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Night falls on the shore of the lake. With the inky colors settling down is the restless air.

The cat looked out and saw silver dust dancing on the water waves with starlight.

So beautiful. The cat loves the night color here.

The cat is the cat of the pet store.

The pet store is in a small park around the lake, and outside the park are towns and homes.

The cat knows that this is not a real home. Probably, on some unusual day, he will be sold to someone like the other pets here – if someone wants him.

Not to mention the customers, even the owner’s wife doesn’t like him. He was too skinny for a four-month-old cat, and his black fur and green eyes gave him a spooky air. Even at the most tender and delightful age for a cat, there was not a trace of cuteness to be found in him.

Cats are sad at first. Cats are cats, and even if they become more solitary later, somewhere inside they long to be liked. Only later, the cat began to despise this sadness, and then later indifferent. Or rather, he thought he was indifferent.

The cat does not like the daylight here. The sound of hawking, the clink of money …… the sun is bright and burning, the air is like a huge soap bubble, swelling, expanding, so hot it’s about to burst.

But the night is different.

When the night replaces the day, he seems to see the wire that imprisons his cage dissolving one by one, dissolving into the infinite night.

The night opens up a wide world for him, allowing his soul to roam freely.

There is another secret that cannot be told. As the pale cold moonlight of the winter night spilled over the earth, he looked at a dark figure strolling across the lake on the towering spires of buildings. Once, twice, three times …… the dark shadow’s green eyes shone into his deepest dreams.

Was it a wildcat?

He had never been so jealous of the freedom they were born with.

The end of winter meant that the off-season was over and the warming air smelled of rejoicing.

If there was anything that made the boss’s wife happier than the warm weather, it was probably the sale of the store’s black cats.

The owner’s wife had often heard people say that such thin and black cats were unlucky and were the bane of business. Besides, somehow, every time I saw this cat, some unpleasant memories always surfaced. As for what kind of memories, even she, a long-winded person, did not mention it to anyone.

So, when the girl in the beanie looked at the cat, she didn’t hesitate to take it off, even though the girl didn’t have enough money with her.

II

The new life was the brightest day in the sun. For the first time in its life, the cat began to truly understand the meaning of the word “happiness”.

Happy is the spring vines climbing summer windows, the sun-baked lawn has a crispy taste; the sky is bluer than a dream, the clouds follow the birds ……

The first thing you need to do is to take a nap under a short bush decorated with wildflowers. For a long and short day, he had most of the time at his disposal.

But pleasure often breeds new pain: when everything settles down from the surface, the deepest longing crosses the budding stage and is about to burst forth.

Freedom had never been so close to him, just by spreading his four legs.

His new home was far from the lake, and it had been a long time since he had seen the shadow wildcat that prowled the roof.

Countless nagging nights, countless times he wanted to escape but could never make up his mind – especially when the girl crouched down and looked up at him with gentle brown eyes. She was smiling. It was a smile that belonged only to her, as if to say: with me, from now on you are not alone in this world.

He couldn’t go away, it was ungrateful just to have that thought. The girl was the first person who liked him and took care of him like that. If she left like this, she would be very sad, right …… the girl’s face with tears hanging from the corners of her eyes and anxiously searching appeared in his mind, and the cat’s heart gripped into a ball because of the sin.

But what if it doesn’t go …… he doesn’t want to think about it.

Freedom is like a drug, the more you taste it the more addictive it becomes, the more you crave it, the less you feel.

The reason for this is that it is worse than being stagnant in place, because time will help you make passive choices, and in the process, you will not be comfortable for a moment. You have to lose something, that’s how the world works. If you want one thing, you have to trade it for another, just like buying and selling, and there is some injustice in fairness.

He had to go. Finally, one day, the cat crossed his heart.

There was a mound at the eastern most edge of town, and the mound was covered with lush vine plants. It is now close at hand and looks even shorter than in the past.

After the mound, it no longer belongs here. The cat thought, and unconsciously slowed down his pace.

The moonlight poured down from the branches of the trees, and a white figure appeared high up ahead.

Another cat. He tiptoed over, but ended up disturbing the pious moonwatcher.

The white cat looked back, and the moonlight gilded her circumference with a silvery circle of light.

She looked at him and smiled.

Her eyes were steeped in the stars of the entire summer night. It was a blue he had never seen before, and if he had to compare it to anything, he would use the sea, which he had also never seen before.

At that moment, there was silence in all directions, his world was pulled by an irresistible force to the sky, up and down, sinking, falling …… into the deepest part of the rainbow-colored stream, but still able to breathe and swim freely ……

That night, back in the house, a thought that surprised the cat himself came to his mind.

He didn’t want to escape so much.

The air was filled with the fragrance of flowers on the sweetest of midsummer nights. A wedding was held in the town. Colored flowers rose one after another from behind the grove, lighting up the summer night with a burst of brilliance.

