by Jourdan Cameron
I watched him every morning from the alley. He’d arrive in his suit,
coffee and half-eaten sandwich in hand, and leave the latter atop the
gray trash can that stood against the once-red brick wall. With no other
ritual or ceremony, he’d walk away every day, sun or rain.
Whenever he left, I’d come out from the shadows and be the first to grab
what he’d left behind. I had to be quick; opportunities in the city are
snatched up almost before they’re made. What’s it matter where it comes
from? A chance is a chance, especially when you’re a wanderer like me.
Besides, I liked to sit on the can when eating the sandwich. I got
some funny looks from passers-by, and parents would occasionally clutch
their inquisitive children a little closer, but the people leave me
alone. Just the way I like it. Speaking of things I enjoy, apparently
the fellow- the sandwich-leaver- he’s got a taste for ham. Every
morning, ham. It’s the best part of the sandwich in my opinion- I can’t
tire of the stuff.
After breakfast, I’d always roam the streets a little less hungry in
search of more. Folks took pity on me- if you saw me walking down the
street with my ragged gray coat and half-blind old eyes, surely you’d be
inclined to help me out a little, at least? At least a little. That’s
how I got by- a little from everybody.
One day, though, I got a little more.
The suited man passed by the can again and deposited his sandwich in
its usual spot. I crept out of the shadows and, as usual, enjoyed the
ham. I suppose you could say I’ve grown a little bolder with time- I
didn’t wait until the man was completely out of sight. I watched him
walking down the street, coffee in hand, to eventually disappear
through the thin, early morning crowd and past the buildings.
“Enjoying it?” I looked up, startled by the wheezy voice above me. The
man’s suit was wet, and a rather brown stain across his once-white shirt
told me that he’d somehow lost his coffee.
I eyed him suspiciously; in hindsight, I needn’t have.
With one big gesture, he swept me off my feet. I hadn’t the will to
resist. He took me to his apartment- I no longer have to depend on the
pity of others. Some nights, I get to sleep with him- he keeps me fed,
warm, and dry. I don’t have a care in the world, except him.
He’s even given me a name: Coffee, the Cat.
I originally posted this story here on Reddit. My inspiration for the character's voice was taken from a Makoto Shinkai short,