Her eyes catch the first snowflakes that blend with the movements of the wind. Soon the whirls of snow dance like light veils outside the window. She bends forward and rests her elbows on the white windowsill. She feels a slight cold from the window, but the living room is warm, and she can still smell the tomato soup and the bread she toasted earlier in the evening. She watches how the snow, that has now worked its way through the maze of the wind, stains the asphalt. She can see her own reflection in the dark window, but has no time to dwell on it for long before a sound catches her attention. A car door slams with a surprisingly loud noise in the white world outside. Then the cat’s nose touches her cheek looking for love and attention.
Almost automatically, her hand strokes the cat’s head before it grips the handle of the mug and her attention returns to the cold surface of the window. Only this time she doesn’t look at the snow. Instead she searches out her own reflection. At first glance the reflection looks strange and unknown, and she almost jumps when she slowly recognizes herself. She becomes aware of the smell of coffee. The lines in her face are deeper than she remembers. The dark hair is a little tousled around her face. The reflection seems remote and a little sad to her. The cat’s eyes meet hers in the window and for a while they seem locked in each other’s search. She puts the cup down again, but that little moment of inattention has unlocked the cat’s eyes from hers. This results in another little push from its nose. She smiles as she looks at the cat and lets her hand glide over its head and continue down its back. The cat slightly closes its eyes and clearly enjoys her repeated movements. Slowly it begins to purr – a quiet sound at first, but growing gradually louder.
“What if I had known what I know today? What if I had had that knowledge earlier in life?”
She has not taken her eyes off the cat as she speaks. It sits there quietly with eyes half-closed, just receiving, while it keeps on expressing its pleasure loudly.
“How many mistakes do you think I could have avoided? Hmm – and how many do you think I would have made anyway? It’s as if I keep repeating my mistakes over and over again – and it even surprises me every time.”
Slowly she stands up, moving her shoulders up and down. She moves her head from side to side and then back and forth. She touches the muscles in her neck and seems satisfied with the result, so she stops. She looks at the amazing dance of the snow in front of her window once more. Every time the flakes are caught in the light of the street lamps, they shine as if they’re blinking. They whirl into the oblivion of the darkness, only to turn up in the light again with a new beauty. She smiles to herself and turns away. She thinks. For a long time, she stands completely still before she almost imperceptibly shakes her head. Then she walks over to the living room door where she suddenly stops. A smile spreads over her face as she reaches for the top shelf of the bookcase.
“I have dusted you so many times without ever really relating to you.”
Her eyes follow the notebook with its orange plastic cover as she takes it down from the shelf. She notices the pattern of the cover and scratches it slightly with her fingernail.
She turns to the cat.
“I bought this because I meant to start a diary.”
Her finger picks at the corner of the notebook.
“I never started it. I was always too busy.”
She looks at the cat still sitting in the window, but it doesn’t notice her. Its tail moves from side to side, and she knows that it has seen something interesting in the street. She looks down at the notebook and tilts her head a little. She sighs quietly and walks over to the window to look down into the street, but she can’t see what’s so interesting. She stays there a little while. The cat’s tail rhythmically sweeps over the painted wood of the windowsill – never seeming to stop. There is nothing there. She looks at the cat that still doesn’t pay her any attention and tiredly shrugs her shoulders, puts the notebook down and turns out the light as she leaves the living room.
“Bed time, miss pussycat.”
The cat turns its head and looks after her as she leaves, before turning its attention back to the street below.
However, it’s not long before she hears the familiar thump of the cat landing on the parquet floor. It looks around the living room, sits down and scratches its neck. Finally, everything seems to be OK and it follows her into the bedroom.