When I woke up this morning there was a little cat sitting on the floor next to my bed.
I don’t own a cat.
“I don’t own a cat,” I told the cat.
“Yes, I know,” the cat said. “You certainly don’t own me.”
“Perfect. Now that that’s settled, I’ll show you the door.”
The cat lazily stretched. “Don’t you even want to know why I’m here, then?”
“And why should I need to know the affairs of a cat? You’re probably looking for milk or something.”
“I should quite like milk, actually.”
“I’m lactose intolerant.”
The cat tutted. “Shame, then.”
“Well, off you go.”
“Not quite yet. I am here to deliver a message,” the cat said. He licked at his little paw for a few seconds – whether this was a dramatic pause or simply the way a cat holds itself I don’t know – and then finally stated rather plainly, “You will die.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Oh, is that all?”
“Is that all? I’m delivering a mortal warning and you ask is that all?”
“Exactly. I’m mortal. We all die, even me.”
“Yes,” the cat said, patience as thin as its fur. “But I’m telling you, you will die soon.”
“Oh?” I said around a yawn. It was very early in the morning, after all. “And what does ‘soon’ mean to you?”
“I don’t know what sort of sense of time a cat has. Is soon in a couple of minutes? Or a couple of decades?”
The cat hissed. “Somewhere in between, I assure you.”
“Well, don’t you know anything more specific than ‘soon?’ Do you have a time period I can block off in my planner? Perhaps a location, too, that would be nice.”
“I have no such thing,” the cat said. “I am not here to deliver an appointment, I am here to deliver a warning.”
“And so you did. Good kitty.”
And then I woke up. And there was my room, but no cat. Although, come to think of it, there were little paw prints on the floor.
Oh, well. Never mind. I do have the strangest dreams sometimes.