My suspicion is that I read this in a story, once. A man jumps from the moon. He is ridiculous and unsympathetic. In the dream I am angry about how the author misunderstood the nature of cats, their gratitude is a rare gift and it takes a lot to make a cat feel that they should enable you to leap in this way.
In the dream I am the idiot man who does not deserve to jump safely from the moon. In the dream I am also myself, and I hope, desperately, that if I can jump from the moon I will be safe. Then I fall, and fall as though it will go on forever, and I wake with a violent jolt to find myself back on this island after all.
I invariably wake up on the roof, as though I have indeed jumped down from the sky to a relatively safe landing. Albeit a cold one. I sleep in my trousers now, for it is an undignified thing to have to climb off one’s roof wearing only one’s nightshirt. Also cold. I am always so cold when I wake up from these dreams, as though I have fallen many miles through the relentless dark of the night sky. I imagine that space must be cold, the starlight is not warm, after all.
Tonight I shall go to sleep in my coat, and beg the cats to let me stay. I cannot jump from the moon to some other place, it seems, but perhaps the moon would not be so fearful a place as this island. Could that be true? Or is waking here but a dream that shields me from a worse truth? If this is my happy escape from horror, then I curse my own mind for not being able to invent more comforting things.
Whatever the truth of it, I am most assuredly damned.
Heike Harding will be well known to anyone who has spent time around the docks of Hopeless Maine. She has fed the feral cats there for many years, and taken in cats rescued from shipwrecks. Anyone wanting a regular cat who can prevent small, antisocial entities from infesting home or workplace, will have appreciated her good work.
It is a mystery then, why this well-liked islander has suffered a sudden and violent death.
Doc Willoughby told me: “She most likely had a little turn and fell in the water. No one lasts long in that water.” When I asked him about the shocking neck wound, he said, “Sea monsters, I expect. They come right into the dock you know, especially at night after the pub has closed.”
A number of citizens who wished to remain anonymous expressed to me their opinions that someone from our unnatural community is to blame. Several anonymous vampires have told me that it was far too violent to be a vampire bite, and looked far more like the sort of thing a were-person would do. One gentleman self-identifying as a werewolf told me that a werewolf just wouldn’t waste food like that and it must have been a vampire.
On the day after her death, all of Heike’s cats made a slow and solemn march from the docks, to the Hopeless Home for Uncanny Cats. I feel they know something we do not.
Since the recent deaths of Crysta, and Erekiel, The Hopeless Home for Uncanny Cats has been an unsafe place for human visitors. The cats are angry. Cats have congregated from across the island as far as I can tell. I had no idea we had so many dustcats and shadowcats.
I advise extreme caution, if you own a cat, are owned by a cat, see a cat, or find someone breaking into your home after dark.
There were scenes of carnage last night at the Hopeless Home for Uncanny Cats. After the death of founder Crysta earlier this week, the cats have been uneasy. You’ve probably heard them. However, the yowling last night achieved new levels of volume and unease, drawing many of us out into the streets where we huddled together nervously. It’s never easy to tell whether one should face the horror, or hide under the bedclothes and pray for an easy death.
A bold few of us ventured towards the source of the sound. The cat’s home was covered in cats – far more than I think could have been living there. They covered the roof and surrounding garden, and the dim that they made was almost unbearable. It was clear from some distance that windows had been smashed, and the door broken down. Whoever attacked the establishment felt no need to be subtle about it.
Erekiel Morningstar Vaehne took over running the Home for Uncanny Cats only this week, after the sudden and still unexplained death of Crysta. There can be little doubt that whoever killed her must also have been responsible for this breaking, entering and murdering. Even Doc Willoughby, who is always reticent about blaming anyone for anyone’s death, had to agree that a man with a large, ornate knife sticking out of his chest probably hadn’t died of natural causes. Doc Willoughby concedes that while it could be suicide, it would seem odd to back violently through several items of furniture while trying to end yourself.
What did this violent intruder want? What was in the Home for Uncanny Cats that both Crysta and Erekiel were willing to protect at such costs? Should other cat owners now fear for their lives? Clearly, there is some horrific cat-related plot afoot, and it is one the perpetrator considers it worth killing for, and so dastardly is this plot that there has been no effort to disguise it. Who among us would do such a thing?
Erekiel has been left where he fell, on the understanding that resident dustcats would probably want to eat him. There have been suggestions muttered in the pub about whether the dustcats themselves may have turned psychotic, driven by a hunger for human flesh to start killing the people around them. It is my understanding that dustcats only eat the bodies of those they love, but even this long established truth now seems questionable.
Crysta, founder of the Hopeless Maine Home for Uncanny Cats, was found dead outside her establishment this morning. Her body was surrounded by cats – the apparently regular ones, the half-demon shadow cats, and a selection of dustcats. I arrived at the scene while the cats were still protecting her body. It was an eerie sight, and when they broke into wails of obvious lament, it was an eerie sound, too.
When Doc Willoughby arrived at the scene to assess the body, he was unable to approach it – the cats became hostile. Viewing from a distance, he said “I expect it was her fault, one way or another.”
I suggested that she might have tripped over a cat and endured a fatal blow to the head as a consequence, or that she may have choked to death being caught in a dustcat sneeze, or that perhaps a demon cat had been involved. He agreed with my assessment. That the ground around her seemed curiously singed was not mentioned, but then, burned ground is not a medical condition.
I may be seeing a pattern here where none exists, but I think this is our second cat related death of late – Lady Selina Arkham Kyle died in most peculiar circumstances outside the library, with possible dustcat involvement. Aside from the cat connection, I can think of little that might link the two deaths.
Only when Erekiel Morningstar Vaehne turn up to the scene did the cats let anyone through. Erekiel being a longstanding volunteer at the home, they clearly recognised him. At this point, the damage to the back of the victim’s head became visible. It did not look accidental to me.
The Hopeless Maine Home for Uncanny Cats will continue to do its good work, I am told. Crysta will not be buried – apparently dustcats like to eat the bodies of those they truly love.