Message from the Author:
“The black cat, was a deity in the Pagan Culture, in the Witchcraft was used for satanic practices, was a symbol of Divinity for the Egyptians, the Celts developed a particular fear of this animal Mystic because they thought it was becoming Human, was thought the Goddess Wicca Celtic became Black Cat to join his brother and more Legends, but sincerely I think there is no bad colour that makes us evil, no special colour for be magical, I do not agree with those sacrifice or felt fear about Black Cat, my Tale is dedicated to every Black Cat in the World. “
MY BLACK CAT
Celia Bailes © amadriadi
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“Who did not lose their optimism in me and supported unconditionally my crazy artistic soul“, to my husband Keith Bailes and my parents Emma Centti & Rivo Sanchez.
That morning was dawning with a dense autumnal mist, from my window it was impossible to see all that huge Corn’s field of Grandmother, the smell of fresh milk and oatmeal’s cookies-recently baked- of my Grandmother always made me feel happy, although if that morning was all cloudy outside.
I ran quickly to the living room -even in pajamas- and sat on that huge old dark oak wood table, my grandmother said ‘it had been made with magic wood’ and it was our special table in the center of the room.
“Today woke up very early my little Alda… but still in pajamas?” Said Grandmother very curious.
” Ooh… Grandma Elba is almost 10 am… mm, it’s still very dark out there!”
My grandmother with her characteristic ‘half smile’ looked at me quickly with those small and shrewd bright eyes, and continued to move the oats -with that very particular calm in her- in her enormous pot of old metal, said the Grandmother that generation after generation that pot was of the Family and she inherited it from her mother. I was very focused on the oatmeal cooked in the huge fireplace, the wood burned strong and warmed the whole room, perfuming with oats.
I started to drink my hot milk in our wooden glasses -made by grandmother- and eat the delicious cookies, slowly my mind thought about many things that morning, my eyes kept everything around me -as I was looking for something- my grandmother kept silent moving the hot oatmeal.
From my position, looked at the living room window, the threshold of my bedroom, the small entrance hall, the closet in the living room… hum, that morning I felt something strange, was thoughtful, anxious and bored, all at once!
Then I started to taste my cookies again, when my grandmother supported my bowl on the table -carved wood- with the oatmeal heats up, I start to eat it quickly, wanted finish fast to go outside -I did not know why- I just felt like I should do it.
“Alda! Eat slowly, my little one! Hum, what’s the matter with you this morning?’ Said Grandmother with her strong voice that made the walls vibrate, she sat down at the table to eat her oats.
I looked at my Grandmother and said, “today I had a special dream Grandma, I was at the centre of a huge forest, the stars shone very bright in the sky moving some happily, they surrounded me and… I woke up suddenly full of
emotion with tears in my eyes… ‘
“Alda dear, you know very well that each star in the sky… is a soul of someone who reminds us… for this reason they shine happily in the sky and around us,” the Grandma paused and kept saying, “today is a special night for all of us, little one and… maybe it’s your Mum, one of those happy stars,”
my grandmother took a deep breath and slowly continued eating her oats, she was not younger, her hair was grey and weak, her hands thinner and wrinkled, her legs very weak and walked supporting himself with his strong wooden stick of Cedar.
“Alda, today I’m going to collect pumpkins with Aunt Brigida, I’ll also leave our apples and corn in the business Town, you know very well that our friend from the town is very kind in allowing to sell my products there… remember dear that we should not be ungrateful with the Humans who give us their affection and help,” saying that the grandmother had finished his portion of oatmeal and said, “do you want something special from the town? You know I’m riding in the cart with our friend ‘Timmy’, that old horse growled… like me!” Smiled grandmother to loud laughter rising from the table.
“Thank you Grandma but I do not want anything from the town today, please say hello to Aunt Brigida,”
My eyes looked with love to Grandmother, after the death of my Mother, my Grandmother was very silent, but her strong laughter to showing the teeth she lacked, it was like a lightning at home!
