I hate cats. Absolutely. The mere sight of one sends chills down my spine. But it wasn’t always like this.
One stormy evening, our maid, Paradzai was just about to lock up the storeroom at the back of the house when the creature scampered in, drenched in rain and visibly freezing from the horrible weather conditions. it had been pouring for hours, non-stop, and she felt sad for the animal. She dashed in, got something to eat, an old rag, and warmed the cat up and gave her food. For the following days, her mood completely changed. She was happier, it seemed, as she nursed her cat to good health, and they began spending time at the back of the house together. She named her Paida.
We didn’t mind really. It’s just a cat. At least its a neat animal, and doesn’t make much of a racket, unlike barking, excited dogs. Besides, the adoptive parent was close to forty and unmarried, we were expecting her to become the cat lady soon anyway (
Weeks passed and we successfully integrated Paida into the family. We just had to make sure she was in her storeroom corner or wherever when evening came, and we let the dogs out. And I was beginning to warm up to her too, slowly.
Until one afternoon, I came home exhausted, and launched myself onto my bed, and felt a warm, moist, mushiness on my back. The range of possibilities sped through my mind as I froze, and slowly got up. Sure enough, when I raised my head, I met the peering eyes of the feline, looking smug, as though she was mocking me. Then I knew what it was. Bloody animal had shat on my bed. Not even the decency to put her tail between her legs to show some remorse, was exhibited. She lay there on the floor, licking her royal self before getting up and strutting out. I was livid. Mad out of my mind. And stinking.
So ever since that day, we didn’t really get along with Paida. I wanted to get rid of her, everyone else adored her. A war I couldn’t win. Or could I?
I had been looking for a plan to have her removed from the family without question: abduction was still out of the picture. And one evening, not long after that incident, my chance came. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning, hungry, so I carried myself to the kitchen and as soon as I turned the light on, i heard the soft purr of an annoyed cat. AHA! She wasn’t supposed to be in the kitchen! Paradzai should have kept her in her room or locked her out back. And I made sure everyone knew about it in the morning, to no avail, and the cat looked at me as if she was smiling.
Then things got creepy.
That night, I made sure I tossed Paida into the backroom, and jogged back into the house to sleep. I was going to make her miserable. Make sure her stay is horrific, she’d leave on her own. I’d leave Tiny, our dog, out in the afternoon so she could chase Paida away. The thoughts went on in my mind, and the feelings of satisfaction slowly crept in along with sleep.
Until I heard a soft thud onto my bed. A few steps, and some weight rested right on top of me. I was scared shitless, right out of my mind so much I failed to move. I was shivering, until i jumped out of bed, startling Paida who flew across the room in a loud shriek! I ran out of my bedroom, and soon enough my brothers came out too!
“Chii?!” they asked
And I couldn’t answer right then and there. It took me a while to gather my words, and when I did, they dismissed me thinking i was crazy. I probably hadn’t closed the backroom door properly or something. They were sure I was insane. I was adamant I wasn’t! I didn’t sleep that night, clutching on my blanket, scared out of my mind, trying to think how it was even possible. The room didn’t even have a window!
Early morning, I went to check the back room myself. And, you guessed it, it was closed shut and locked tight. I couldn’t bring myself to open it. Sam, my brother was standing by the doorway when i came back into the house. He immediately knew, and his first suggestion was a catnapping.
We planned to do it that evening. It’d be quick and precise: grab her, toss her in a box, drive away from home, throw her out, drive back, we don’t know shit.
By five I was in the driveway, engine idling, and man came running with the box. Paida rustled for a little while but as soon as we were cruising, she settled. We drove right across town to make sure we were far, and also to make sure it was dark by the time we did the drop. Somewhere along Mutare road, Sam just threw the box out 😂😂 and sat there straight faced as if nothing had happened. He even asked, “what?”
When we got home, everything seemed normal, no one asked us anything, no one even asked about Paida.
It rained that evening. Heavy, thunderstorms. The kind that descended when something creepy was about to happen. Predictably electricity went out, and we had to go to bed early. As we were locking up, the kitchen door blew open, and Paida scampered in. We screamed like little girls and ran out of the house into the rain! I was convinced we were now mad, and the cat stood by the doorway staring, watching us gather our wits. Her eyes pierced your soul and burned through your skull as you looked back at her. Sam grabbed a broomstick, I grabbed (I don’t know what I was thinking) a shovel from the garden shed, and we went after the cat.
As soon as we turned to enter the house again, Paradzai was standing there, “Muri kuitei nhai imi?” What are you guys doing?
“We’re looking for Paida.”
“What are you talking about? Paida died last night, from the cold in the back room.”