Once upon a time, quite recently, there was a cat, and there was a mouse.
The cat was nice enough, but seemed a bit spiky when you first would speak to her. She had long hair. With the same colour as the sun, on a long autumn sunset. When the cat warmed to you, she would retract her claws, and put away her teeth. Perhaps too quickly she would set aside her instincts which told her that she was unprotected and vulnerable.
One day the mouse met the cat. The cat was not so eager to let her vulnerability show. She had just been scarred quite badly from a slash to her heart, one which she did not want to open again. She was taken however, by the eyes of the mouse. The darkest, richest brown, which in night time looked like dark comforting hidey-holes, ones like those that cats like to find on a quiet day, curl up, and go to sleep in. The mouse may not have realised, but the cat had noticed him, just as he had noticed her.
A little time passed and they both met again. They ofcourse had not forgotten each other. In the short while they were apart, the mouse had been imagining them together, fine dining and good conversation, discussing good entertainment and literature. While in the cats mind, they had both been playing with balls of string and lounging lazily in the warm evening sun. Maybe this was the beginning of their differences. Apart from the fact that one was natural prey, and the other natural predator.
There was a party. A summer party. The cat invited the mouse along with some other cat and mouse friends. They had a ball, with laughs, with sun, with food, with friends, What was a spark then turned into a flame. They would not leave each other's minds. The mouse perhaps, more aware of what was going on than the cat.
Just a little bit more time came, and then went, during which, they would talk every night. Telling fairy tale stories of things that never happened. Also planning things that never would. One thing did, the flame grew to fire.
The cat once told him of a story. A cat who ate a mouse. She thought that's when she really felt it.
The cat came home. The mouse came to see her, and the rest was history. Recent history. He flattered her. She admired him. He was more than she first thought. Intelligent, genuine, handsome, kind, modest, and most of all, he made her happy. It was almost like she was becoming less of a cat. Her claws had gone, her teeth had shrunk. He called her cute. It was what she needed. Her guard had been up for far too long. Sometimes she would think that, at heart, she was really a mouse.
Love was said and shown. She thought of them together. For months and for years. The cat, with all her guards let down, was falling into a trap. She did not know it. And to be fair. Nor yet did the mouse.
Mother cats always tell their kits to watch out for traps in the road, as they lead to big holes in their hearts. This is why cats always land on their feet. So that when they do get surprised by a hole in the ground, they can still get up, shake themselves off, and walk on.
Just now, as they go on, they will be a little more wary.
The time came when the mouse could not see himself with cat any longer. As mice are quite solitary creatures, he felt crowded, pressured almost. He likes his mouse time. He did not know how to tell the cat how he felt. So instead he did what he did best. He thought.
He thought about what was good. What was bad. Why he should stay. Why he should leave. The cat could sense that something was wrong. Or at least preoccupying the mind of her mouse. She asked him once when they were together, if everything was ok. He said yes.
Like a time before, the mouse came to see the cat. The air around them was different. There was no spark. No flame. Just a sad glowing ember, struggling to stay alight. There were words. Mainly from the mouse. But while he was talking, he realised that the cat to whom he did still adore was no longer a cat. She had turned into a mouse. A new mouse. Frightened and timid. No claws or teeth to defend herself with. The brutal truth of his words, opening the old wound of heartbreak on her shriveled cat's heart.
The timing was perhaps the worst. Already beaten from being a new mouse in a cat's life, she was fragile. She wanted to forget. She didn't know quite who she was. She even thought that the colour of her hair had faded. She cried. But when she cried she wept the tears of a cat. Not a mouse. She at least knew then, that her glorious cat self was still inside her somewhere. The cat that could again protect her.
The cat and mouse, both sad, spoke. It helped, but it didn't. Cats are not supposed to be alone. They are supposed to have a companion. To play with their hair. To stroke their noses when they are sleepy. They need someone to play with. For they cannot always play with a ball of string alone.
Mice are different. Mice don't enjoy playing with string. The ball might squash them and their brilliant minds. Instead they eat the string. Leaving the cat with nothing left to play with.
At least the mouse would be safe from the cat's reemerging claws.
The cat still trapped in a mouses body, with her fading hair and little teeth, misses the mouse. He hurt her. But she expected it. She always gets hurt. Just a careless little kitten. Instead of dwelling on what they had, she is now just thinking of what could be. An odd pair they were in the first place. A cat and a mouse. Who would have thought. Now they know however, that they can always be friends. The cat does not ever want to lose the mouse. He is small and witty. But she will chase him. She will never lose a friend if she can help it.
That is what the cat is now most excited for. That they can still be in each others lives. An odd pair of friends. There for each other when it is needed. She knows it may take some time. But she is prepared to wait.
Impatient in most things. The cat is most patient when chasing a mouse.
In the mean time. The cats claws will grow back. And her teeth will get long and sharp. Ready to defend herself from a heartbreak again.
Though the life as a mouse will be something greatly missed.