‘Nautical Cat’

I’m taking part in Write Now! blog event, writing a short story based on their prompt.

She had never seen so many cats in one place in her life.

Around two dozens of them lived around these rubbish bins, tom cats sitting proudly on top, females relaxing in the shade and kittens playing all over the place. Those were not your usual rubbish bins, they were bins with a view – sea view. Placed there for the owners of villas and apartments in this seaside compound, they were located just off the main promenade, under acacia trees, less then 50 meters away from a rocky shore.

The cats knew that they were born into the world of dumpster luxury and behaved accordingly. They did not really need to dive into rubbish to find something to eat. Local residents brought them food and all the tasty leftovers, all ready to eat, no digging required. Not too much extra movement either – who wants to exercise in mid-summer heat?

There were several other streets in this compound, running parallel to the sea, one higher up the mountain than the other. Those streets had their own rubbish bins and their own feline inhabitants, who were similarly spoilt with food. But they had no sea view – and that matters in this life, doesn’t it?

No matter how regally important all those cats were, there was one tom cat that ruled them all. Nautical cat. Cat of the sea. Feline captain. He was old, wise and covered with scars. He was regarding everyone (by everyone I do not mean just cats) with such superiority that you would realise straight away who’s the boss on this embankment.

He got his nickname, nautical cat, after a trip he ones took with local guys, working in boat rentals. He enjoyed a boat ride in good company, but something came up (obviously, important cat business), so he had to cut it short and just jumped overboard. He did not have to swim too far and managed that with grace. Following that incident, he has been known to take occasional dip in the sea.

Such antiques earned him highest respect of local fishermen, who now supplied him with fresh fish, and all the local residents. Other cats preferred not to cross paths with him, probably, thinking that if a cat’s not scared of the sea, it’s not scared of anything. The nautical cat just ignored them, sunbathing on a wooden pier after a short swim in warm emerald water. Life was good.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Paulo Coelho

Colleen posted Paulo Coelho’s quote on her Writer’s Quote Wednesday blog event this week. As it happens, Alchemist is one of my favourite books, so I’m submitting a quote by Paulo Coelho from Alchemist:

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ― Mark Twain (1)

Dreaming and planning for the future – this is what makes us get up in the morning and keep going forward, isn’t it?

Visit Colleen’s blog event to share your favourite quotes!

4. Day-dreaming and its effect on tracking abilities

I have no sense of direction. Never had and don’t have any illusions of acquiring it in the future. During my first days in London, we decided to go and explore our new neighbourhood with my roommate. Our plan was pretty simple – get out of Regents Park straight onto Baker Street. Walk down the road and get back before getting lost. The plan worked well until we decided to turn right and look around a cute little square. 100 meters off, we got lost and panicked. Thank God, that we have GPS and Google Maps nowadays – I can easily pass for a seasoned traveller with their help.

A few weeks into our stay with the host family, we got introduced to one of their other sons. While the youngest one was like a cuddly IT teddy bear, his older brother was someone who caught attention of two teenage girls from the very beginning. After a chat with his family and, of course, tea, it was time for him to go and for us to sulk about such a brief meeting, when his mother suggested that he shows us how to walk from Chalk Farm to Regents Park’s Inner Circle, so we could walk to our classes instead of always taking a bus. She was the kindest woman, who instantly earned our gratitude.

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Mark Twain

Ronovan, link up’s host at Silver Threading, chose a quote by Mark Twain this week and as I really love this author, I thought it would be nice to continue this theme with another Twain’s quote:

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” ― Mark Twain

Sometimes, I choose to travel to a different country, sometimes to a realm of elves far far away – either way, books let me travel even when I’m at home.

Check out other wonderful quotes on Writer’s Quote Wednesday link up at Silver Threading.

3. Goths, canals and an Irish Princess

As neither my new roommate nor I lived in London before, we had no idea about Camden. Imagine two clueless teenagers emerging from a tube station and diving right into that psychedelic parallel dimension. Multicoloured shops selling multicoloured things; I’m saying ‘things’, because I had no idea what some of those were. I was probably too busy staring at a giant boot sticking out from a building’s facade, so I did not notice when the crowd parted and gave way to a guy all in black leather and metallic spikes. After bumping right into that gothic novel character, part of me was in shock and another part wanted to ask where he bought those amazing bracelets.

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2. “Welcome to London, love”

On my flight from Kiev to London I was joined by another 17 year old destined to achieve academic heights in a far away land. Dana also just graduated from school, was enrolled on the same Business English course and set to live in the same hall of residence. I’ve never met her before, but all those arrangements were made through the same company, planning education abroad, and they thought it would help us get used to the new place, if we become friends.

“Thank God, I’m out!”, were Dana’s first words as we said good bye to my dad and her mom in the airport. “Finally, I can do whatever I want, without listening to all that nagging! And I could use some change of scenery, for sure”. That sentiment required a cup of coffee and a cigarette as soon as we were through the passport control. Within the next couple of hours we managed to get to know each other a little and I starting having a hint of a doubt rising inside me, whether we would indeed just hit it off and be best mates, sharing a room and all. To say we were different would be to put it mildly. We were quite the opposites.

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1. Off we go.

“If you want a child to learn how to swim, throw him in the water. If you want a child to learn how to live, send him away.” This was one of my father’s most favourite sayings. I guess, I’ve got to feel lucky that that wasn’t the approach he took while teaching me to swim. However, the second part was implemented just as promised. At 17, shortly after graduating from high school, I was sent to London to study. This is how my journey begun, from a Ukrainian town to one of the world’s largest cities, from a confused adolescent to finally finding my own two feet.

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