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"Angel" by Georgina Jones

“Where is everybody” thought Angel as she explored the spaceship now orbiting the moon.

Sniffing as she crept silently around and along the corridor with her ears pricked up for the slightest sound of life, but much more importantly where there might be some food stored and waiting to be discovered. Food was Angel’s number one priority as she liked eating.

Angel is a cat! Mostly black with some white splodges on her face, paws and tummy. She is what the Vet calls “A short haired domestic cat” which sounds so dull, but Angel knows her true worth in life.

From the posh area of Clerkenwell in Islington, she lives in a 5 storey Georgian terrace house with its own rear north facing garden. Deep flower beds that are excellent for digging in, and which has a Pear tree at the bottom next to the garden wall, where Angel can rest at her leisure and watch the birds in the tree above, and all the other comings and goings of the houses around. Angel likes to sit and watch, observing everything around her. It is her second favourite pass time, after eating of course.

As a lady of some 8-10 years - her date of birth is somewhat obscure owing to the fact that she was obtained from Battersea dogs’ home by her first family when she was a small cute kitten, with an angelic face and nature – which is how she came to be called Angel.

However, the multiple coming and goings in the house of her first family and the subsequent nervous breakdown of the mother, resulted in Angel having to move into the home of the married middle daughter and her 3 extremely boisterous sons, 2 spoilt pampered pedigree cats and a huge great lump of a Labrador called Dolly.

Angel could have told anyone willing to listen that this was never going to work, but alas nobody was listening, and so she promptly took matters into her own paws and attached herself to the tall attractive human female next door known as Emma that smelled strangely exotic of pomegranate and lemon.

Emma liked to stroke Angel’s soft fur and spoke with a gentle voice that calmed Angel’s heart after living in the mad house next door. Thus Angel quickly decided that she would much prefer to live in the house with the softly spoken Emma, even after she discovered that Emma lived with an old lady who had a male cat called Timmy.

Angel soon made friends with Timmy who she discovered also came from Battersea dogs home and who was actually quite happy for the company and for her to move in to the house at number 9. Providing that he got fed first and Angel knew her place that he was Number 1 supremeo in this house. “No problem there” thought Angel after having put up with the spoilt pedigree pet cats from next door.

The dysfunctional family next door who she had escaped from, were not so happy with Angel’s decision unfortunately and kept trying to take her back, but Angel was cunning as well as cute and would promptly escape again every time the door was opened to let someone in or out of the house and she would return back to number 9 to wait patiently for the softly spoken Emma.

The family eventually gave up trying to keep Angel and agreed to leave her at number 9 where she was quiet happy to settle down to her new much quieter life with Timmy, Emma and the old lady.

Timmy was very old. Well 21 years for a cat is very old and so he slept a lot which meant Angel could explore the house and garden all day while the humans were out at work. She practiced her hunting skills – chasing butterflies and birds in the garden and often caught flies and spiders which she killed and ate. After all what was the point of catching something if you couldn’t then eat it, and this seemed like a suitable hobby for a lady of her advancing years.

The one and only time Angel brought home a live mouse as a present for the old lady of the house caused such a great deal of commotion and lots of shouting and arm waving, with her expertly caught mouse then killed and discarded with the rubbish that she decided right then and there that she would never do that again. Angel knew when her gifts were not appreciated.

At the time Angel couldn’t understand why her gift to the old lady was not being sufficiently applauded by the humans she lived with, and why they were shouting and waving their hands about to get rid of it. ”Ah well, that’s humans for you” thought Angel.

It was like that time when they insisted she wore her new pink fluffy collar with the bell and name tag on it. Angel knew her name, and also where she lived and certainly didn’t need a fluffy pink collar around her neck or a name tag to tell her this. Also, that stupid bell jingling all the time alerted any bird or mouse that she was creeping up on, to her presence making it much harder to catch them, so it had to go. Those quick release catches could be undone in a matter of seconds with one swift paw in the right place.

Angel had been successfully roaming the local area for weeks before the collar appeared and always managed to find her way home in time for lunch or dinner, and now with this very hot weather she felt brave enough to stay out all night. After all this was the best time to improve her hunting skills her natural instincts told her.

Being a cautious lady and not wishing to upset any of the local neighborhood cats that Angel had frequently observed had come in handy, she now knew which cat lived at which house, and also how easy or difficult it was to get past each house in the square without waking up the dog or cat that lived there, as she walked along the back garden walls of all the houses in the square.

