“Do you need anything else?” I asked sweetly of our visitor.
I had just dropped off a towel, washcloth, and still boxed bar of soap. The sheets were clean and there was a working ceiling fan. Just shy of a little piece of chocolate on the pillow and the offer of a happy ending, the set-up was pretty luxurious for being free.
A cat sat on either side of me as I stood facing the man, their white whiskers twitched with mischief as they silently watched.
“No, thanks for everything. I should be fine for the night.”
A sly smile tugged at the side of my mouth knowing the terrors of the dark that he had yet to face. It was unlikely that he would “fine” by morning. No matter, I bid him goodnight and shut the door.
It was not long after all of the lights were off and everyone was tucked into bed that the cats went to work. They started out as they do every night, with a song of their people, meowing back and forth between one another and sometimes all at once. Occasionally, they harmonized but mostly tried to outdo each other with creative riffs and scats.
Once satisfied with the beautiful music that they created, they left to greet the newcomer. They knocked politely on the door with a soft paw and then more forcefully with both paws. Perhaps they feared that he hadn’t heard their knocking as they started mewing demands to be allowed entry in addition to banging at the door.
I believe they stand on their hind legs to gain more leverage in their pummeling of doors. This goes unconfirmed since I have only been on the receiving end of the knocks, on the side of the door to which they desperately wanted without really knowing why.
Like most of us, the cats are pushed and pulled by a current of life towards unknown destinies without any understanding other than this simple truth, there is no other way.
The next morning, our visitor appeared with dark circles under his eyes and his bags were already packed and waiting by the door.
“Leaving so soon?”
“Turns out I have things to take care of back home that just can’t wait.”
We waved goodbye from the door, while the cats supervised the departure from the window with pink noses pressed to the glass, most pleased with their night of work.