Wrote this for a creative writing portfolio. They say you should write what you know, so I based it off my beautiful cat Max, who sadly passed away more than a few years ago.

It was a humid late afternoon in mid-July that saw the young girl, Emily, lying aimlessly on her bed, window wide open nearby. Outside, the rest of her family still chattered in the backyard, taking in the wonderful evening sun while the aroma of beef burgers and cumberland sausages still permeated the air from the barbecue.

A deep purr by Emily’s ear turned her head and elicited a smile. The amber eyes of the family cat stared adoringly up into her own from by the bed, as his black paws padded affectionately at the quilt by her arm.

‘Heya Max,’ Emily scratched him gently behind the ear. Max’s eyes slid shut in a cat smile, the rumble of his chest increasing as he leapt lightly the rest of the way onto the bed to settle on Emily’s stomach, still padding away. Emily filtered her fingers through his fur, at ease.

The peace did not last. Feeling an irritation behind her eyes, Emily reluctantly obeyed the urge to sit up, careful not to move the black cat, and matched his unblinking gaze with her own. As she watched, Max’s slitted irises widened until both his eyes were inked out entirely. It was then that Emily felt the intense drag, and spinning darkness take over as she left her body.

Max blinked as she became quickly accustomed to his point of view and through his eyes, Emily took in her own human image. She would have seemed to be sleeping except her grey eyes were ever so slightly open, and in the fall back to the bed a lock of blonde hair had fallen untidily over her face. Using a paw Max brushed it away for her, giving himself a shake at the new sensation of carrying a passenger.

Max turned tail and leapt from the bed. From within, Emily saw and felt as the black cat did, and was elated at the heightened hearing and balance. From here she could hear the politely-hidden yawn of someone missing their evening nap; Grandma Lil, perhaps? Max padded to the windowsill and jumped up, pausing to lick a paw while Emily revelled at the smell of burger meat on the barbecue – so much better than her human nose could describe.

Up on the windowsill the back garden looked so much bigger; an almost overwhelming sea of red, and the fence, although it was just a leap away, looked further than Emily was prepared to jump. Max however had no such qualms.

He jumped.

Emily’s heart might have stopped at this point, but Max was calm, focussed – he had done this many times over. Suddenly he was catching onto the wood with his claws, scrambling to collect his balance and proceeding off down the fence, away from the chatter of old ladies and the chink of glasses. Max ignored the boys further up the garden messing about with water balloons and headed over to next door, which was empty. Here, Max sat down and began to wash, to which Emily impatiently urged him forward – the sooner for him to show her what he wanted her to see. He sneezed mid-lick, blinked and jumped down without warning, startling Emily.

Prowling through the rose bushes situated under the house’s window, Max inhaled deeply, catching the scent of tea and baby powder. Due to the heat, this window too was wide open, and he put his front paws on the windowsill, peeking inside to spot a blue morsel in a cage. They could hear the countdown jingle playing in the other room.

‘Mrs Jefferson’s new bird,’ thought Emily. The morsel, hearing the click of Max’s paws as he jumped up boldly, turned around in the cage and cheeped twice loudly, tilting its head. Something moved in the other room, and a voice called out.

‘You leave my bird alone, cat!’

Huffing smugly, Max eyed the bird hungrily a moment longer, but hit the grass running when he heard the sound of Jefferson getting up, walking stick creaking in her hands. He did not stop until he was back on the fence and trotting off into another garden, like that had been his plan all along.

‘You’ve done that before,’ Emily inwardly grinned at Max’s cheekiness. His eyes blinked again in acknowledgment, but a low growl froze him to the spot on the fence. His fur stood up on end and his ears flattened to his head. Below them, Emily could see a huge brown boxer, lying in its kennel and watching the cat on its fence very closely, teeth bared. Max hissed from his safe spot, slowly moving towards the next garden, but the dog got up, dashed towards him barking and jumped at the fence, shaking it. Max turned tail and dashed away, not stopping until he had passed the next garden, and halted on top of a shed.

Something caught Emily’s eye from here. Urging Max forward again, he walked to the edge and sat down, but Emily was more interested by the blonde young man sitting by a pond full of fish with a bowl. Max noticed too, and immediately wanted to get closer. He jumped down from the shed, landing on his feet, and trotted up behind the human, peering around him to stare at the fish.

From here Emily could see that the bowl was filled with some sort of tinned fish. Max pawed his arm; the boy looked up with recognition.

‘Hello again,’ he said, patting Max’s head. Max purred forcibly, pushing his head against the hand; clearly this is what he wanted Emily to see. At this Max nuzzled the bowl, at which the young man grinned and set it in front of him. The cat happily dug in; Emily suspected that he had been coming here for regular feedings – her parents certainly never gave him herring.

The cat’s ear’s pricked up at this point, picking up sounds from the family barbecue. Turning tail suddenly and ignoring the young man’s cry of surprise, and the dog, Max leapt back onto the fence and raced across it, reaching the garden just as someone commented on Emily’s absence.

‘I’ll go check on her,’ Emily heard her mum answer.

Panicked, Emily urged Max to move fast towards the window, leaping high to grab it. His back claws found purchase, Max jumped inside and padded to Emily’s body, sitting near and staring into her open eyes. Emily felt a push just as the bedroom door swung open.

‘Emily? Are you alright?’ Her mother watched her blinking and sitting up, hair curiously askew.

‘I’m fine mum,’ Emily told her, just spotting Max’s tail disappear behind the door. ‘My mind just wandered a bit.’

What did you think? Please don’t hesitated to offer any comments or criticism; it all helps, and is much appreciated.


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