Miracle of a Black Cat

by on March 9th, 2015
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1.

“Eww, Mommy a black cat!” a little girl cried as she walked past the pet shop with her mother. The mother took one quick glance, and quickly took a step back. Indeed it was a black cat! She didn’t like black cats. They were bad news. Bad luck. Just bad period. The woman made the sign of the cross. First on herself, then on her daughter.

“Stay back honey,” she warned with a sense of urgency. In fact let’s cross the street.” She took her daughter’s hand and quickly crossed the street anxious to put enough distance between them, and the black cat as much as possible. Once they crossed the street safely, they quickened their steps. The black cat didn’t blink. He was accustomed to this. Not a day passed by that he didn’t hear some comment about him being bad luck. At first the black cat couldn’t understand what bad luck meant, and how was it associated to him.

The black cat was named Blackie. He was the only cat in the pet shop with such a plain name. The other cats had cute cat names. Lucky, Muffin, Dandy, and Tabby were common names Blackie constantly heard around him. But none of those cats were black and that seemed to be a good enough reason for them to have those cute names and for him to be simply “Blackie.”

Blackie was the only black cat in the pet shop. His fellow cats had fellow orange, gray, and white cats, but he was the only black cat at the shop. No reason was given for this, but the reason became obvious to Blackie. Bad luck. It was those two words again whatever they meant. But he was bad. At the very least that’s what they meant.

Names were only a small difference between Blackie and his fellow cats however. Overall he was treated different. Blackie had lived in the pet shop since he was a kitten. For years he witnessed the adoption of dozens of cats and kittens. He was going on being five years old, and he still lived in the shop. No customers ever gave him a serious look. Many walked away as usual, while others sometimes petted him politely but that’d be all. No one wanted him for a pet.

This always hurt Blackie. He wanted nothing more than to be treated with the same love and admiration he witnessed for his fellow cats. He wanted to be petted and stroked. He too wanted to be carried around and have his head rubbed. He too wanted to hear loving words and be chucked under the chin so that he could purr happily. And he so wanted to rub himself against an owner or anyone willing to give him a chance. He was a cat and he had a right to have love too. He didn’t ask to be black. It wasn’t is fault he was born that way. He didn’t feel any different about people than his fellow cats, and he too was one of god’s creatures just like many customers referred to his fellow cats and even dogs.

But customers never gave Blackie a chance. Just the sight of him made people do strange things. Once he walked towards a potential customer so she shrieked and ran out of the store. This angered shop owner Annie Brooks so much that she took a sandal and chased poor Blackie all the way down to the basement.

“Stay down there and catch those mice,” Annie demanded throwing her sandal after him so it nearly hit him. She locked Blackie in the basement for days after that, and Blackie had been so miserable down there, but he caught as many mice as he saw hoping it would make Annie happy. When Annie let him come back up, he didn’t approach anyone else nor did Annie acknowledge all the mice he killed for her.

She didn’t even thank him for killing the mice. She didn’t say anything to compliment him for obeying her either like she did with his fellow cats at times. No nice words like “Good boy.” Blackie couldn’t even hear that or get get a simple pat on the head.

Despite this Blackie loved Annie. He sometimes approached her wishing she’d take him home with her. But Annie kept her distance even if she didn’t run from him. She fed him every day and once in a while did pet him, but she didn’t show him any overall affection. The pets were so brief that Blackie hardly felt them. That day was no different. She pet him a little then walked away from him leaving him wanting as always. He raised his sad green eyes to gaze at her but she didn’t notice.

“Well Blackie today is Halloween,” Annie chirped as she waved some kind of stick. “Goblins, and weirdos all come out, but you know all about that don’t you? I mean this night was made for black cats like you. You being a bad luck cat or so people keep saying. You and this night go together don’t you? I tell you Blackie you’re the only black cat I allow to stay here, and that’s only because I don’t have the heart to send you to some shelter. I’ve had you since you were a kitten so I’m stuck with you.”

Even as she said this Annie picked up the orange tabby, and stroked it lovingly. Blackie laid his head on his paw feeling as sad as he’s ever felt. He didn’t know what she meant about goblins and weirdos, but he heard enough about Halloween. For some reason people stared at him every time Halloween was mentioned. For some reason Halloween was the only day that customers inquired about him at all. Women in black have inquired about him only for Annie to make some excuse not to sell him to them.

“I want to find a home for you Blackie,” Annie once revealed after turning down a woman in black one Halloween. “But I’m not going to sell you to some witch on Halloween or to anyone who only want you for evil purposes. So you’re stuck with me as well.”