I was there, from the window of my bedroom watched Grandma move away in her old cart, her image vanished in that autumnal mist, the glass was wet from the cold, with the sleeve of my pajamas trying to dry a part of the window’s glass -I wanted to look at the Corn’s field- when I see that huge scarecrow and remember that Grandmother said he needed a hat… hum, we had created it for 3 consecutive days of hardly work, because is bigger! We wish to frighten those disrespectful crows that come to field to destroy the harvest of corn and apples there.
Turn my head and look at my bedroom -there could be a hat- my curious eyes looked around me, I tried to remember where there was one but… I did not remember!
Get off the chair quickly in search of that hat, look in my little closet, in the basket under my bed… “hum, where could there be a huge hat?” I thought,
opened the drawers of my closet… with very little luck!
I ran to the living room, was immobilized in the center and watched everything around me, the room has no closets or drawers, impossible to hide a hat there!
Hum, where could there be one… “Maybe can find it in the Granny’s Bedroom?” I thought, ran towards that narrow old wooden staircase heading to the attic, looked everything from the angle of the door, his old wardrobe, his closet with the drawers open and clothes hanging, her iron bed, the basket of wool -where wove something- look under her bed and there was nothing, look at the roof -as the whole house is made of old wood and we covered it with straw on the outside to give warmth in cold weather and in hot weather, huge window in the center of the bedroom- we opened it and at night we had fun moments to observing the starry night… but it was all very dark there and I decided to open that window, take it in hand the thick rope and,
The huge window opened, blowing a lot of dust and straw… I felt the angry screams of the Ravens -the window had hit some of them- these were very
angry and poked their heads out of the open window, their bright eyes watched everything and shouted very sharply, I had to cover my ears and hide behind Grandmother’s chair, from there I looked at them… thought maybe get bored and go away… but I’m wrong!
Those crows called others and watched from the window and others entered in Grandma’s bedroom!
With their strong beak they pulled the wool of the basket… shouting nervously, others jumped on the bed of the grandmother and with their tip they pulled the wool coverlet, others entered the open closet curious were looking for something… but, there was one bigger than the others, his chest was stronger and he entered the center of the bedroom -where was his wool rug- with his
vivacious eyes looked at everything, screamed strongly to opening its wings as if trying to communicate with the other crows… notice that their eyes observed me I was hidden behind the chair and his chest was enlarging, opening his wings with force and leaped screaming -as call the others- I did not have time to run, all those crows came towards me pulling my pajamas, my hair, pecked my legs and hands, what so pain it, they pulled my hair, my tears fell and I did not want to scream because was more afraid than furious!
“Grandma Elba help me, please!” Exclaimed in pain… but my Grandmother was far away and that was my problem, “Why did I open that window?” I reproached myself, but not could continue in that place -the crows had me cornered- I got up to escape the pain and attacks, ran in a circle in the center Granny’s bedroom and took strength to down those stairs quickly into the living room… stumbling I fell to my knees, the crows kept pulling my hair and chopping my hands, I was very scared by the anger of and I did not know what to do to get rid of them… remember that Grandmother said the apples liked crows very much, ran to the table taking the basket full of Grandma’s apples and I ran in the direction of the entrance door, my legs and hands hurt too much, but I had to make that effort to get rid those crows full of anger… I went out of the house in the direction of the field and began to throw the apples in different directions, I could see the crows go behind to catch them, with their forts peaks were split into pieces and while they were entertaining… now is time to run back home!
I was already inside the house, closed the door and climbed the stairs, stumbling -was very nervous- I was in my grandmother’s bedroom and the first thing in my mind was to close that window!
I felt a great sound of wood and old locks, it all turned dark, my heart beat hard had a great scare, I was sitting on the center of the room watched the window closed…
“Tic Toc Tic Toc”
I felt the peaks of the crows, they wanted to open that window, they were very angry!