As on many nights in the past, they sat side by side on the knoll.

The cat likes to listen to the white cat tell her life, trivial, about the weird elves she sees from the stars and the moon.

Maybe one day the master will take us to the beach, a place with four seasons …… Her voice was soft and gentle, and the fireworks blooming in the distance were reflected in her eyes, serene and tranquil. He seemed to see the wet beach, a few kittens playing and playing, stepping out of a series of deep and shallow paw prints ……

Yes, what’s wrong with such a day? A lifetime of living in a small town with a kind owner and the cats he loves. Maybe one day the owner will take them to see the sea, a place where the seasons are like spring ……

The cat must be given away. The mother repeated the words again in her head and paced the house again. This is what the doctor said.

It wasn’t that she didn’t like the cat. To say that she didn’t like it …… did startle her the first day it came in. The cat was skinny and small when it first came in, its skin was close to the bone, its body was dark, and its big green eyes were surprisingly bright. If it hadn’t softly purred like a normal kitten, she would have been worried that it was some kind of ancient spirit that had escaped from the old folks’ stories. She asked her daughter, half reproachfully, why she had picked this guy, and she said the cat could understand her.

But that was six months ago. The cat soon grew to normal size after it came to their house, and its fur had a shine. It brought a lot of laughter to the daughter, and the mother saw it as part of the family, and when she went to the market, she would look out for the small fish and shrimp she liked to eat.

This cat is actually quite beautiful after it grows up. She was a bit reluctant to let go. But she soon remembered her daughter’s red, burning face.

That night, outside the small ward, she watched anxiously all night. Finally, when the sky was white, the doctor came out and told her that her daughter was out of life threatening condition.

She would be kept in the hospital for a few days for observation. The doctor said. Try to minimize contact with animals and plush in the future.

Send the cat away while her daughter is still …… mother made up her mind. Tomorrow buy her some more things that little girls like. She will soon forget about the cat.

III

The memory after that was broken. Broken, broken, shattered …… torn.

The cage, the sky, the cage, the roof …… someone smashed the window of the world, the pieces came at him, he ducked, the pieces turned into liquid, flowing up like a mirror, reflecting all kinds of colors, dazzling, dazzling, light ……

Tossed around a lot of places, and finally the world settled in this red house.

There are cruel children in the red house, the faces of angels, the faces of devils. There is a fishy and salty smell, smelling the internal organs shrink straight into a ball.

This time with what? The boy asked. Paper cutter?

First, drag it out from underneath and grab the tail. His companion suggested.

The cat thought of the girl. Why is there more difference between a child and a child than between a man and a cat? No memories of the past. He told himself. Don’t think about it. The past is gone, like a rope snapped in two.

The cat heard a very sharp and noisy sound until something was cut, and then there was no sound at all.

From one day the time stopped moving, the brass-colored pendulum clock did not move. There used to be children throwing stones at the park lake. The stones fell into the water, one after another, around the cycle of not going away, and finally sank out of sight.

Once, he woke up and found an extra white rabbit next to him.

White. White, soft white. The same color as her fur. The cat thought.

A couple of kids came over giggling, one of them holding a red and green syringe, but this time it wasn’t for him –

The White Rabbit! What are they doing to the white rabbit?

Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop! The cat screamed, but no sound came out. After that he fell asleep again, and he didn’t know why he fell asleep. When he woke up again, the white rabbit was gone.

The red house was filled with children, his accomplice friends, his doting mother, and a big, vicious dog.

Sharp teeth, the size of a monster, approaching him step by step, with a muddy purring sound in his throat and a pair of red eyes fixed on him with a deadly stare. The cat thought of the sunset, a scarlet sunset that spread across the entire sky.

The cat knew the dog hated him. Yes, it was no wonder …… that he had invaded its territory. Before he came, this red cage belonged to it alone.

The cat wanted to laugh. The same place, one desperately trying to escape, the other chose to guard it closely.

The red siding peeled off the house like fingers, curling, rotting, crumbling into pieces, from the inside. He closed his eyes and opened them again, only to find that nothing had moved. The chandelier is still a gorgeous golden yellow.

Day after day. Piercing his deepest dreams.

Death whispers in his ear, beckoning him from the other side of the peace. That’s when another shadow broke in, forcing open his tightly closed eyes.

Resist. It said.

He did see it. Through the slit in the loft’s cramped window, he saw the black shadow walking on the opposite roof, its green eyes looking straight into his deepest dreams.

Wildcat.

Come to me. It said.

The boy came to him. It was the same face. The Creator had given him the most exquisite face, the face of the devil, the face of an angel.

Let’s play some games today, shall we? The boy’s smile said. He cocked his head as if the weight of half the house was on him, his neck drawn thin, the corners of his mouth grinning straight down to his ears.