Being out at night brought fresh adventures and excitement, and after a night time of hunting and observing what was going on around her Angel soon realised that she could always go home and sleep all day long like Timmy the cat whom she lived with. This was certainly a much better life.

Today, was a very unusual sort of day. It had started like any other day with breakfast in the kitchen with the humans. With them seated at the kitchen table and Timmy and Angel eating from cat bowls on the floor. Then the humans going off to work leaving Timmy to curl up on his favourite cushion on the settee and Angel to venture outside via the cat flap in the back door on a new adventure.

The garage door of the cottage behind the garden wall where Angel lived was open and so Angel crept slowly inside sniffing and listening as she made her way along the inside wall of the garage, past the parked car with its boot open and the lawn mower propped up against the back wall of the garage, when she noticed an open door to the cottage at the side.

Angel had never been inside the cottage before. She had often crept into the garage on a rainy afternoon and curled up for a nap in the hose pipe on the garage floor while she waited for the rain to stop, as the garage door was often left open. But she had never seen the cottage door from the garage open before or gone inside the cottage and she wondered if this would be an exciting new adventure.

As Angel drew closer to the open door of the cottage she could hear the sounds of talking – humans talking in a funny accent, not French like the poodle at number 15, or English like the humans she lived with, this was different and unlike anything she had ever heard before. She crept closer to find out what this new sound could be and edged slowly inside the open door into what looked like a passage way.

A bright flickering light was coming from the room on the right and shining all around the space “What could this be” thought Angel as she edged closer still towards the light. Nimbly tiptoeing on the soft wooden floor, Angel crept bending low down towards the room with all of her senses on high alert for any possible danger.

Using her superior sense of smell, her nose twitched and her ears pricked up to listen to the sounds coming from the room, cats have excellent hearing. Angel moved further into the room with the flickering light and could see that the light was actually a large TV screen that had been left switched on and the voices were coming from the programme being shown. It looked like some sort of space programme with spaceships and people dressed as astronauts, but there was no one else in the room. “Where were the humans that lived here and was there any food left out that Angel could try whilst visiting” she thought.

Eating, it could be said was one of Angel’s favourite hobbies and her highest priority in life. Much as her rounded figure could testify at how well she managed this. Silently creeping around the back of the settee with her small paws leaving no sound to indicate her presence due to the thick cream carpet on the floor, Angel emerged by the doorway into what was obviously the kitchen and that usually meant food!!!

The kitchen floor was cold and made of stone like tiles that Angel could feel with the pads of her paws. She made her way across the floor sniffing as she went to the open doorway that she could see in front of her where she stood to inhale the different aromas projecting from this room and decided that she needed to investigate this further.

No sooner had Angel entered this mysterious doorway emanating smells, than the door closed quietly behind her shutting her in what she now realized was a walk in larder and she must have knocked the door somehow to make it shut behind her. Still a larder meant food and the smells were making Angel hungry. Angel was now engulfed in total darkness, but everyone knows that cats can see in the dark as her eyes adjusted to the reduction of light.

After poking her nose into various boxes of vegetables and fruit sitting on the floor of the larder underneath a deep set of shelves, she stretched the length of her body up to the first shelf to investigate what was on it, only to find it laid out with various bottles, tins and jars. Angel then leapt easily up on to the second shelf where there were various packets and cartons of food neatly stacked and arranged. None of these she noticed sadly were open although many smelt very interesting.

Disheartened by not finding anything nice to eat even though there were lots of different smells and fragrant aromas coming from the room Angel decided to jump back down to the floor and investigate the door to find a way out.

After numerous attempts at sticking her paws around the sides and base of the door, to no avail she eventually gave up and decided to settle down onto something soft to wait until someone came to release her and remembering the boxes of fruit and vegetables at the bottom of the shelves she decided to climb into the large box of sweet smelling plums and curl up to wait. She might also have a quick nap while she waited to be released.

So this is how Angel came to be curled up in a box of plums in the larder of the cottage behind her garden wall taking a mid-morning cat nap with the distant sound of the TV in her ears and now in total darkness. No problem for a cat of her extraordinary abilities, and able to see in the dark, and this is where she found herself drifting off into an unusual dream about walking alone along an empty corridor of a spaceship that was orbiting the moon.

“Was this one of her past lives” she wondered as she napped silently on because everyone knows that all cats have nine lives!!!!!!

- END

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