I was on the carpet, my hands, legs and my head, I did not want to touch my tangled hair because it hurt so much, closed my eyes wanted control my anxieties, nerves, pain… my mind went around, I felt dizzy, vomit… I just wanted to close my eyes and relax, that window was closed and the ravening crows were outside… “no more problems”, I said to myself, began to feel my body relax and I fell asleep there on the carpet…
“Alda … Alda! Where is this girl?” Called Grandmother was in the center of the living room and her vivacious eyes observed everything around, that disorder, the apples were no longer at the table, his steps were like lead, went up the stairs to his bedroom, observing the disorder of his things, she was reached the bedroom door, turned on the light and surprise was all a big messy there…
“Alda… what are you doing here!” Shouted, his eyes shone like fire.
I, slowly opened my eyes -it seemed to be swollen with so much pain and tears- when I looked at the image of the grandmother at the door, was very serious face and her eyes bright as fire lit.
“Alda what are you doing here? Why all this mess in my bedroom? He shouted again and this time his tone was very strong that I felt like an echo.
I sat with my aching legs, my hands were swollen with pain and I answered in a low voice,
“I was looking for… a hat for the scarecrow—”
“What! Why do you look it here?”
“Grandma, I thought could find something in your bedroom… I’m very embarrassed now—”
“Embarrassed? You know that it is forbidden to open that window in Autumn or Winter time… besides, you do not know how to control the crows and they are always in a bad mood if something does not it goes as they wish… but, when you learn to respect the rules?”
“Grandma, I did not want to make this mess here, really… I got scared! Those crows were very upset with me… I hit someone when the window was opening… and they came to punish me!”
“Mm… but what bustle is this? Heey! Heey!” Shouted Grandmother looking at the window and with her stick knocked on the window, calming the rage of the crows and then no more that noise
“Grandma, excuse me!”
I has my eyes swollen eyes to cried much, but wanted to be forgiven… I had learned the lesson with great pain.
“If you do not control your emotions, you can not do things as they should be, use your enthusiasm a lot and it will be because you are still a girl… your Mother was like you, she played with everything even as an adult, until lost her life—” Said Grandma’s voice was less acute, when remembered Mum, she
looked up at the window and said, “I do not want anything to happen to you
bad Alda… you’re the only thing I have now!”
“Grandma, I promise you no open more that window! I have never felt this fear as terrifying as what felt today… sorry for everything that happened grandma!” I exclaimed between sobs, felt very sorry.
“Alda… you should not felt fear, you must face your fears and know the risks… hum, now let’s go to the room, I have a surprise for you, from Aunt Brigida!”
“A… surprise grandma?” My eyes shone with emotion, I get up with a lot of pain in my legs and in my whole body.
My grandmother observed me and said, “Alda, your hair… it’s a big disaster, I think the crows have done job today!” Smiling Grandmother went to the living room.
“What would be this surprise?” I thought excitedly.
The grandmother had prepared hot compresses with her herbs and cleaned my legs and arms, leaving some compresses in the inflamed areas, I take my tangled hair in a single bun -without tightening it a lot- still felt pain, it helped me change my pajamas -It was with holes- changed a more comfortable clothes, but I was very curious and excited for my surprise!
“Grandmother and… what’s my surprise?”
“If I tell you… it’s no surprise, Alda!” Smiled Grandmother loudly, walk slowly, leaning with his cane towards the entrance hall and return with a box in his hands, support it at our table and said,
“Alda, your Aunt Brigida greets you and sends in advance your Halloween gift… we hope like it! You know that in our family we all have an ‘amulet of good luck’ and… this is your amulet!” Said Grandma to watching me very curious.
I approached the box and touching with my hands, could feel it was warm, I quickly opened the lid with much curiosity -imagine maybe it’s the pumpkin cheese cake- of Aunty Brigida “is so delicious or what would be my amulet”, I thought…
Was a kitten inside the box.
My grandmother gave face full of surprise!
“Grandmother is a cat… black!” I exclaimed very surprised watching the beautiful black kitten that also curiously drew his head to observe us, his huge green eyes, pink nose… but it was all black, his whiskers, nose and legs!
“It’s your magic surprise Alda,”
“Ooh! Grandma Elba… is a beautiful kitten, thank you!”