The cat arched its back, its hair falling back dangerously. A light stirred behind the curtain. The air’s static dust turned into panicked bugs.

The boy lifted his hand-

The light was instantly cut off and the pain all came to life. The cat felt something break out of its shell.

He peels away from the fear. Fear peeled him away into something else that filled him.

For the first time, he wasn’t afraid at all.

The cat went mad –

Scissors and rope snapped to the floor.

The boy was screaming.

Beads of blood ooze out of the wound, red and long.

The boy’s mother ran over to him, mouth wide open, both lips painted a bright, brilliant rosy red. Earrings and necklaces swing into midair, each bead screaming.

It grabbed me–

The boy cried hysterically. The painted wall sconces shattered.

Somebody! Somebody! The mother screams. Arrest it! Arrest the little beast!

What’s the dig? The old mother peeks halfway out of the kitchen with deaf ears.

Kill it, Mom, I want you to kill it – the boy yelled.

The cat had never seen so many colors. How absurd.

Brooms, chairs, sticks …… duck and dodge …… but the house is so big, where else can I run?

What else? What else? The floor is caving in underfoot, the walls are crumbling beside you – the red house is being dismembered.

Hanging in the air.

He was picked up by the back of his neck, the tips of his fingernails poking him in pain.

Deep eye sockets, thick eyebrows. The boy’s mother.

Resistance. It says.

Resist. The cat looked her straight in the eye.

Anger? Disgust? Hate? He thought he would see it.

Neither. What he saw in her eyes at that moment was only fear and panic.

So people can be afraid.

Time stopped for a second, then moved again, and with a combination of sharp curses, he was thrown out the window.

Resist. It said.

Yes, resist.

Finally, he was free.

On the dirty, crumbling street corner, the cat looked up. Trapped in that big house, he hadn’t seen the full sky outside in a long time.

A drop of rain hit his nose.

It was cold. So cold. So cold. The sky was greenish gray. I don’t know when it’s winter in the four corners of the world.

Four

The rain was getting heavier and heavier, and it was already dark.

The winter rain was so cold and piercing that it swam like fine needles into every wound on his body, hurting like a fire. So, ice and fire can be symbiotic, he thought, how strange.

How many days has this been since he escaped? The second day, the third day, or …… the fifth day? He didn’t know.

How many fights did he have with stray dogs and cats over food and sleeping places during this period? How many wounds were left? He does not remember.

It’s almost here. A voice said to him.

But I can’t walk anymore. He said. Why do you want to come here?

You know the answer. The voice said. Hang on, we’re almost there.

Turning the corner, the familiar building loomed before him.

The night was as dark as ink, but he could see every detail of her. The years have etched scars on her yellowing white body, and each one is so beautiful.

Then, he saw it! The green-eyed wildcat – the dark figure, the ghost that had called to him countless times in waking or chaotic sleep – was standing at the moment on the highest spire of the building, looking down at him.

For a moment, a strange power infused his body, a powerful tremor like lightning.

He climbed upward, jumping between the cracks of the night, as nimble as a newborn. The rough stone wall became smooth, the smooth stone wall became rough. The pain no longer became a nuisance, but turned into a sharp, bright joy that urged him forward, up, forward ……

Finally, he came to that highest place. It was a sight he had dreamed of countless times.

There was nothing at the top of the spire. There were no wildcats, and there were no dark shadows.

But it didn’t matter. For, at the moment, the whole town was at his feet.

He stood on the spire like a king and let the wind and rain rage. A lightning bolt ripped through the sky, followed by a thunderous roar. The eyes were green like jewels, shooting out an eerie light.

Through the haze of rain, he saw the scattered lights on the other side of the lake, the rolling hills, the town houses creeping beneath his feet like toy blocks ……

It was so quiet. Only the sound of rain, wind, thunder, the winter night, the world and him remained.

Suddenly, the strange force drew away from him, as unsuspected and unexpected as it had come, as if the closing canopy had never been split by lightning. He went limp, slipped under his paws, and was greeted with an unexpected fall.

What to be afraid of? Cats have nine lives. What’s more, he is a cat and knows what to do ……

But the moment he touched the ground, he had never been in such pain, as if the wounds all over his body were split open, like a snake hissing outward.

He supported his bruised body and used the last of his strength to stand up.

It was the last time. He thought, he no longer have the strength.

Without waiting for a moment to catch his breath, a sudden burst of yellow-white light stung his eyes.

It was the headlights.

It was too late. Between the bright beams, millions of raindrops suddenly emerged in golden form, so bright and dazzling, so cruelly pure in beauty, that they reminded him of fireworks blooming on a summer knoll ……

This is the day. The daylight in the darkness of the night. He thought. The past was flying before his eyes.

A sharp honking sounded, a huge black shadow pressed in on him, and his world had never been brighter.

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