hind legs, agreed with him. Curled around on his spot on the red velvet sofa, he watched them with lazy, half-open, brown eyes, and couldn’t help but wonder constantly: “Where’s the hurry?” Indeed, these beings that oftentimes gazed at him in surprise and distorted their faces in a way he couldn’t – because he’d tried it many times – were always on the move for some reason. For Cam, times passed differently, faster and more intense; in his way, he worshipped that lobby as Adam would Eden, knowing no other home or world, living with the certainty that this small hotel was built for him and it began existing little before he did. Outside was something strange and... not really that interesting. But, truth be told, he wasn’t different than any other feline: Cam was chronically lazy.
His dilated chestnut eyes scanned the room with interest. That family of light-haired people was finally handing in the keys and picking up their suitcases. Cam exhaled deeply, happy to be rid of those annoying pair of cubs that followed the adults around – they bothered the hell out of him, always tugging on his tail and squeezing him tightly. A couple of days back, they even applied something that, for the humans, would be called torture; luckily, his body was a lot more flexible than those of the two blond brats, and he doubted that being stretched like chewed bubblegum would have been as tolerable for them. In addition, their parents let them run wild (unlike other adult humans Cam saw pass through along the years), so they squealed and screamed and made all sorts of high-pitched noises that made him squint and sneak for cover whenever he’d hear the mini barbarians’ war cries.
Missy was smiling and delivering the line he’d heard so many times, but he could tell she was faking it. In fact, anyone working there could have confirmed it; she was obviously tired and stressed, and shared his relief at the thought of being rid of this pack of disturbing mammals. Cam noticed all this and many other things bipeds didn’t – sometimes he’d raise this question at them, but the answer always came as a piece of meat. One could only imagine the cat’s confusion; he was never able to tell if humans were insane or just silly...
The afternoon sun shone large spotlights through the glass doors, illuminating lazily the wide hall. Cam... appeared to be smiling. Or the feline version to that particular facial expression. As the yellow-fur group departed, he hopped off the sofa and silently strolled across the crimson carpet towards the main desk. His large head (for Cam was a strong and well-fed tomcat) turned left and right, looking calmly and lovingly at his beautiful home: brown-orange wooden walls gave him the feeling of constant warmth, and those strangely shaped green glass things, that started glowing when the Outside went black, looked like quite friendly. He adored the red velvet furniture and carpet – they were very comfortable, but, then again, there were little spots where Cam wouldn’t feel comfortable. What he loved the most though was the size of it all: he could sneak and run around freely, without getting in anyone’s way. For instance, and with Missy completely unaware of it, he’d often enjoy a game of peek-a-boo, using the four solid marble pillars in the hall as hiding spots.
With little effort, Cam hopped on the desk, startling the receptionist and saluting her with a low and hoarse meow. His striped tail whipped left and right, before he sat down, staring straight in her eyes.
“Camus! For goodness sake, you stealthy scoundrel! ...I wish you’d actually understand what I’m saying and cease the surprise attacks. One of these days you’re going to give me a heart attack,” Missy said and extended his palm over his head. She knew he’d lean into it and pet himself without her having to pay attention. Cam purred loudly and his right ear turned to the side when Gary responded, hearing Missy complain about him again.
“Don’t underestimate Camus, girl” the old man said in a pleasant tone, like one would speak to his grandkids. “That cat is smarter than you-know-who and his daddy put together.”
“How do you figure?” the plump receptionist asked, playing with her short black curls like usually.
Gary smiled and his coal gaze seemed to do the same, mostly because a part of him was proud to have known Camus since he was brought to the Faraday. But also because he had witnessed the rat population being drastically reduced immediately after the tomcat learned to hunt.
“...You know what, girl?” the janitor said. “When you come in, in the morning, use the back entrance.”
“Why?” Missy asked absent-mindedly, looking over the register and pushing noisy Camus off the pages repeatedly, as he pushed in for more affection.
“Oh, you’ll see!” Gary added and grabbed his mop and bucket, turning on his heels and grinning.
