I was 2 blocks from my apartment when I encountered the cat. It was a brilliant pure white. A white that stood out uncomfortably against the dark backdrop of the city, as if the cat were some sort of glitch in reality itself. Too white and clean for a cat with no collar sitting on the sidewalk at 2 in the morning, that was for sure. It looked at me and tilted its head quizzically. I almost felt like I was being sized up and silently judged as I approached—maybe that’s just a cat thing.
As I got closer, I noticed the colors of the cat’s eyes. One eye sparkled a gentle, crystalline blue, like the clear water you see in advertisements for tropical vacations, or that split second at the very edge of a waterfall where the dark water of a river turns a brilliant light blue before exploding into white froth. The other eye was emerald green. It was lush like the woods after a heavy rain. I suddenly realized that I had been standing in front of this cat practically having a staring contest for several minutes at least. I tensed up and self-consciously looked around to make sure nobody had been watching, the last thing I needed was somebody thinking I was trying to telepathically communicate with stray cats or something crazy like that. Thankfully there wasn’t a soul in sight. First the pizza girl, now a cat? I exhaled and shook my head, a little disappointed in my own peculiarity, before stepping around the cat and carrying on.
“Lost your way, Miss?” came a quiet, posh voice from behind me. I froze in place. Only a moment ago there had been nobody around except for the cat.
“Oh, no, no. I’m almost home actually!” I said nervously. My voice felt almost foreign on my tongue. I spun about to face the voice, waving my hands apologetically in one awkward, swooping motion. My eyes widened and my shoulders tensed, there was nobody there. Someone had definitely spoken to me, unless I was suddenly becoming schizophrenic on top of everything else.
“You’d see a lot more if you only looked a little harder, you know,” the soft, vaguely English voice spoke again. This time I keyed in on the angle it was coming from. I looked down to find that the cat was sitting at my feet, his tail lazily swishing back and forth as he looked up at me.
“Did you just talk to me?” I asked, my voice strangely calmer now.
“Well, of course. Did you expect me to send you a letter or hold up a sign? I have no fingers or thumbs. I’m a cat," he said matter-of-factly, as if I was an idiot for questioning it.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend.” That was it, I was sure I’d officially gone insane.
“It’s fine. I didn’t expect your perceptions to amount to much anyway.” Now I felt offended.
There was a brief lull in the conversation, an awkward silence permeating the air between the cat and I. Finally I asked him, “Do you have a name?”
“Haiku. Haiku the Cat.” He nodded.
“Like the poetry?”
“Exactly like the poetry.”
“Well, Haiku,” I paused to consider my next few words.
“Is there something you want?” I finally asked, hoping I didn’t sound too rude.
“There’s nothing that I want, but you, on the other hand, seemed quite lost.”
“Lost?” I ventured to ask.
He nodded again and flicked his tail. “Lost. Out of place. As if part of you exists here in this reality, but another exists elsewhere. In a timeline far removed from your own. Things aren’t supposed to be split like that, you know. It messes with the natural flow of the world.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Your soul. You’ve been without it for quite some time. I’m here to help you get it back.”
End Pt. II