That suited Blackie just fine. He didn’t know what sacrificed meant, but it couldn’t be good. He sure didn’t want it to happen to him.

2.

It was the same old Halloween for Blackie. Annie kept him in his cage most of the day, but towards the evening she allowed him to sit by the window again. Annie didn’t expect anyone to want a black cat on Halloween and she was always suspicious of anyone that did. She heard enough crazy stories of witches and cults sacrificing black cats on Halloween. Under no circumstances would she subject Blackie to such horror bad luck cat or not.

Annie was feeding a litter of kittens when a beautiful woman walked inside the pet shop. It had been a slow day so Annie welcomed the visit. The woman looked around carefully. She inquired about buying a cat and Annie was all business as always. Blackie was crouched in a ball near the window enjoying the crazy antics of teenagers chasing each other, and playing the usual Halloween pranks on each other. Shaving cream, toilet tissue, trick or treat, and the endless strings of costumes. It was the same thing every Halloween.

A few girls screamed at the sight of Blackie already. In fact the screams were louder than usual as they always were on Halloween. The boys laughed but cringed at the sight of him just the same.

“Oh what a beautiful cat,” the pretty woman gushed suddenly, so Blackie lifted his head and met the blue eyes of the pretty woman staring intensely at him.

“I suppose this is the cat who catches your mice since he’s not in a cage,” she asked assumingly glancing at Annie.

Annie shook her head. “Sometimes, but he’s actually for sale too, though no one ever wants a black cat for a pet. “And I won’t just sell him on Halloween not when people could be up to no good. After all Halloween is the only time anyone even asks about him or his availability.”

The woman laughed and suddenly Blackie cringed. He took a few steps back suddenly frightened of this woman who actually picked him up. No one ever picked him up to pet him as this woman did. Blackie so longed for the kind of affection he was getting but he wasn’t happy about it. He was scared too scared to even purr. He didn’t trust this woman.

“What beautiful green eyes on him,” the woman continued chucking him under the chin. “You don’t see such eyes even on people. How can people say black cats are bad luck? It’s so silly. Superstitious nonsense in fact. I think black cats are beautiful; I mean this one sure is. How much do you want for him? And i want two of those kittens too.”

Annie hesitated pressing her lips in a thick suspicious line. The woman before her certainly wasn’t dressed in the usual black clothes most witches wore. But it was Halloween. This always made Annie suspicious. The woman smiled sweetly, and Annie let out her breath. Not everyone is a witch on Halloween she mentally told herself. Maybe Annie was just being suspicious herself.

Here was her chance to rid herself of Blackie. And this woman didn’t give her any bad vibes. She looked benign enough. Maybe her wanting a black cat on Halloween was no big deal, and Blackie would get a good home at last.

Annie was still hesitant. She wanted to trust her judgment. Yet, she wasn’t sure. The woman sweetly smiled at her and was handling Blackie like an expert. Annie allowed herself to relax. She decided to make the sale. It was the first real sale of the day in fact.

But Blackie was nearly besides himself. He didn’t trust the woman. His senses about her were not good. Was it this Halloween thing? Was that the only reason she wanted him? It was the only reason she wanted him. That’s what he sensed. It was the same old reason. Why would Annie suddenly ignore her usual suspicions? Did she want to rid herself of him that badly? The thought hurt Blackie who always longed to have Annie as his owner.

He rushed and jumped on the counter meowing as he’s never meowed before. This made Annie jump back and her brown eyes widened in some fear. She never reacted this way to him. Sure she avoided him often but she never reacted in fear.

This floored Blackie but he kept meowing. Annie didn’t waste any more time after that. She settled on a price with the woman and in no time Blackie and two kittens were packed inside a pet carrier ready to go.

Annie stroked the kittens lovingly bidding them goodbye. But for Blackie all she gave him was a quick pat on his head like she always did.

“We finally did it Blackie,” she said smiling nervously at him. “We finally found you a home. You behave yourself and don’t make my pet shop look bad okay?”

Blackie meowed even louder but the woman eager to leave quickly left the shop and rushed off to her car. Blackie didn’t get the final look at Annie he was trying to get, but that would quickly become the least of his worries.

The woman practically threw his carrier in the seat next to her and evilly she laughed.

“Blackie huh?” the woman said in disdain. “Well Blackie it took me all night, but I finally found a black cat for tonight. I knew I could avoid raising suspicions or maybe that girl was just stupid. I don’t care. You’re my cat at least for tonight. I’ll dump these kittens somewhere, and then we’ll head to the cemetery to meet the rest of my crew.”