“You should not thank me my little ones… that’s the magic gift of Aunt Brigida,”
The black kitten howled, jumped from the box to the table in search of food.
My grandmother went to her kitchen and brought a little dish of milk, placed it next to the fireplace and put the kitten on the floor, quickly went to the milk and drank it, then opened her whiskers and start to browse the whole house.
I was observing it with much surprise, it was a lot that we did not have special pets at home and it was a great joy for me to have a companion at home!
‘This is a very special black kitten Alda… it will help you, see where your human eyes do not reach, it will help you feel where your ears do not reach and… it will be a good companion for you!”
“Ooh Grandma… I’m very excited!”
“Yeah, he warn you in times of danger… you know very well that all of us have had a ‘Lucky Charm’ given at night of Halloween in our youth… your mother had her Owl ‘Crispy’, mine was our beloved grey cat ‘Don Ron’ who is now a star more next to you Mother and her Owl… your Aunty Brigida had ‘Aby’ her black cat (she was female, her pups were given as amulets to her 7 daughters), and this black kitten is the son of one of these kittens,”
“Grandma having a lucky charm is very special because it will last forever in our hearts,”
“Yes my little ones, you are no longer a little girl, you are entering the door of adolescence, and Aunty Brigida and I had thought that it is time for you to have your amulet,”
“I’m happy Grandma!”
“Hum… and how would you called your kitten Alda?”
“Eh… I’m thinking… have so many names in mind… hum, I think I’ll call ‘Blinky’, it’s perfect… look at his eyes are flashes!”
My grandmother laughed and she gave 3 blows with her cane echoing on the walls.
Blinky, was concentrating on snooping around the house…
We were in the living room, disguising ourselves of her grandmother’s herb tea and the carrot and honey cake what bought in the city, very delicious, the grandmother ate it with much patience, she lacked teeth and it was not easy to chew, but she never gave up, this was her grandmother nature.
Blinky had his new bed on top of the closet in the living room, had tried
many places but he chose the height-from there watched us with his bright eyes-seemed to control us.
“Alda, that we’re out of apples for tonight, I’ll go to the basement to look if we have some apples in reserve, those greedy crows ate everything! Today comes Aunty Brigida, her daughters go to the party on the mountain with their young children, so we will be together tonight… Alda sees the wooden box in the entrance hall, where we keep the umbrellas and rain coats… yeah, there you will find a straw hat for that scarecrow… well, then go to the field with Blinky, the crows will not come near to bite you!” Said Grandmother smiled as she walked slowly towards the basement.
I was very curious if in fact those bitter crows would not bite me again, Blinky was sitting watching me with his bright eyes -knew we would go to the field- his whiskers were like antennae and his ears were moving, tail slowly moved, stroked his head but kept looking at me to my eyes directly.
I walked towards that old wooden trunk, took the huge hat and opened the door, Blinky came out quickly with his tail like a cane!
We were there in the middle of the field a few steps from the scarecrow, the spoiled ravens were stinging the doll inside and out, they pulled the straw from their legs and hands as if they would like to do this so much… but, Blinky ran with a moan of attack them, took a spectacular leap towards the scarecrow and with his claws beat the crows who shouted nervously, those who were trapped inside suffered the worst part, but Blinky did not want to kill them, he just gave them a lesson of respect!
I was standing there with my mouth open of surprised, I could not believe that little black kitten, was made respect with that band of disrespectful crows, who desperately walked away flying out of the cornfield of the Grandmother.
I managed to put the hat on the scarecrow and Blinky was cleaning his claws sitting in the Corn’s field… felt victorious!
My Grandmother watched me carefully as she finished preparing the dinner, and I from the huge table took out the Halloween decorations from the boxes while I told her all my joy of Blinky’s victory in having scared those crows… my beloved kitten was watching us from the top of the closet.
My grandmother cooked some delicious to prepare her dinner for today and listening with big smile on her face.
