Alice opened her eyes and blinked in surprise. Everything around her seemed different somehow. With a thrill, she realised that not only was her room strange but that she could actually see it. It was impossible, she knew that because she’d been blind for many years now. Yet here she was gazing once more upon her much loved possessions.
The clock on the wall said it was just after 3.30pm. She must have dozed off she thought and this must be a dream. Maybe she had even died, her body felt light, not like hers any more. She wasn’t afraid of dying, she had always thought it couldn’t be as bad as waking up every day to a world of darkness and sitting helpless and lonely in her chair.
The television set was playing in the corner of the room. The carer who came to give Alice her meals usually left it on for her. It helped her pass the time away. She couldn’t see the picture of course but could follow the soaps by the sound of the characters voices and listen to the news and the chat shows.
Today though she could see the screen, the picture was crystal clear. If this was a dream, Alice never wanted to wake up. She stretched warily, usually her tired old bones creaked protestingly but now she felt young and strong, her body seemed warm and supple.
Alice jumped to her feet, then realised how far from the floor she was, she was standing in her chair! She gasped, how could that be? Then she noticed that she had four legs, a furry body, whiskers and a tail. Incredibly, she appeared to have turned into a cat!
She sat in her chair on her hunkers, to think it over. This just had to be a dream, but if it was, well, what a lovely one, so she decided to make the most of it. She waggled her whiskers, flicked her tail and jumped lightly to the floor. She was off to explore her home.
It seemed very peculiar to Alice, walking on four legs but it came quite easily. Anything was better than the way she usually had to struggle to get around, normally most days she just sat in her chair, too weary to even stand up. Life was a daily battle. Her carer often reminded her though that she was after all ninety years old and lucky to be still living in her own home when most people of her age were in Nursing homes.
Alice knew all that but it didn’t make her feel any better, she also knew that she herself would be in a home too but for the high cost of living in one. Her son George fully expected that one day all her money would go to him, Alice was very well off and George had worked out that home care for his mother was far cheaper, it wouldn’t eat quite so much into his inheritance.
He visited his mother monthly just to keep an eye on her, although they didn’t like each other very much at all. George had always been a gambler, his wife had left him years before, tired of trying to make ends meet while her husband happily lost money every day indulging his habit. George now existed in a tiny flat, Alice had refused to have him back home with her, in her opinion, he had made his bed and should lie on it.
She sometimes thought that her son didn’t deserve her savings but she had no one else to leave her money to and she supposed it was his due, although she knew he would soon squander it all away.
These thoughts ran through Alice’s mind as she padded softly around her living room. The door to the kitchen was ajar so she pushed at it with her head and it opened easily. The kitchen was clean and tidy Alice was relieved to notice, she had often wondered what state her house was in these days.
Part 2 to follow