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Luck and Patience
There are two lives that can be lived,” said Mother Cat to her kittens, “the one you have with me safe at home, nestled in comfort… or …” Mother cat continued. She looked at the window, her ears perking up, but her eyes filled with missed memories.
“Mama we know this one, which is the other?”
“That is always the question kittens, from both sides of the window.” The kittens all began to meow. Mother cat encircled them.
“Once at that very window when I was a young I made my choice which life I would live…”
Mother Cat began to tell her kittens a story.
Upon the sill, one cat sat watching the world go by. With food in its bowl, a bed of its own and people to pet it each day it was content but still young and full of dreams. Each day it hid as an alley cat strolled by. The alley cat was black as night, thin, proud and filled with the strength of hunting. Each day the window cat would yearn to ask what waited outside. But the window cat was far too shy.
One afternoon in the warm patch of the sun the window cat fell asleep. It did not hide when the alley cat came by, it was too deep asleep.
“Hello up there” the alley cat meowed. The window cat was startled almost tumbling from the window sill.
“Careful up there or you’ll end up out here with no way back.”
“My humans would let me in if I mewed to come back.”
“More like patient. They would believe that I simply fell out of the window.”
“Be careful just in case.” The alley cat said and began to walk away.
“Wait, I have a question?”
The alley cat turned its head.
“What is it like out there, what kind of a life?”
“There are two lives you can live. If you are sure your humans will let you back in why not come and see.”
The window cat glanced out into the alley cat’s world more curious than ever.
With a brief leap, the two were on the same level.
“This way Mon’Ami.”
The two cats strolled around the city until they had come to a long stretch of a park of a college campus. The two pounced up within the bows of an old willow.
“This is where I watch the world quite often, kind of my window.” The alley cat said.
“Is this your bed as well?”
“Here, there, a few streets north I know a spot as well. It changes each night.”
“Wherever in the house I like, I sleep. Typically, a high spot upon the stairs, my other choice tends to be a basket of blankets by the fireplace.”
“Or the window?”
“Only for midmorning naps, typically on accident, I blame the sun. Will we be resting here?”
“Not tonight, I am far too hungry to rest yet anyway.” The alley cat said as it heard the unwelcoming sound of a dog’s low growl. “Let’s see how a domesticated cat does hunting.”
The alley cat led the window cat clear across town. Upon reaching the market suddenly the alley cat stopped.
“This will do, back here.”
Where the shopkeepers left their waste, a feast was being held. Scurrying, squeaking, scavengers had gathered showing this was a haven for mice.
“Ever caught one before?”
“Of course, when boredom struck.”
“What did you do with it?”
“Showed it to my humans, they were not impressed.”
“This is dinner. You want to have a go?”
The window cat stretched out in every way imaginable, as the alley cat tried not to laugh.
The window cat went for a group first, chasing them all in different ways, never fast enough to catch a single one. The alley cat tried not to look ashamed. Thinking it had two it could handle, left the window cat out of breath. Finally, a weak little looking mouse all alone that had grabbed itself a big bite caught the window cat’s eye. It pounced and missed.
The mouse scurried away.
“Clumsy for a cat… no wonder your humans believe you could fall out a window.”
“What will we eat?”
“An easy meal, no patience needed.”
The alley cat showed the window cat the docks where fish lay left behind by fisherman, not good for another day’s sale. Each cat took their fish and the two found a place to feast.
As the sun set the two nestled in upon the warm tile rooftop of a bakery.
“Luck is catching your next meal, and patience is waiting to get fed.” Said the window cat.
“I think the opposite luck is finding those who will feed you, while patience is what you need for a good hunt.” Said the alley cat.
“Two lives…” said one cat.
“Each with a window to view the other,” said the other.
“Which would you rather live?” said the alley cat.
“I know which for sure…” said the window cat.
“For now, sleep.” The alley cat said nestling in close.
The window cat meowed at the door the next morning and was greeted right back in.
“A few months later you all came along. Now go to sleep Kittens.” Mother cat said.
“The alley cat was mother cat.” One kitten yawned to another. The window cat now known as father cat strolled in to join the kittens and the alley cat, a happy little family protected by a window from worrying about luck as they lived their life.