Into every life come moments. Small madnesses. Odd thoughts. We think of these as our own, but in truth they are the cats and the mice, forever hunting and being hunted, forever stalking and hiding, forever running, playing, and fearing. We do not see them. They are only the spirits left of cats and mice past. But no cat ever truly dies. They remain on earth in spirit form and so we are daily surrounded by cats of time past. Mice do die. But the ones who are killed by cats remain forever bound to the cat who killed it. It is a terrible fate and if you come back in some future life, do not come back as a mouse because then you may be stuck in constant terror for all eternity until the world ends.
And what have these spirits of cats and mice to do with us? This world has had so many of them through time that these spirits are everywhere. If you could see spirits the air and earth would be full of cats. And cats are untameable creatures, always only once removed from wildness. As many people have already said, we only believe we have domesticated them. Every once in a while the spirit of a cat will move through a living human being, and then that person will have strange and unusual thoughts. These small madnesses. These fits of pique. And just as cats like some people better than others when they live, they prefer some over others after they die, and so some people have more of the moments then others. But it is worse for those hated by cats, living and dead. They are very sane and do not have moments of imagination and wildness.
But one day, quite by accident, one of these sane and unimaginitive people, ran into the spirit of a cat. He was a poor and humble cook in a fast food joint, daily flipping burgers and spreading ketchup and frying fries. And though he worked all the hours in the day, he could not make enough to feed and clothe his family. And though cats did not like him, they do love meat and they do love fries, even after they cannot eat them anymore. Just the smell is enough and makes them hunger. Makes them want to hunt mice. And so the spirits of 5 or 6 cats were wandering about the dirty kitchen that the cook tried to keep clean, but the other shifts did not. These 5 or 6 cats wandered about sniffing and avoiding the cook.
One was sitting on a high metal shelf over the table where the burgers were slathered with mustard and ketchup and covered with lettuce and pickles. It was avoiding him. But he needed something from the shelf and reached up. The cat arched its back and hissed, and as his hand continued to search the shelf, it jumped to get away, and flew through the air and through the man, right across his head. And the head is a very dangerous place to have the spirit of a cat go through. Some, who have been touched many times by cats and gotten more used to the effects, as much as anyone can, might have withstood it better. But the cook had never been touched before by the spirit of a cat and so it went very badly with him.
He stopped his search for whatever he was looking for on the shelf and came up short. It felt as if someone had simultaneously frozen his brain and let out a full jar of crickets in his skull. His brain stayed still as thoughts jumped wildly around, making noises and singing songs and he didn’t know what to do since he had never had such an experience before.
The cats became interested, as cats do at any new thing, and watched for what the man would do. What he did, was begin to laugh.