Now, as our hero is still curled up and sleeping, let me introduce you to him. I think it would be easier, for the sake of the story, to call him Felix.
Today our feline creature will embark on an adventure; an adventure that we humans would call life altering.
You see it will start like this…
Oh, wait! Look, he’s waking up. Okay, never mind, let’s see what Felix is up to.
Uncurling his body and stretching his limbs, Felix yawns and opens his eyes. For him, it is a day like any other. Still sleepy and walking slowly, he walks on the familiar paths he’s always known.
It’s an early morning on a Sunday and Felix woke up with one thought and one thought only: breakfast. He steps into a building that has a sitting area inside for humans who want to rest and lazily makes his way amongst the crowds of students who barely pay him any attention.
Felix yawns one more time and heads towards the center of the area. While observing his surroundings; a cleaning lady came with a bucket of water and a squeegee in her hand. The lady throws the water across the floor and it grabs Felix’s attention. He observes her movements very closely and thus, his hunting instincts are triggered. Still aware of the danger from the water, Felix, nevertheless, starts getting playful with the squeegee and attacks it like a tiger attacking its prey.
Now that he got his morning workout out of the way; Felix is reminded once again of how hungry he is by the rumbling sound and emptiness of his stomach. He leaves the cleaning lady behind and pays a visit to his familiar human. The one who is always strangely dressed in blue and black. This trusted friend is one of the security guards who works at the college and brings Felix scraps from his wife’s cooking.
Felix greets his friend with a loud and long “meooow” and jumps on his lap as soon as he settles on his chair. They say good morning, each in their own way. As always, this is where Felix gets his breakfast and as soon as he feels full, he wanders off.
College is now roaming with noise and chatter all over. Felix hops on a bench where he has the perfect view of the college gate. Students come swarming from a particular direction like ants leaving their nest.
Cats aren’t deep creatures. They don’t think as we do. They don’t question their existence and the reason behind it. For them, everything just exists. But somehow, as Felix looks at the humans who look as if they are sprouting like water from a fountain; he wonders where they come from and where they go when they leave.
Felix’s gaze is redirected to a fellow cat that joins him on the bench. The cat is licking its paw thoroughly and thus does not come to the same observation Felix just came to. As the cat finishes, it jumps from the bench with an elegant, flawless manner. It then goes to meow at a girl holding a sandwich who jerks away at the sight of it.
Felix’s curiosity was begging to be fed. Our little hero’s world only exists within the college campus. No other cat here wastes its thoughts on what could be outside of the walls they know. These cats will probably live their whole lives knowing nothing else other than this campus.
However, Felix follows a sudden notion and fulfills his need to explore. Like a fish swimming against the current, Felix makes his way to the gate. With light steps and an alert mind, he dares to approach the end of his world. Students are eyeing him strangely because cats usually never stand so close to the gate. For a split second, he thinks about turning back.
The number of humans overwhelms him and scares him off into a bush. Hiding, he observes the opening, seizes an opportunity, and finds himself on the edge of a parking half the size of the college and ahead … is the highway.
Unaware of the danger that he put himself in; Felix runs to the closest car he finds and hides underneath it. At least, it is something he is familiar with. His tiny heart beats so rapidly one can believe it will beat out of his chest. Felix has never been so terrified in his life. He cannot even remember the last time he was this scared. He is suddenly exposed to a certain kind of vulnerability he has never experienced before. All his senses are on their highest alert.
Nevertheless, Felix, our adventurer, has made it this far and will put his courage to good use. With his belly close to the ground and his legs bent tight, he continues crawling further from campus. Car to car. Until there are none left.
The whooshing of cars becomes louder. Fear has suddenly taken over Felix as he attempts to cross what he assumes is a path just like home.
Distracted by the dominating noise, Felix has not paid full attention to his surroundings. The sudden high-pitched scream of a woman refocused his eyes on her. Then the monster of a truck with a grille so grotesquely built it resembles huge teeth and an agape mouth, approaches at full speed. Animal instincts take control of Felix’s body and cause him to leap backwards and off the street. Almost as if a big force has pushed and saved him.
Felix runs for his dear life, carelessly bumping into a couple of humans on the way back as he struggles to find the opening he has come from. His claws scratch the concrete as he runs deep into the heart of campus and hides underneath a bush. It takes a couple of hours for the shock to wear off.
However, don’t worry. Our little hero will be fine because mother nature always finds the irony for us. All it takes is a couple of hours for our Felix not to remember most of what happened. After all, only we humans have the privilege of suffering from long-term memory.
What is Felix doing now you’re asking? Well, let me see…
Oh look! He’s going to visit his trusted friend!
He must be really hungry after that.
At the end of the day, Felix is only a college cat.