entry for Writers Cramp
|You ask me why I hate black cats. They are the works of the devil, my friend – no, more than that, they are devils themselves that hide in the shadows and when you are not looking morph into their true shapes – vile, fanged, clawed and dangerous.
It happened a long time ago, we had moved from town into the country to bring up our children. They were small then, a boy and a girl. We imagined them running across field of flowers, communing with nature, shielded from the temptations of the metropolis. A life of happiness and safety.
How wrong we were, there is no escape from the Devil and his minions.
Our neighbour had a black cat. She was a witch, of course but in those days I was innocent of such things and just thought she was a nice old lady.
The cat laid claim to our garden, it would hide under the shrubbery staring at my children with cold green eyes. Early in the morning when I drew the curtains, there it would be prowling across the lawn or crouching behind the rockery waiting for any poor bird who might be foolish enough to enter its lair.
It unsettled me, that cat. I asked my neighbour to stop it coming into my garden, but she apologised sweetly and said it was impossible to stop a cat going where it wanted to go. It was then I knew she was no friend of ours but I didn’t realise she was a witch until the cat attacked.
My darling son came running into from the garden one morning, crying piteously. The cat had bitten him on the hand. There were two puncture wounds at the base of his thumb. They did not seem too bad so I put antiseptic on and a plaster and gave him a piece of chocolate to stop him crying.
The next day his hand had swollen and had become so huge the skin could hardly contain it. He had a raging temperature and we rushed him to hospital.
He nearly died. My heart broke when I saw him lying comatose in the hospital bed, attached to tubes and machines.
The next day, I saw the cat strolling across our garden, black, evil, triumphant, and I vowed revenge. I put out poisoned food and watched from the window as it came up and sniffed it. But the devil was clever and turned away without eating.
In the end I had to take a more brutal approach. I will not tell you the details, I shudder when I remember how I hacked the evil creature to death. When I had finished, I was out of breath but had the satisfaction of knowing that my son had been revenged.
I threw the corpse over the fence into the witches garden so she would know what had happened to her familiar. Why did I do such a foolish thing? It was the thirst for revenge, my friend. Not only on the cat but on my neighbour who was also responsible for my son’s close brush with death.
I should have realised that I could never win against the forces of evil for the witch cursed me and from then on nothing went right in my life. Even now, thirty years on I am haunted by that curse for wherever I look I see black cats. In the shadows between light and darkness, Green leaves as they catch the sun become cats eyes staring at me. Movements at the corner of my vision mean they are slinking towards me. Will I never be free of that curse? The neighbours black cat cast a long shadow through time.