Blackie knew it. He sensed it. He looked up at the full moon and quivered. He had never been outside Annie’s pet shop and he’d never longed to be as he always hoped to live with Annie in her home and with she as his owner.

Now he could only hope to survive the night. Halloween it was called if his memory served him correctly.

3.

The woman stopped at a fast food chicken place. She got her box of chicken then tossed it in the back seat. She then took the kittens and callously dumped them in a trashcan. Blackie hissed at her the moment she came back. He also showed her his claws, but it didn’t deter her. Instead she laughed so Blackie hissed louder.

“Oh you want to get tough?” she asked then laughed again. Suddenly she grabbed a small mini bat she kept by her feet. She slammed it in front of the carrier.

“Hiss at me again and I’ll splatter your brains all over the streets,” she threatened. Her dark blue eyes turned icy and her beautiful face tightened in anger making it seem ugly quite suddenly. Blackie cowered meowing in soft terror. He curled up into a tight ball. He meowed in mourning of the two kittens who would never survive in that trashcan. But he mourned for his fate just as much for it sure seemed like he would be sacrificed on this Halloween. He lowered his head in fear, but he looked around wondering if there was a way out of this.

Hours passed. The woman drove and drove into the night. Winds picked up suddenly as dark clouds covered the full moon that’d been so visible before. Finally, the woman drove into the cemetery she previously mentioned. Blackie tensed not sure where he was. But the silence of the large cemetery afforded him some peace even as he wondered what the woman was up to. He then meowed loudly for the kittens he worried about. He hissed again as the woman carried him but she either didn’t hear him that time or she ignored him.

He even tried scratching her hand, but he couldn’t get his paw through the carrier. Blackie hissed very angry now. He hissed in fear too, but none of it did any good.

The woman settled in the deep part of the cemetery and Blackie noticed more people, at least from the little he could see in the darkness of the cemetery. Blackie’s vision was sharper than humans so he focused it on the people the woman greeted. Strange people dressed in black, some in black robes, others in black leather jackets. The cemetery draped thick shadows over everyone giving Blackie more chills. Were black cats supposed to feel chills much less fear?

“I found us a black cat,” the woman cried to her crew in excitement.

Another woman drew in her breath. “You’re kidding Colleen. How did you manage that? The rest of us have been everywhere, and people just wouldn’t sell any black cat to any of us. And we didn’t wear our black clothes either.”

“Even the shelters wouldn’t let us adopt black cats,” added a man dressed in one of the ugly black robes. “They said we had to wait a week until Halloween was over.”

“Oh I went to that pet shop down in Long Street,” explained Colleen. “The owner some brown eyed girl, was stupid enough to sell him. She looked so relieved to be rid of him too. What a dope.” The whole circle broke down laughing.

“Hey who cares right?” asked the man. “We have us a black cat. Now we can have our rituals, and make our sacrifices, and Satan will be so pleased with us. After all tonight is his night; this night belongs to him.”

“But are you sure we can do all this with just one black cat?” asked another woman also wearing one of the ugly black robes.

“Of course we can,” cried Colleen. “We already killed a whole family tonight. That was our biggest offering yet. This cat can serve as the symbol at least, the small offering. The devil is pleased enough for there are many committing all kinds of carnage in his name tonight.”

“Why people commit carnage for him all the time, but Halloween is special,” added Colleen as she applied some black lipsticks to her lips.

“Like I said the night belongs to Satan and to him alone,” offered the man again his voice already sounding like a chant. Blackie’s hairs stood on end. None of this sounded good to him.

“And to him you will belong forever more,” shrieked an unknown voice making the circle gasp and turn around. Who had the insane audacity to interrupt them on Halloween the most important night of the year for them?

4.

Blackie knew the voice very well. With some new found courage he hissed at Colleen and those strange looking people, but they didn’t pay any attention to him. Annie Brooks had their full attention now.

“You dare?…” Colleen asked in complete shock. What was the brown eyed woman doing here, and how dare she follow them? Why would she follow them?

Annie looked furious. Blackie meowed towards her feeling relief as he’s never felt despite the fact that they were greatly outnumbered. But Blackie momentarily rejoiced at the thought of Annie just showing up She did care! She did! Something warned her and she came anyway. Blackie let out a mournful meow now. Annie was here but they were in major trouble and he was still locked in a cage. They were going to die! Halloween or no Halloween they were in danger!

“Something about the way you rushed off gave me a bad feeling after you left my store,” Annie hastily explained holding what looked like a gun towards Colleen and her group. “I told myself that all those tales of devil worshipping may have been exaggerated tales of uneducated people. But they were true enough at least in your case. I saw what you did to my kittens so I rescued them. And now I demand you give me Blackie because I called the police and they’re on their way.”

