Shadow Cat. Second installment

The old man’s depression had worsened and worsened. He’d go out into the garden each morning and sit amongst the flowers his wife had planted and contemplate ending his life. All the while the Shadow Cat would watch, carefully hidden in tall grass.

One day, the man walked out of the house, seeming calm and carrying a rope. He sat briefly in the garden, praying. Picking up the rope, he started toward the trees. Shadow Cat darted from the grass and ran up to the man. He rubbed his body slowly against the man’s legs, purring and waiting. The man stood still, stopped in his tracks by the appearance of the cat. The man looked down and then squatted to pet the cat. Shadow Cat flinched but obliged. The man spoke sweetly to the cat, stroking his fur. The man asked the cat if he was hungry. Shadow Cat stopped purring and looked up at the man.

“I think that’s a yes. Let’s go my friend.” The man started toward his cottage and the cat followed behind. The rope laid in the grass where the man had left it.

From that day, the cat lived in the cottage with the man. The man would go fishing and the cat would come along, eating his prizes right there on the dock. The man would go into town and the cat would join him being rewarded with various goodies.

In the winter the cat stayed warm by the heat of the fire. The man loved the cat. He read, and even began to take an interest in painting. Shadow Cat never paid much attention to what the man was doing. He was a simple man, so the cat didn’t feel much attention was needed. One day, as they were out near the small, broken barn, the man was working on a painting. Shadow Cat had been sleeping in the hay and woke up. As he stretched he caught a glimpse of what the man had been painting. It was him! Shadow Cat leapt from his position, flying through the air and slashed through the painting.

The man had gone to get a drink of water and when he returned saw the slashed painting. Confused, the man looked around and in the corner of the barn was Shadow Cat cleaning himself. For a moment the man thought perhaps the cat had done it but he had never done anything like that so he dismissed the thought. The man began packing up. Shadow Cat snuck off into the barn.

The man walked slowly, carrying his supplies back to the cottage. He was almost to the cottage and nearly tripped over the cat at his feet.

“Oh!” The man cried out. He laughed at himself looking down at his beloved cat.

The man opened the door to the cottage and went over to the corner where he kept his art supplies. His other paintings were leaned against the wall. He had planned to go to the market to sell them. He looked at the slashed painting and shook his head. He moved several of the other canvases to put the slashed one in the back and paused. Hidden amongst the landscapes of the creek, lake, and barn were other paintings he had done of the cat. Each one had been slashed.

Quickly he turned and spotted the cat sitting at the foot of his favorite chair. The man looked back at the paintings. The cat had been with him, there’s no way he could have done that. And what kind of cat would slash certain paintings but not others? Surely if an animal was going to be destructive it would have ruined all the paintings. The man looked back at the cat and the cat was sitting up straight staring right at the man.

The cat hissed and the man staggered back, surprised. The cat began to purr and curled up into a ball. The man placed the ruined paintings back with the others.  He was beginning to wonder if there was more to this cat.

Shadow Cat: The legend. The hunting. The haunting.

Hidden deep in the forests surrounding a little town in Georgia, there lives a creature so vile, so evil that few dare to go near him. He is the Shadow Cat. Who is lurking in the shadows when you come home late at night? It is Shadow Cat. When you can’t sleep, you hear a noise and fear makes its way up your spine, what is waiting for you? It is Shadow Cat.

Many moons ago, before the town was a town, there lived a lonely, sad man. He had lost his wife to disease during the fall of the previous year. The couple never had children. Once his wife died he was alone on his farm. The farm was many acres. When the man felt the great sadness overtake him he would walk the farm. Hours and hours would go by and then man would simply walk in silence. At the very edge of his farm there was a creek hidden by trees. The man would go to the creek. Sometimes, if the mood would strike him, he would take off his shoes. The man would wade in the water, closing his eyes and feeling the coolness of the water running over his bare feet.

During one of his lonely walks, he came to the creek and saw a curious white shape lurking behind a tree. The man waded in the water and then sat upon a large rock. He felt the creature watching him. The man looked toward the tree and saw the white shape move, ever so slightly. After a few more moments of the man watching the creature and the creature watching the man, the man realized the creature was a cat.

The man smiled and began to call for the cat, coaxing him over. The cat sat, still watching the man, not moving. The man began to walk toward the cat. The cat remained still until the man was about a foot away and then the cat ran off into the woods. The man stopped, surprised by the immense sadness that filled him. He had been alone for so long. He went back to his rock and sat. Tears flowed down his cheeks and his shoulders heaved with sobs. He thought of his wife and cried for her. He thought of his lonely life. When all the tears had been cried, he put his shoes back on and walked out of the forest, away from the creek and back through the fields. Sitting in the shadows between the trees, watching the man, was the cat.

To be continued…