I thank you in advance for taking the time to read through my account.
It's been very long since I last posted an experience here.
Hence today, when I recalled an incident, I thought, I should not wait another second and just put it all out here, before it manages to slip out of my mind or I get busy with something else yet again.
So without further ado, here goes...
It's a very short incident that happened with me when I was around 10 years old.
Summer vacations were going on and I was staying at my aunt's home. During those days most houses in that locality did not have the luxury known to most of us as running water, and all the people living there had to stock up the potable water from the common tap provided by the local municipal corporation.
This particular evening, my aunt was doing just that. Stocking up on the drinking water.
Also, to be noted is, at that time, only the two of us were at home. My two cousins were out playing cricket at the nearby playground. They never used to take me along because they used to think, I was too young to play with them and their friends.
I used to feel really bad to be left alone like that more often than not, but later as I grew older, I learned to overcome this emotion. I learned I best fly solo.
Anyway, back to where we were with the story. My aunt's home was a small house consisting of only two rooms, which were a hall and a kitchen. And of course there was an attached toilet and bathroom. I was sitting and playing with my toys in the hall.
The house was such that you entered through the main door into the hall. At one corner of the hall was another doorway that took you into the kitchen.
My aunt stored the drinking water in an earthen pot that had a small faucet near it's bottom to fill your glass. I hope you get the picture. This pot was kept on a sill in the kitchen.
She was a thin but strong lady (May God rest her soul), who lived with her two sons, raising them, nurturing them and managing everything on her own after her husband passed on.
Apologies, if I strayed off.
This evening she was busy at the local tap awaiting her turn for the water. I went out to check up on her and found she was still behind a couple of women in the queue. She asked me to stay back at the house as it was open and unattended and that someone could steal something in our absence. So I went back and resumed what I was doing.
Few minutes passed and I saw her come in with the bucket of water in her hand and walk straight into the kitchen to fill up the pot. I thought she would be done with that, however, she said, she might as well fill up a couple of more buckets for usage and left for the tap again.
By this time, I'd become bored playing with my toys and wanted to do something else, so I got up to step out of the house and started towards the door. As I was just walking out the door, I felt something brush past my leg.
It felt soft and strangely warm. I immediately turned to look inside and saw a cat. A light greyish cat. She was standing in the doorway between the hall and the kitchen, looking straight at something in the kitchen.
Now, a few neighbors did have cats as their pet and those cats did, at times, used to roam freely around the neighborhood, entering just about anybody's home they fancied and the people too did not mind it that much, so I too was not very surprised to find her there. Plus, I loved playing with them. Aren't they lovable like that?
However, a few seconds later I realised that I had never seen this particular cat before. She looked healthy and strong. Her fur was fluffy and shiny. She seemed to belong to a different breed of cats that I hadn't ever seen before in my life. Later, as I grew I came to know that she belonged to the Persian cat's category. Anyway, I digress...
Now notice that, all this is happening in a matter of a few seconds. One thing leading to the next spontaneously.
I, walking out the door, the cat brushing past me into the house, I turn to look inside and find that it's only a cat, however, at the same time, for reasons unknown, I feel apprehensive as if my mind is preparing me for something bad that's about to happen.
I know that I haven't seen this cat before in the neighborhood, however, I then think that maybe she's been newly adopted, dismissing the earlier thought. I wanted go pick her up in my arms and caress and cuddle her, but something was holding me down at that very spot.
I also found her behavior very peculiar. Generally, when the other cats used to come in, they would make their presence known by constantly mewing as if they are demanding our attention. They would move about everywhere in the house looking for food or a good spot to stretch. But this cat was nothing like them.
She was not making even the slightest sound. She did not move about anywhere. I felt the time had really slowed down. I am still glued to my position, not knowing what to expect.
Just like that, she turned her face toward me. Her eyes looking straight into mine. They had a different sheen to them that I'm failing to describe in words. All I can think of is that they were both mesmerising as well as spine chilling.
I felt she knew that I was stuck frozen at my place and can't get to her. There was something really sinister in that look. Which, as it turned out, was indeed true. I was in such a state that I even forgot to breathe. I could just feel hair standing on my neck. I was unable to even blink, fearing what might occur if I did.
In a flash, she leapt forward in the air. Not at me but towards something that was in the kitchen.
In the next second, I hear a very loud THUD! I instantly knew that was the sound of something breaking. Fortunately, it also seemed to have broken the spell on me too. For I ran inside, towards the kitchen.
As I reached the doorway, I found to my horror, that there was water everywhere on the kitchen floor and the pot that housed it was lying all over the kitchen area, broken into a million tiny pieces.
At that moment, my mind seemed to have been stuck in a traffic jam of many different emotions. I felt bad for my aunt that all her hard work was thrown down the drain. Plus she'll have to arrange for another pot, which was a difficulty because it required money. What will we drink now? Will my aunt think this is my mischief? Maybe she will and then I'll get a scolding. Everything a child could conjure, I believe, I did in that moment. And then reality hit.
My gaze lifted from the floor to the sill where the pot was a moment ago. Perched on it was this cat, looking straight at me, like it was mocking me.
Anger boiled in my chest like bile. I could almost taste it. In that instant, I felt I wanted to kill that cat right there. I welled up the courage and took a step forward.
But, the moment I stepped in the kitchen, the cat, that was still boring it's eyes into mine, vanished.
Like disappeared into thin air. Not jumped, not ran... Disappeared... Gone!
I was utterly dumbfounded, not knowing how or what to do, if anything. Fear, seeping in as to where it might reappear, urged me to run. Stumbling, falling, I somehow managed to get out of the house.
I ran straight to my aunt crying incessantly. Upon reaching her, I dove straight into her arms and collapsed, probably losing consciousness. I remember opening my eyes to a few people gathered and hunched down around me. I didn't realize I was still gasping though my tears. My aunt was trying to calm me down. Someone offered me a glass of water and I took a gulp or two only to throw it all out through my nose and mouth.
My aunt looked worried as I was already feverish, as she later told me.
In between hiccups, I only managed to tell her that, "The cat did it. I did not break the pot.", and something on the lines of, "She vanished just like that."
A person living next door, took me in his arms and along with my aunt started walking toward our house. Upon realizing that we are headed back home, I started throwing my arms and legs, saying I will not go to that place. They later told me my crying and tantrums were uncontrollable.
We entered the house, aunt first and behind her this man who was carrying me.
As my eyes cleared a little off my tears, I was shocked beyond believe.
There was no water on the floor, no broken pieces of the pot. Nothing.
In fact, the pot was kept right where it always was, on the sill. Filled with fresh water.
My aunt turned to me and was like, "What did the cat break?"
I think that's when I either fainted or fell asleep.
I woke the next day, with high fever, which I believe, took a couple of days to settle. With the help of my aunt's motherly care and medicines, I recuperated pretty quickly.
I never saw that cat, or whatever it really was, again. But the image, of her eyes staring at me, is engraved in my memory for life.
P.S.: I do believe an apology is in order, as in my narration, I did mention that it's a very short incident. However, I only wished to be as vivid as I could for your benefit. The downside to which, is that it makes the narration to drag, for a bit too long. I sincerely hope you do not mind too much.
I apologise, nonetheless.
And to conclude, I again thank you ever so much for your kind patience.