I started to decorating the whole house, Blinky played with one hanging ornaments, Grandmother went to the basement for more boxes and some of them were huge candles -orange, beige and black- Grandma liked to decorate the whole house with candles, it was a special night and it was a great party
“Alda, be careful with those ornaments… those belonged to my Grandmother and are still in this generation… although if Aunty Brigida does not like these memories, she and her daughters go more for the modern…”
“Do not worry, Grandma,”
Grandmother started to put the beautiful tablecloth to our table, it was of purple silk from the east with black spots, it shone beautiful to the reflection of the candles, in the centre it put its huge candles -always in odd numbers- adorned with aromatic dried fruits and small pumpkins, the leaves of the laurel and cinnamon star was a divine combination.
We do not use chairs, it is a very comfortable semi-circular couch that surrounds the table, and it is located near our window, which is not very large, the Grandmother said that the humans are curious and do not understand certain things of our culture, the curtains in the living room and in my bedroom are dark tones, old blur cloth and golden threads, says grandmother
that everything in the East likes a lot.
I finished decorating the living room window, the fireplace and around the living room, I went quickly to the small entrance hall to decorate it as the entrance door, to finish
In my bedroom, the staircase of my grandmother’s bedroom and her bedroom… my grandmother helped me with the heaviest thing.
I had finished decorating and reclined on top of my bed taking a breath, Blinky took a leap next to me with her classic,
It filled his sound of joy throughout my bedroom,
I closed my eyes a few moments to rest and then I had to prepare for the party, Grandma came in and hung my party dress at my door, smiled and walked away to the room to finish to decorate, covered her drawers and trunks with those transparent tulles embroidered with ancient symbols, others were with symbols of stars, sun and moons, my grandmother whistled joy and me from my bedroom I was also happy, Blinky with his black tail moving very curious.
I was in the living room observing all the final arrangement that Grandma had made, it was beautiful and its special incense of myrrh, Blinky moved his quick nose and smelled everything, it was so curious.
My dress shone in the reflection of the candles.
“What a beauty of dress!” Grandma said, watching me with her bright eyes.
“Grandma is beautiful, thank you!”
“I know my eyes are not as young as before, maybe I did not do more embroidery as I would have doing, I hope you really like it,”
“I love it!”
My grandmother wore her old dress, very beautiful, her hair had been collected in a big and pompous bun, her grey hair was shining -she using her special oil flowers- her small Jade earrings, Grandma’s favorite did not like much decoration or jeweler, it was always simple.
I used the necklace, bracelet and earrings of my Mother, beautiful Ruby stones, our party shoes are covered in dark silk and the stud has steel tip, our stockings
are dark cotton and my grandmother had given me my first set of make-up, to tell the truth, it was pink lipstick, pearly shadows and aromatic powders.
Grandmother had set up her buffet around the centerpiece, cherry liqueur and cherries with their glasses, pastries and sweets -the family favorites- made of pecans, peanuts and pumpkins. His big pot was our stew of pumpkins, potatoes, corn and pieces of meat, the wood was fiery, its red fire seemed to be happy for the party today.
Grandmother supported our hats on the door rack, when someone touched our door very loudly, making her tremble,
‘Knock Knock knock’
“That’s Aunt Brigida!” Exclaimed Grandmother to opening the door.
“This door is so old as you Elba… when you change it for a modern one!”
“I already knew you were… Brigida,”
“Hi little girl!” Greeting Aunt Brigida with her loud voice as hung her huge and bright hat with her dark silk cape on the rack, leaning on her walking stick
to the room smiling -typical in it- she dressed very elegant with her lilac dress and embroidered in silver threads, always wearing her Emerald stone pin, it remember of a great love, said Grandmother, her grey hair had made a bun with huge loops and had a shiny gel in some areas giving the appearance of bright lines, her make-up always well loaded and his cherry-coloured blush,
some huge pearl earrings and pearl necklace from Atlantic Ocean, many bracelets that made music to the movement of his arm, Aunty Brigida had her arms open waiting for a huge, she liked to squeeze my cheeks and give them colour it.
“How big are you Alda!” Said Aunt Brigida, watching me closely with her bright eyes.