Colleen sneered. The man picked up what looked to be some kind of fishing hook.

“You made a huge mistake following us you little bitch!” Colleen hissed in that same sneer. “We paid for that cat and he belongs to us now. Now get the hell out of here or you’ll be sacrificed with your black cat. Then again you’re already here. Now you stay and join old Blackie!”

“It’ll be a sweeter sacrifice,” added the man approaching Annie. Annie didn’t flinch.

“Stay back!” she screamed. “I swear I’ll shoot!”

The group charged at her so Annie fired a shot then managed another one missing both times. But Colleen easily overpowered her as the man tackled her down. Annie screamed knowing she acted foolhardy as she allowed her anger to override her common sense. Now she would likely die along with Blackie and on Halloween too. Why did she ignore her usual suspicions? She should have hid Blackie on Halloween and should have done it years ago.

A battle ensued and Annie found herself being carried away. Someone perhaps Colleen placed a black robe over head head and suddenly Annie was wearing it. She screamed and screamed again as fists battered her. She weakly tried to swing back but that was futile.

“Guess old Blackie really is bad luck isn’t he?” Collen screamed laughing in a maniacal way.

The robed man handcuffed Annie. The winds that had picked up, became fierce blowing through everything, the robes, everyone’s hair, and those huge cemetery trees. Then the rain came down. Hard it came down pelting everything in its path especially those large marble statues that stood over so many graves.

Annie, battered and hurt was thrown inside a coffin and already the man was chanting some crazy satanic chant. Annie mentally prayed knowing prayers were stronger than devil chants, but the lid of the coffin slammed shut terrorizing her and cutting her prayers short. However, Colleen opened the top part before she and the man threw the coffin inside a freshly dug out grave. The impact as it fell rattled Annie’s head and form almost knocking her out. Hard rains poured down but now Colleen and her goons were throwing wet dirt right on top of Annie.

Annie screamed again realizing they were burying her alive! Oh no! She screamed and weakly struggled, but she couldn’t budge. How did she get herself into this? Would she now die on Halloween night just for trying to save a black cat she seldom showed love too? A black cat so many customers called a bad luck cat? It sure looked that way.

More dirt fell on her. When wet clumps fell on her face she sobbed. Lighting nearly blinded her while thunder roared through the skies and the cemetery. Where was the police she called earlier? The wet dirt took a while to rise but it was rising. Annie Brooks tried to calm her panic so she could pray some more, but that was hard. This whole thing was surreal to her and she felt life slipping away.

She passed out for a minute and then she suddenly heard screams. Ungodly screams she heard. She could have dreamed she heard it. After all she was already ensconced in the worse living nightmare she could imagine. Buried alive! Would she die quickly? Or would it drag out and out? The worse part of any murder was the way killers dragged them out. They enjoyed the suffering, the pain, and the power they held over the victim. These admitted killers were enjoying this.

Suddenly the rain slowed down. Then just as suddenly the dirt stopped coming down. Annie unable to see or move suddenly felt herself hit the ground. Still handcuffed she still couldn’t move.

“Annie it’s okay,” said a voice that made her scream. It was such a strange voice with the strongest timbre she ever heard. An inhumane voice for to Annie it didn’t sound human. Annie feared that demons were claiming her soul and again she was sobbing and pleading for them to leave her alone. She tried to pray again, but her voice drowned in her fear and sorrow.

Then again came the voice but now a large paw held her down as well. Her handcuffs were snapped and she was being pulled to her feet. She could barely manage to stand.

Annie fell again. Shocked to the core, she couldn’t believe her eyes. Her eyes took wild flight, until she saw a large black cat probably a panther standing before her. The rain around them slowed down to drizzles, but it began to come down again. It came down steadily, not as hard as before.

“Annie it’s me Blackie,” spoke the impossible voice of the large black cat. “I saved you from these evil monsters for I hesitate to call them people. Human demons perhaps but people they are not. Look into my eyes Annie. It’s really me and I’m not going to hurt you.”

Annie fought not to pass out. She did look into those green eyes and they calmed her down some. Very little in fact. Those eyes were Blackies and yet what did all this mean? How could a small black cat become a panther unless all those crazy tales about black cats….were they true? Annie trembled and quivered uncontrollably. Thunder roared again making Annie jump and scream again.

