Melvyn Walker

Room to swing a cat.

Saturday 24th April 1996. Just another usual Saturday morning. Rick has been spending most nights at my place in the Arnstädter Hohle since she started her apprenticeship. Nevertheless, the coffee machine switched on at about 6:30 simultaneously with the lights in the garden under the bed. She turned to me and muttered,

"Kannst Du den Kaffe Heutmorgen holen, Bitte?"

When I was properly awake I swung down from the bed, got two cups of coffee from the conservatory and took them back to bed. She dozed on so I got my book and made a Spliff and read until she finally surfaced an hour and a half later and took a swig from her lukewarm coffee.I got us fresh coffee and after we’d drunk it she went to the kitchen to have a wash while I prepared our breakfast of Muesli, fresh fruit and natural yogurt in the conservatory. After we'd had breakfast I went shopping while she did the necessary housework. The rest of the day passed without anything of note happening. In the evening we went to a party and dance in the OA. We left just after midnight and walked to Tina’s one room apartment next door to her mother's flat. Two gay guys we knew tagged along because it was on their way to a party in a squat in a derelict fish cannery in the north of town. We drank a few more beers and listened to some music until the two guys said it was time to go. Tina said that she wanted to go too, but I said that I needed some sleep. By this time, it was well after 02:00. They left and shortly after I walked all the way to my flat in the old villa on the edge of the Steigerwald. It only took me 25 minutes and it was a relatively warm night. When I got home just before 03:00 one of the numerous church clocks in town struck three. I was greeted by my two cats, the heavily pregnant, Anna and her brother, Quinny. I gave them both a few strokes and some fresh milky water, climbed up into my loft bed and fell asleep and immediately started to dream. About two hours later the sun rose, traversed the heavens and set, all in a space of maybe five minutes, just like in the world of the ‘Little King’ in St. Xupreys famous book.This was the dream I was experiencing when suddenly in this utopia there came a cloudburst and I came awake suddenly with a feeling of wetness between my legs; my first thoughts were, 'Had I wet the bed, something I hadn't done for over f! orty yea rs, or had I had a spontaneous emission, a so-called wet dream. Something that also I hadn't experienced for more than half a century?’With apprehension and curiosity, I lifted the quilt only to find Anna, who was just giving birth to her second kitten, staring at me, woebegone with her big brown eyes, as if to say, ‘Don’t be upset. It was the best place I could think of.’The first one was lying there and she was trying to lick it clean. As it turned out, it was the first of four. I quickly got down from the bed and fetched an old towel. Then I lifted her and the two new-born kittens onto the towel. Having made sure that she was all right I went to the conservatory and made a pot of fresh coffee and while it was brewing she gave birth to the third one. When the coffee was ready I took a mug back to bed and sat and stroked her, and talked to her; and watched her for the next half hour or so. Finally, all four were lying there mewing as she licked them clean as they tried to find the way to her teats. When she was satisfied that everything was all right I got a cardboard box, put an old blanket and an old pullover of mine in it and carefully lifted them with the towel and put them in the provisional bed. Anna didn't protest at this she simply settled herself in the box. She even gave me a look of gratitude, or so it appeared to me. After she had recovered from her exertions I fetched her bowl of milk and put it on the shelf at the side of the bed. Freeing herself from her litter she got out of the box, came and rubbed her head against my chest and drank thirstily until all the milk was gone. About half an hour later, Quinny, her brother, turned up full of curiosity, but she wouldn’t let me anywhere near the kittens. She even growled and spat at him when he climbed up onto the bed, and tried to go near the kittens. I consoled him, got up and had breakfast. At about 11:00 I took the tram to the Anger and walked to Rick’s place where she was just surfacing, because her mother had already woken her to ask what she would like for Sunday lunch, and if I would be eating with them.


All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Melvyn Walker.
Published on on 02/18/2020.


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