Pancakes and Souls

A news item about playing cats was featured on the nightly newscast. I had to stop preparing dinner for a while to see whether the news was interesting or not.

After giving a brief background of how it got popular over the internet, the cheerful reporter cued for the playing of the video. There was nothing extraordinary with the act of the two cats except for the eerie yet cute sounds they made with every slap of one’s paw on the other’s head. At the latter part of the video, what actually surprised me was the adorability of how two standing cats looked like. The two large cats were standing on their rear feet and stretching as high as they can to outdo each other. The one on the right side suddenly lost her balance and wretchedly fell on the ground like a poor little girl who got her candy stolen by a bully. The winning cat made her final stretch and cried a loud meow as if confirming her victory.

“And when we return, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order to…” The engaging yet authoritative voice of the newscaster mechanically toned down on my hearing. The commercial break that followed was a good means for me to get back to what I was doing.

I went to the stove and preheated a large pan at low fire. While waiting, I went back to the bowl on the table and beat the two eggs until the mixture became frothy. After a couple of minutes, I poured a good amount of batter onto the heated pan. As the batter melted on the pan, I added a cup of water, a quarter cup of oil and half of the pancake mix I had bought last week from the grocery store. My right hand beat the mixture while my left hand firmly held the bowl. I stopped beating when there were no more big lumps on the mixture. One after another, it took no more than three minutes for me to cook both sides of each pancake.

The news was back when I turned off the stove. A total of six pancakes were produced by the simple steps I had done—a reasonable amount of dinner that I saw fit for a nondescript Sunday evening. It was just that I had had a sudden yearning to prepare my usual breakfast meal at night. Most of the time, when I feel like breaking a convention, I freely do so in my own convenience. The satisfaction in doing so has always been overwhelming.

The clock read half past seven. My stomach was already making rumbling sounds that should be attended to. I got all of the pancakes out of the pan and neatly placed one by one on top of another on a clean plate. There was a need for me to gulp as if by reflex on smelling the enticing aroma of pancakes mixed with the atmosphere of a Friday evening. Alone in my pad, nothing seemed to beat the privacy one could earn out of all of these.

A knife, a fork, a pitcher of ice-cold orange juice, and a bottle of maple syrup were all set up on the side of the table where I sit for my meal. Even minus the candlelight and the soothing music, this appeared to be a very decent dinner, if not exactly a sumptuous one, for someone like me.

I was about to take my comfortable seat when I heard a soft pounding sound from outside. A lot of logical reasons for me to ignore it passed my mind, but when it established a meticulous pattern, all I was able to think of was to get rid of the sound since it almost reached the border of being annoying.

I stood up, lowered the volume of the television, and listened carefully to the peculiar sound. It was nothing like a pounding sound at all because it resembled loud snoring. Only it sounded less like a snore of a human being. A breathing that was so heavy no one could ever endure. With downright focus, it dawned on me that the sound was coming from outside: most probably made by a group of kids running across the corridor of the apartment, or perhaps, noise made by other tenants.

Without hesitating, I opened the door. At that very moment, the heavy breathing was nowhere to be heard. I looked to my left and saw nothing. I looked to my right and saw nothing. My right foot voluntarily stepped out of the doorway. With half of my body outside the room, the sound gradually revived as if it came from nowhere. However, it looked like the snoring was no longer coming from the outside, but from the inside. I turned around, slowly but surely, and closed the door behind me.

The strange sound was gone once again. I turned the volume of the television back to the level that can be heard neither barely nor unnervingly.

It was then time to get back to my pseudo-breakfast. Hungry enough for me to tolerate the weird snoring or breathing if ever it turns up again, I sat on my seat by the table and enjoyed the pancakes.

When I lain on my bed later that night, it became so difficult for me to get my mindset into sleeping. I don’t normally sleep with the lights turned off, but I saw the necessity to do so in the fear of hearing that sound once more.

I filled my mind with happy thoughts in order to repel negative ones that can just drive me insane. I don’t know, the eerie sound I heard could just be my mind playing games on me. Much like how the eerie sounds of the playing cats caught on video distracted me.

Relaxing my mind was the most feasible thing, let alone the best one, to do that time. And then my eyes grew tired by themselves.

The hallway was no longer illuminated by the fluorescent lamps. Only the amber lights from the street lamps were able to shower the doorstep and the crowd of cats that stood patiently in front of the white door to the apartment. Not even a single soul was present when they began to amble with their paws cautiously moving forward. The door opened and with it left ajar, each cat used her whiskers to ensure easy access to the living room without making it sound like someone broke into the apartment. Little by little, the door closed when all of the cats were already in.

Little by little, the young man was falling into a deep sleep. It was just uncertain whether he had to wake up from a terrible dream or not. A long night deserved a long sleep, though. Pairs of glowing eyes of various colors were directed to him. It was as if those were merely eyes sans the bodies. Living on their eyes apart from living by their souls, the small felines remained standing on their rear paws, observing.

Thanks to my best friend for creating this post for me. Happy New Year everyone.

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