I wake up and know something is different from the start. My door has not been opened, and I take a sniff. A new smell comes to me and I sit up.
A female human is sitting near my cage, and she has her head bent over something I cannot see, for her back is turned away from me. I stalk over to her and sniff a bit more. She has a familiar scent, but I cannot place it. I hiss.
She turns towards me quickly, and I'm sure I surprised her. She then says something in human, which I had begun to understand a while back.
"Oh, cat," she says, and her voice is not surprised as her face was a moment ago. "I did not know you were awake."
I look at her in the eyes, and she smiles without showing her human teeth, (which I find oddly dull and not sharp at all, for don't humans eat meat?). The corner of her eyes crinkle when she smiles, and I tilt my head to one side, confused.
"Oh cat," she says again, for I cannot tell her my true name, she would not hear me. "I wish I could be your new friend, so I might know you better, maybe I can take you home, where you belong."
I glance at her from the corner of my eyes, what was the "Home" she was talking about? And why would I belong there? I should belong in my green place, but this human says otherwise. I plunker down next to the bars and stare at her.
"Oh cat," She says again. "Don't you want to go back home? So you can be free?"
I stiffen at the word 'free' and I get up to come closer to her, wanting to know of 'free'. She does not back away, as all the other humans do, but it seems she actually inches forward to me I rub against the bars and look at her, daring her to come closer.
I'm shocked to no end when she puts her hand to the bars and smiles. I stand there for a moment in my shock, and then I shake it off. I go slowly over to her hand and I sniff it. It smells good... An odd good. I put my nose up to her hand, but she does not flinch or pull her arm back. I take a deep breath in and keep her scent for a minute, and the I let it out. I realize what her scent is. Grass. Green, green grass. And flowers, the smell of my green place. I push my head into her hand and I make a low, non-threatening growl, and she rubs her hand on my muzzle.
"Oh cat," She say once more. "You do not belong here, I'm going to take you home, where you do belong. we are going tomorrow."
Now, I don't think in time as humans do, but I do know what tomorrow means. I pulled back slightly and looked at her. She smiled, a bit different this time... Almost sad... (Yes, I do know what humans feel, for all beings feel emotions). She stands up and looks at me again.
"Cat," She calls me. "I wish I knew what to call you... Such a thing as beautiful as you should have a name."
She turns away and gathers her stuff, and then walks to the human door. she opens it. As she takes a step, I think of my name, my true name that this odd, but sweet human will never know.
My name is Eros... That is my name... I almost wish you knew...
She stops in her step and looks at me strangely, her eyes wide and her small mouth slightly open. She closes her mouth, then opens it again. She lets her hand fall from where it had rested on the door.
"Eros?" She asks. I look at her with wide eyes, my thoughts spinning. "You wish for me to know that your name is Eros? How did you do that?"
I back away and shake myself. I look back up to her, but all I see is an empty doorway, and I hear her footsteps falling fast and they are fading. She has run from me. I think back to when she said my name, "Eros", I shiver, and my ears lie flat.
I sit against the bars, watching the doorway, waiting to see if she comes back...
I wait there the rest of the day, I dare not move. She never comes back, and I fall asleep.
I woke to the sound of the human door being opened, and I see her come in. She comes toward me, without wariness.
"Eros?" She asks. I look her in the eye. "You understand me, right?"
I am startled at her question. Do I understand her? Well, yes... But... I nod my head slowly. She smiles slightly.
"Can you tell me where you're from?" She asks. I squint at this question, but I tilt my head to one side.
The green place... I belong in the green place. That is where I am from.
She smiles a bit more, and she takes a key out of her pocket. She walks over to the door to my cage and stops to look at me.
"If I let you out, will you hurt me?" She asks me as she puts the key in the lock. (Yes, I know of locks, for I am an unusual cat, remember?)
I shake me head. No, I will not hurt you, I will thank you.
I walk over to her and she opens the door. She moves to the side, and I saunter out. I stretch and look at her. I go over to her and I sniff at her legs. She puts a small hand on my shoulders and I shudder slightly at her touch. I've never had a human touch me with a gentle hand.
"Eros," She says my name, and I butt my head on her leg. "Do you want to go home?"
I look up at her. I growl low and swish my tail. I do not know what this "Home" is. And, I do not know your name, as you do mine.
She smiles and then frowns at the first part of my answer.
"My name is Sarah," She tells me. "Home is your green place. You belong there."
So, the green place is called Home? I ask.
"Well," she starts. "It is Home for you, but it isn't home for every one."
I look at her quizzically, I don't understand.
Then they are many places called Home? Or is there just one Home?
She smiles at that. I begin to like her smile.
"It is a bit hard to explain," She says. "When you call someplace Home, that is the place you belong to. Like my Home is a house near you Home, I belong at that house, and that is why I call it Home."
I nod and sit down. I know what a house is. It's a large cage with many rooms, right? I think I get what you mean. My Home is the green place, because that is where I belong. Your Home is your house, because that is where you belong. Can two beings belong to the same Home? I ask. Can one being belong to two Homes?
"Yes, to both questions," She answers. "Many things belong in your Home. And your Home is actually called a forest, or a jungle. At least, thats what humans call it."
Oh, you mean like the birds? Like the flowers and trees and rivers? Like the moss covered ground, and the monkeys that swing in the trees and make loud noises? My Home is there Home also?
"Yes," She answers me. She is about to say something, but there is someone coming towards the door.
"Oh! Quick," She pushes me slightly back into my cage. "They would not like me having you out. I would get in trouble, and I would not be able to take you back Home..."
I understand and step inside my cage. She locks the door behind me and sits on a chair away from my cage and picks her notebook up. She pretends to be writing, (Yes, I know of that, too). I hear the door open, and a man comes in. He is the boss of the people who feed me. I glare at him. He looks to Sarah.
"Ms.Pern, are you and the animal ready?" He asks her in a annoyed tone. I dislike this man.
Sarah looks up and smiles slightly, but not like she smiles for me. This one seems fake and not wanting to be made.
"Yes, yes," She waves her hand that is holding a pen. "Just bring the truck around, and there will be no need of tranquilizing him. He will behave, he doesn't seem the type to make a fuss of being moved."
I look to her and inwardly grin. I make a low growl and brush my body across the bars. The man looks to me and shakes his head.
"It's like he knows what is going on," He says. "Crazy, isn't it?"
Sarah laughs, and it is the prettiest sound I've ever heard before.
"Well, he's going home, isn't he?" She says to the man.
"Yeah, I guess..." He says. "I guess I'll go get the truck now. It'll be about five or ten minutes, okay?"
Sarah nods her head and makes a acknowledging sound to him, and he leaves.
She looks to me and smiles a real smile for me. I swish my tail in delight.
"Are you ready to go Home?" She asks, and she stands up. "Eros? Beautiful, mysterious, magical Eros..."
I purr for a human, for the first time in my life, I purr.
I am ready, sweet, odd, human Sarah. I am ready to go Home.