Cam watched the old man with dark brown skin leave. He liked Gary – he’d always share lunch with him and didn’t overdo the petting. Most humans pressed too hard and taunted him by pulling on his ears or tail, but this man had a surprisingly gentle touch for a creature of his size. Involuntarily though, Gary had just altered his relationship with Missy (who would treat him differently starting the next morning), as she would come to find half a dozen dead rats, large as raccoons, lined up outside the service entrance. It wouldn’t have been such a dramatic find if it wasn’t Camus himself who would line them up and stand there proudly for Gary to arrive and praise him for a job well done.
The front door opening made the cat’s head to turn fast and his eyes to zoom in on the creature approaching. If he could talk, he’d say “oh, not you again!”, so instead he just turned around, sitting with his back at Missy and displaying the most annoyed (or disgusted) face a cat was capable of. This skinny human, that resembled an animated scarecrow, truly bothered him. For a person, Mr. Johnny (as the staff called him when they didn’t refer to him as “you-know-who”) gave the impression of a bothering individual, one you’d be smart to avoid. He was cunning in his way, gossipy and manipulative, and always smiled sinisterly, like he had something bad in store for you. To Cam however, he was more than that ‘cause Cam could see his spirit and his essence rise towards the surface. And he didn’t care for that aura color at all...
“Hi, there, sweet cheeks!” he greeted Missy, winking clumsily and removing his hat with a failed elegant gesture. “What’s the news? ...Oh!” he added, noticing Cam’s spiteful gaze. “You again? Get outta here, hairball!” the man added, waving his hat at the cat, but provoking a different reaction from him. “This critter is so annoying! Someone should tell Marta it’s not sanitary or safe to keep an animal in here, with all the clients!”
Cam smiled in satisfaction, as the current of air from the hat’s movement cooled him somewhat. He turned his head towards Missy, like to see what she’d respond.
“Camus’s been here longer than I have, Mr. Johnny. And nobody’s complained so far... So...”
The young ginger-haired man frowned with his thin eyebrows and narrowed his green beady eyes at the feline. He coughed to adjust his metallic voice and concluded.
“All the same, there should be a law,” he said. “...I hate cats – they can’t guard, they don’t come when you call them... They just lie around and act like they own the place. Stupid, useless pets...” John added venomously.
Cam responded with the same bored look, then jumped off and disappeared in the shadows of the titanic marble columns. In his mind, he was convinced this “Mr. Johnny” was just jealous – unlike the scrawny human male, Camus was covered in rich, dark orange fur with brownish stripes, and didn’t hide it with a hat (that didn’t even fit his head), making it look like a handful of hay trying to escape from under it. When it came to Johnny, Cam wasn’t confused: this person was just bad. And, being a cat, he didn’t give a rat’s behind about the reasons behind his spitefulness, though he knew it was mostly frustration. What he didn’t understand was why Marta even bothered giving him the time of day.
“Hey, Ca-mew!” she called in her crystal voice, smiling at Cam with all her being. “Come on in!” the blond girl added, beckoning him with her delicate hand.
“Mew,” he said, in his friendly low tones, scouting her office and making an effort to determine her shape as Marta stood in front of the large open windows. The powerful white light played with his vision, now seeing the girl in shades of blue. He hopped on her desk and sniffed her. She was wearing that flowery scent that made his blood tingle and electricity run down his spine, all the way to the tip of his tail.
“Meow-mew,” he declared, looking in her large blue eyes that every once in a while seemed to be covered by lashes as large as butterflies. He pawed at them as often as he could.
“Why thank you, kind sir!” she exclaimed and giggled, bowing her head playfully. “I am so glad you like my dress!” Marta said, pressing the slight creases of her white, knee-long summer dress, with colorful flowers on it. “And, may I add, your mane looks particularly shiny today, my dear Ca-mew!” the girl added and shook her head fast a couple of times, displaying her own golden curls glimmering in the sun.
Cam nodded slowly, in agreement, placed his paws on her shoulder and laid his head against Marta’s cheek. They both closed their eyes for a second, enjoying the moment, then he licked her face a couple of times with his rough tongue, making the girl laugh.
“Enough, enough!” she squealed and laughed. “Go on now, I have a hotel to run. You may sit in the armchair there, if you want,” Marta added.
He circled the spot a few times and sat – he felt safe in that armchair, especially with Johnny around…
If mew would like to read more of Cam's adventures stop by next week for another installment!
Also, mew can find out all about the author at my P.A.'s Blog by clicking the links below:
Thank mew furry much fur stopping by today and I'll see mew all furry soon