“Thanks aunty Brigida… I want to tell you, I am happy with your special gift, I love my amulet very much!”
“Ooh… is a big pleasure! Hum.. that little guy is very cunning like his mother, your cousin ‘Elle’ loves her own Cat and I… knew from the first moment I saw him, that it was for you,”
The grandmother quietly brought corn bread out of Aunt Brigida’s basket, black plum pancakes, cheese fritters, leaning on the table next to the buffet.
Blinky jumped from his bed and went to greet aunty Brigida, his whiskers were huge was very happy to see her, when from his little wallet she took out a piece of Valerian trunk, cats love it a lot…
“Elba always cooking!” Said Aunt Brigida, sitting comfortably.
“Always you looking for the easiest Brigida… our mother said whenever you were as cunning as the bitch,”
“Our mother was like you… always dedicated to the kitchen and the house… hum, and your Alda will be like Elba Granny?”
“Eh… no Aunty Brigida, I like to decorate and eat!”
Blinky began to run with joy throughout the house, climbing the stairs like crazy and then down again.
We from the room smiling to see him run that way.
“Come on Elba, fill your glasses… or that liquor just to decorate the table?” Smile Aunt Brigida.
Both had the same nose and laughter, but they were different in their looks but both loved each other, despite their differences of ideas.
Between laughter and memories we began our special night, as it was traditional we started to decorate our pumpkin -before starting the buffet dinner, aunty Brigida was very playful and joked a lot, grandma Elba more serious but once in a while she let out her loud laughter, I felt very happy… to see them happy.
Blinky had broken one of the chains and played as if he caught it.
“Grandmother, what does mean my name?” I asked
My grandmother with her bright eyes, gave a deep sigh and said,
“My mother baptized Brigida because it means ‘Strength and Victory’ my sister almost died at birth, my mother said that my name Elba means ‘The one that comes from the mountains’ because it was there where my mother fell in love… your mother called you Alda because it means ‘The most beautiful’…”
“And why your cat called Blinky?” Asked Aunt Brigida.
I smiled with joy, hugged my kitten and answered,
“Called Blinky, because it’s a ‘flash’!”
We all smiled, while we finished decorating our pumpkins, my grandmother Elba drew a big smile on her pumpkin and I think it is because she likes to smile with laughter!
Aunt Brigida made a smile with many pointy teeth, it looked like a dragon’s smile, and I drew a smile with the cat’s fangs!
Then we put the candle inside and put it on the door of our house, illuminating the road on this special night… it is said to point the way to the flight of the witches and they give a knock at the door as thanks for…
That night, between songs, dances and a lot of delicious food, we enjoyed a lot -like every Halloween night- but that night was special for me, I did not feel more alone, oh yeah I had my good friend Blinky!
We have started a close friendship with Blinky, taking care of both of us and discovering new paths together, although if certain nights he likes to go through the corn field and get away for many hours away from home, is no more longer little now taken body and strength and I too!
My grandmother and aunty Brigida were weakened as we became stronger… “the cycle of life” said aunty Brigida was laughing and despite having more
than 300 years old… yes, they are Witches and me too!
This does not mean being demonic or diabolical… neither my beloved Blinky is for being black, I have learned that color does not make anyone evil… and neither am I.
Grandmother and aunty Brigida are not with me more -today they are 2 more stars in the Universe with my Mother- I am grateful to learn a lot from them and also from my dear cat Blinky… in Halloween nights, we continue with the tradition of making this special party, we like to sit at the door of the house to admire the stars and to say hello to the Witches who fly through others places… at my door I’m decorous with my lovely pumpkin.
The crows do not destroy the corn field or the apples no more.
Today Blinky has a company, one night return home with a kitten and from there she is part of the Family, they have given their kittens and all together they are a great group of affectionate cats at home.
I, too, have taken body of Woman and I think that when my time comes to form a Family and create children… I will give as “Lucky Charm” his black cat!
HAPPY NIGHT OF HALLOWEEN
.. BOO !!!