Two and a half years ago, my better half persuaded me that getting a cat would be a good thing. I shrugged and said ok; it made sense, as I was away during the week with work, and it would be company for her if nothing else.
Thus Midnight came into our lives, a little black cat that reminded us of the chat noir posters from Paris, where we'd spent my previous birthday. On her second day in our home, while I was away, Midnight vanished. She was found hiding behind the fire - somehow she'd clambered into its innards and got stuck in the chimney - the gas man had to be called out to dismantle the fire so she could be rescued. Not the most auspicious of beginnings...
When I came home that week, there was a timid little ball of fur hiding in the corner. She came out eventually, but it was clear that Tracey was Midnight's favourite; understandable, considering I wasn't around most of the week. I cared about her, but wondered if I meant anything to this cat at all - aren't they just sly, devious creatures out for themselves?
Six months or so later, I went into work after a week's holiday, only to be told I was being made reudndant. A package was offered, accepted, and off I went. I was understandably upset when I got home. I plonked myself onto the sofa and tried to tell myself that everything was going to be all right, although - that early into the shock - it certainly didn't feel that way.
While I was there, Midnight jumped onto the sofa. I expected her to sit next to me and curl up to sleep, but instead she decided to sit on my chest and look me in the eye, as if to tell me not to worry. She purred, a paw brushing gently against my cheek, like she was trying to soothe me. From that moment, I felt better, able to take whatever the world decided to throw at us; from that moment, I realised how much I adored Midnight.
She was company, all right, but mostly for me in the three months I spent looking for work. I could talk to her, even if she couldn't understand a word I was saying. I could laugh at her antics in the garden as she tried to chase anything that moved. I still do. Midnight's a source of laugher in our home, but for all the right reasons. Buried in all that feline nature is a little soul that we love and care for. She's our little ninja, someone who can sit on my knee and watch me while I type, as if she knows exactly what I'm writing about...
One last thing. I've never been a cat person, but I'm a Midnight person, up to the point where I named this blog after her. I was struggling for a title when she jumped on the table, turned around a presented her rear end to me. 'The Pencil Sharpener' was already taken, and so 'A Flash of Midnight' was born.