Catpaths

Lazily, the cat strolled up the first flight of stairs, rising up from beside the stadium which stood to my left. The cat followed the sidewalk as it walked, cutting diagonally to my right, passing by the bottom of a second set of stairs, which was immediately in front of me and paired with a ramp on the left for handicap accessibility. I was about to descend these stairs when the cat had appeared, but now I stood, frozen.

Perhaps the cat, if I was not there, would have continued to the right, passing the bottom of my flight of stairs to meander through the gardens, woods, and administrative pavilions all to my right. But it notched its head up sideways and saw me looking at it.

Do cats know the danger of the watchful eye? Perhaps if I had paid it no mind, it would have continued on its way. But it saw me, and it saw my stare, and it decided progressing on this path was not worth a risk. It saw I was coming down, and it dutifully cleared my way by hunching itself to its right, going on the ramp and simultaneously disappearing from my view.

I, amused, took one step down my stairs, then stopped. I would have continued downward if not for the mere mischievy [sic] and curiosity that tickled my thought. I wondered what the cat would do if I took the ramp down as it went up. Would it avoid me once again and opt to ascend by the stairs? Would it ignore me and walk by me peacefully? Would it approach me and pounce?

I was curious enough to try, so I stepped back and a few steps left until I was standing at the top of the ramp, looking down.

The cat, at the bottom, looked up at me, staring at me for a few seconds. I stared back, searching for emotion in its feline eyes. Before I could decipher anything or move more closely, the cat turned around and dashed away, down, beneath the stadium, taking another, hidden flight of stairs that descended down, to the left, out of sight.

It flashed across my mind to give chase, but my muscles didn’t twitch into action. Instead, I stood for a little bit, slightly shocked.

I briskly walked down the ramp and turned to look down the flight of stairs down which the cat had fled. I peered around and in, but saw no trace of it. Perhaps it was hiding, perhaps it had gone far away by now, into the depths of the belly of the stadium.

It was an interesting cat, to say the least, and I had wanted it to linger around with me for a while. I thought it had been just as curious of me as I was of it, but apparently its curiosity, at most, did not outweigh its cautious self-preservation.

I turned and walked down the first flight of stairs from which I had seen the cat first come. It was afternoon melding into evening, and my shadow was all that stuck around. By night, it was gone.

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