She looked around her and suddenly realized that the satanic group were all laying around sprawled out and dead! She then noticed the robe over her and she quickly tore it off. These dead people were thrown into the hole she was still in. She pushed her wet mudded and matted hair back trying to control her growing fears and anxieties and that was an understatement! Blood spilled from the side of her head and this had to come from some of the punches inflicted on her. She looked around her again feeling woozy now too. She had to get out of here or better yet she needed to wake up in her own comfortable bed. She needed to snap awake from this nightmare.

“It’s okay,” repeated the panther. The voice made Annie jump every time she heard it. But she tried to respond to it though her own voice quavered.

“How?” she stammered. “This…can’t be so…”

Blackie shook his head and sat back. “No it shouldn’t be so,” he agreed. “I can’t explain it myself. But somehow it’s so. Please don’t be so frightened. I know it may be crazy but consider it a miracle just the same. I’m happy I was able to save you and stop those monsters. They were very right Annie. They have killed not only the family they bragged about, but many others over the years. They have also tortured many innocent animals as well. They were savages.”

Annie nodded as the rain kept pelting her. She shook her head overwhelmed with fear. Fear that weakened her more and was making her heart beat in inhuman speed. She still couldn’t stop the shaking.

“Get me out of here,” she whispered to the impossible huge panther. “Just get me out of here…”

Blackie nodded and quickly did as she asked. He sensed her fear and certainly didn’t want to cause her a heart attack.

Annie fell and seemed to pass out before they were out of the cemetery. Blackie looked around him. The cult laid dead and bloody. Mutilated even. He bowed his head in shame. But they forced him to do it.

Resolved he looked down at Annie. She tried to save him for reasons he may never know. But then a simple one did occur to him. She loved him after all. Hey she did come. What a beautiful realization to make on a rainy, scary Halloween night.

5.

Annie Brooks woke up in her living room. She jumped to her feet still feeling pangs of fear. She looked around her apartment. Halloween decorations were everywhere. Fake black spiderwebs, goblins, skeletons, and those pumpkins filled with chocolates and candy she always saved for trick or treaters. It all looked normal enough. All the way she left it.

She ran to the bathroom. Her clothes still clung to her wet and cold. Her brown hair was more tangled now with the mud still clinging to it. It was dry now but it was there. More evidence that what happened the night before really did happen.

But Annie still refused to believe it. Swallowing hard she turned on her TV and there it was. Dead five people had been found in the cemetery. Brutally killed. A satanic cult perhaps killed by another. Police did reveal the mystery phone call and they were looking for the woman who made it.

Annie shook her head never feeling so surreal. The two kittens were cuddled across on the other sofa. One orange and one black and white. A white shoes type cat. At least that’s what Annie usually called them. Annie stared at the kittens. They had been safely in her pet shop. Now they were in her living room. More proof of the horrendous events of Halloween night.

Annie held her head beginning to tremble. She swallowed hard as she vaguely remembered the panther. Talking yes it talked. But then she could have dreamed that. She had to have dreamed that! Or maybe it was a prank. People played all sort of pranks on Halloween.

But then who could have saved her from that cult? Just the thought of being in that coffin in the rain, and thunder and lighting had Annie really shivering. The memories of that dirt made her cry again. She was scared and sobbing again.

Then suddenly a black cat was rubbing himself against her. Annie gasped. Blackie! He was a cat again. It seemed impossible to believe that he could have…and yet…

Annie looked into those familiar green eyes. They were the same green eyes. She saw so much love in them but she also saw his recognition of her. And she knew. It was impossible to believe it but she knew. Somehow Blackie saved her the night before and maybe he didn’t know how he did it. But he did and that was all that mattered.

She picked up Blackie and held him close to her. She stroked his head as he purred loudly. She pressed her own head on his. Maybe some of those crazy stories had been true. Maybe black cats had hidden powers to them. Annie no longer cared if they were true. If Blackie had such powers he used them to save her. And she couldn’t complain.

And she loved her black cat. She always did. She just realized that too. From that moment on Blackie became her pet and she let him stay in her home. And on future Halloweens he stood by her side while she gave out her Halloween candy.

Better yet in time her family and friends came to accept him too. At first they balked when they saw him but seeing how relentless Annie loved her black cat, they backed off. They had no choice really. Sure you had one or two who stubbornly chose to keep their distance, but Annie was happy enough. She wouldn’t have cared if no one came back.

Blackie brought her nothing but good luck. She couldn’t explain that to anyone but she knew. And it was more than enough for her. She thanked god for sending her Blackie when he did. How could she believe the hogwash of bad luck after what Blackie somehow did for her?

As for Blackie he couldn’t be happier. He only wished a better fate for his fellow black cats. But he was thankful that he at least lucked out.


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