Dream Cat

In the morning, you are gone. You’ve left a note for me, inscribed on a birch leaf with fine calligraphy. You dreamt of us, you say: in your dream, we were famous lovers, the masters of an old tower. Our six hundred and thirty seven children became kings and queens and powerful magicians.

The note smells of you. I burn it in a maple fire, so all may catch its scent and know of my prowess. I add a myrtle leaf, to keep my own secret: in my dreams, I travelled with the cat.

That marvellous cat! Had I not been blinded by the rituals of love, I would have given it its full attention. A perfect cat, it was: those shapely ankles, those precise whiskers. How could such a pair as us be parted?

I am quite determined: from the walnut tree where we parted, I trace its lithe passage. The grass resists me, weaving its blades together in defiance. No trail is left, so I ask for help: the owls, the squirrels, the flea circus in the sycamore tree – none have seen my feline partner. I take a gift to the cat councillors in the chapel attic, but that old affair with the flute is not yet forgotten, and they will not speak to me.

In desperation, I sleep. My many children seek me out, sending out carriages pulled by eagles and escorted by plumed bears. What clever children I have! Together, we find the cat at last, handsome in a fine top hat. Oh, what adventures we shall have together!

5 thoughts on “Dream Cat”

  1. Awwww… sweet.
    For me the world hasn’t lost any of its charm (for its sequelity) and you’ve plucked another beautiful, fanciful, vignette from it.

    The rituals and the magicalness, especially of Our Hero’s connection to the various animals, is lovely. There’s a real feeling of a whole world on top of / under ours, with the cat councillors and all.

    I did, in fact, L out L at “but that old affair with the flute is not yet forgotten.” Ha! Great stuff.

  2. I thought this was lovely and magical like the first. I also see no problem with you dipping into this world again (in fact, its such a lovely world that I’m glad you have).It has similar magical touches – the burning of the note and adding a leaf to keep things secret, and I love the sentence with the cat council.

    I do find this piece less magical than the first, partly because of comparison with the other. I don’t like that the protagonist seems to regret the courtship which I found so beautiful in the first tale – it makes it seem more like necessary mating than a magical dance to be embraced.

    1. Interesting – I completely agree that the protagonist comes across as shallow, basically callous, and that came out quite naturally that way. I was also saddened when I realised that the romance was just discarded like that (after a dream that spanned decades in dream time, but still, just discarded). But then I realised this is necessary – in the larger story, it turns out, these creatures are floating, and shallow, and change like the summer breeze – they love and forget, agonise and move on, within days if not hours. I decided that the sweetness of the first needed to be tempered with this realisation if the stories were to continue…

  3. I enjoyed this story as it stands and will avoid the temptation to compare to it’s predecessor. I really got the sense of whimsy and strange feyness. Love the flow and density of the first two paragraphs a lot.

    Best bits for me include ‘weaving its blades together in defiance’, ‘a myrtle leaf, to keep my own secret: in my dreams’. Great writing – I love all the new ideas and surreal elements.

    Minor nitpicks:
    ‘You dreamt of us, you say: in your dream, we were famous lovers, the masters of an old tower’ – seems to have too many commas to make sense after the colon I would have preferred ‘say: in your dream we were famous lovers, the masters of an old tower’. Also might have been tempted to remove the repetition of dream.
    ‘I would have given it its full attention’ – needs to be ‘given it my full attention’ or ‘given it the attention it deserved’ to make sense to me.

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