Where’d That Cat Come From?!
Orange Maine Coon Cat - this picture © Helmi Flick was added by Michael to illustrate this great story.
First: This is just a funny episode in my life. I don't own a cat myself, neither Maine Coon nor some other breed. On with the story:
A year ago, I went to Manchester, England, for a school trip. My host family had a small black cat (probably some sort of stray cat) called Alice. She was the queen of the house and she knew it. Sometimes she was outside, but since I'd never seen a catflap in neither the front door nor the kitchen door, I figured the family let her out "manually" whenever she wanted. So anyway, one afternoon I was home alone. The family was away playing badminton. I sat in the kitchen having a cup of tea, when suddenly the biggest cat I've ever seen walked into the room. A long-haired, orange cat, the size of a small tiger (I've later figured that it probably was a Maine Coon).
I just stared at it. When it was half-way across the room, it looked up and spotted me. It stopped with one paw in the air and stood still as a statue, staring back at me. For at least 15 seconds we both were completely still, not moving a muscle. It was like a Mexican stand-off. And all the time, the question echoed in my head: "Where'd that cat come from?!"
After a while, the cat jerked its head, as if deciding that I wasn't worth its attention, whereupon it strutted up to Alice's food bowl and started eating her food.
Even though I still tried to figure out how the cat got there, I understood that I had to get it out in some way. I did not want a cat fight on my hands, thank you very much. The most practical course of action would of course be to shoo it out the kitchen door - only I was unable to open it, 'cause you needed a key to do that and I had no idea where the key was. So I had to get the cat out through the front door.
Now try to imagine this: A flabbergasted and very nervous 21-year-old girl frenetically trying to shoo a gigantic cat through the wole house up to the front door, preferrably without touching it (I didn't know it. It might scratch me!). The cat practically raising an eyebrow, looking at her like she's an idiot and slowly starting to walk away. The girl carefully shooing the cat out into the hallway, where she has one heck of a time trying to open the front door and at the same time not letting the cat get away. The cat giving her an "All right, I'm leaving, but it's my own choice, I'm not doing it because YOU want me to"-look. The girl slamming the door shut as soon as the cat has gotten out, then leaning against it, looking in the hallway mirror and exclaiming: "Where the HECK did the freaking CAT come from?!?!"
I got absolutely no rest that afternoon, 'cause I wasn't able to let it go. God, how it bothered me! As soon as the family came home, the first thing I said to them (apart from "Hello") was: "Do you have a cat flap?" They looked at me confusedly before the answer came: "Yes, it's in the cellar."
I breathed out.