MB relaxed in a Dubai café yesterday afternoon and enjoyed the cool seasonal breeze. He ordered salmon teriyaki which arrived steaming hot on a vegetable bed with brown rice on the side. And a diet Pepsi. MB sampled the first mouthful. Delish. Just then MB caught sight of a skinny cat at the feet of MB, looking up at MB’s face, and not saying a single cat word. Cat (that’s the name MB gave him because it’s a sensible name) was obviously hungry like most stray cats, but this cat (Cat) just stood on his front legs with the rear half of his cat body on the ground – in total silence. Which was why MB had not noticed Cat sooner.
Even though Cat was without food for a long time by the looks, he did not make a single sound. No purring, no meowing, nothing. Quiet as a mouse. Most cats in Cat’s circumstance would have bawled to the high heavens at the unfairness of cat life and begged for some scraps. But not Cat. Cat was obviously well-mannered, went to the right schools, good parents, came from the right side of cat town, and just stared directly into the eyes of MB. All dignified and proud. And skinny. And silent. And MB stared directly back. Seemed like there was an affinity between Cat and MB. And a mental connection. Seemed both knew what the other was thinking and each wondered how the situation might pan out.
Cat was thinking – wonder if this white guy, who is eating at one of the more expensive café’s out back of the mall by the water fountain, is a decent sort and will humble himself to give some of his fish dish to a not-fat-cat he just met mere seconds previously. Screw him if he doesn’t.
MB was thinking – this cat that MB just happened across and immediately called Cat is some kind of psychic cat who can look deep into MB’s eyes and see his soul. Wonder if MB should just tell Cat to beat it, and enjoy the entire 100% side of salmon for himself free from cat-stares and cat-glares. But if MB did that, how would he feel later on? Or how would he feel years hence, knowing the Gods had thrown him a challenge in the form of a psychic cat (Cat), but MB had decided to stuff his belly and allowed Cat to go hungry when faced with a life-choice.
MB looked far into his guilt ridden future if he chose ‘hungry Cat’ option and knew that Cat had won the day. MB broke off a piece of the fish, a larger piece than he actually intended – but what the hell. MB threw the large morsel to Cat, expecting Cat to wolf down the food like a hungry wolf. But Cat was still playing cat mind-games with MB. For two or three seconds after the warm salmon splatted on the brick paving, Cat maintained his deep-eye gaze at MB. Who in turn maintained his own deep-eye gaze into the eyes of the feline. Seemed both knew when it was time to end the stare-game, both ending it like a pair of synchronized swimmers at an Olympic event.
MB continued to eat his lesser meal and Cat slowly ate his, stretching out on the warm bricks when he had finished, enjoying the last minutes of the afternoon sunshine. MB paid his bill and departed. MB did not say ‘so long Cat’. Cat continued to stretch on the paving in oblivious indifference to MB or life generally, and chose not to acknowledge MB’s departure.
MB thought about Cat a few times today. And for sure Cat is out there somewhere thinking about MB. MB hopes that Cat can avoid China in his future life, lest he end up as the main course at some street-side fast food stall. Cat is probable hoping that MB avoids Saudi Arabia for the remainder of his life. For similar type reasons.
MB is presently in Sharjah airport in UAE, killing time before the call comes to board the flight for Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. So long Cat. So long MB.
This is a cat, but it’s not Cat: