“Plop,” goes my coin in the wishing well. I am not the type of girl who believes in such corny beliefs, but when life tests your patience, you just don’t leave any stone unturned. It’s like the whole world has only one flavour of ice cream everywhere. Your taste buds are craving for something new, something different, but there’s the same thing, the same routine you follow every day.
As I turn around to walk back home and call it a day, a black cat crosses my path. I can only hope something bad doesn’t happen to me. Anyhow, this cat probably leads a more interesting life than I do. No responsibilities, no pressure — just hunt for food and you’re good to go. I take another coin and throw it in the water only to wish I was a cat. Just like the thousands of other wishes, this will go to waste as well.
The next morning, I wake up with painful scratches on my forehead. As I open my eyes, I witness how I have furry black paws instead of arms, hands, and fingers. I rush to the mirror, only to find my 876th wish of becoming a cat just came true. What went wrong with the 875th or 874th wish, I can’t fathom. Maybe life will become easier now.
As all these thoughts race my mind I decide to grab the breakfast that has already been prepared by my roommate by now. The peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches seem to look even more enticing today, now that I am a cat. As I gobble down my food, I realise it tastes disgusting. In one go, I throw up everything. So even my appetite works like a cat’s now. Unable to bear the hunger any longer, I get out to hunt for some cat food.
If crossing roads as a human was tough, then you should be a cat and try. It is practically suicide, because nobody cares whether you live or not. Even when I am merely running around, I can feel brown old women giving me looks, as if I am a bad omen. If only looks could kill, I’d be dead meat ready to be munched on by vultures. After roaming around for hours, all I can find to satisfy my appetite are dead worms that my cat self doesn’t seem to mind. Now I can roam around freely all day.
As a cat, my sense of smell is much stronger, I can almost sense being followed. I climb up the nearest tree to find a fleet of stray dogs eyeing me like babies eye candy in a store. I wait for them to leave but they don’t even move an inch. This is when I start missing my human self desperately. Only if I could go to the well and wish to revert to my human self again. But hunting for food is so difficult I can’t even imagine how bad hunting for a coin would be.
When daylight is gone, I slowly get down from the tree, find my way back home, and send a silent prayer to God to make me human again. This time around, I will value life and not take my blessings for granted. Sometimes, you have to create your own flavour of ice cream if there is none you like.
The next morning the second I open my eyes I know I am back to my human self, because even the 10-year old painting on the wall opposite to my bed looks vibrant with colours.
Tayeba is a realist by the day, dreamer by night.