Our Catty Lady of Enmity

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Literature Text

I had traveled all the godforsaken deserts of the Middle East trying to find a place of respite and peace, but to no avail; I was a foreigner in these lands, and none would have me for very long before I was driven out. It seemed as if dogs were treated better than outsiders, better than strange women wandering the desert, as I was. They must have thought me a witch, as is so often thought of strongly independent members of my sex. Why couldn't I have been born a man? Or better yet, a god – a goddess even! I could not help the circumstances of my birth, and felt resentful that it would be held against me. If only I had the power to command respect, but one lone woman cannot stand against the prejudice of the mob.

Eventually, my travels led me to the outskirts of Egypt. Here the land was ruled by animal headed gods, and the people's reverence for them was great. They dared not cross the gods, lest they bring ruin. Even the most harmless looking animals could be the gods in disguise, and so great care was kept to treat them with respect. At least these people feared something, though whether I would receive any greater hospitality here remained to be seen.

During the night I came upon a dusky colored wild cat sitting in the middle of the road staring at me, as if questioning why I was there. I knelt to reach out to the creature, only to have it turn and trot off in the direction of the moon. I found it strange that it had not merely bolted, and as I focused on the horizon I noticed something – though what, I couldn't say. The cat was heading towards it, and something against all better judgment possessed me to follow it. Into view came an oasis, and so I decided to stop there and refresh my supplies of water from it. Upon reaching the water's edge, I noticed several cats sitting next to the palms that lined this place. They all looked at me intently with eyes glowing in the moonlight. I thought nothing of it and started to fill my skins with water.

Upon completing my task, I took a a few sips of water from the pool and looked beside me, the cat from earlier sitting there with the same look as before. I reached again to pet the creature, this time it did not retreat and in fact purred at my touch. When I went to withdraw my hand however the creature snapped and bit me. I held my wounded hand and hissed and stomped at the creature angrily, trying to make it run. It did not. I looked at the hand, several gashes bled crimson blood. I sucked at it and eyed the creature with contempt, though it seemed unmoved by my gaze. After a short time however I started to feel ill, and I broke my gaze to lay down and stare up at the disc of the full moon. There was a period of time where I felt disconnected and barely conscious, half asleep. I couldn't feel my body as the soft glow of the moon radiated down upon me. Then strangely I snapped back, feeling ill no longer.

I went to look at the cats once more, and to my horror all I saw were silhouettes of vaguely human shape and stature, and yet they had pointed ears upon their heads. Trying to yell in shock, only a yowl came forth from my mouth. I leapt up and looked all around me, surrounded by these creatures. I tried to speak again and only this time did I fully comprehend that my voice had changed. I looked down at the pool and saw only a cat staring back at me.

"You have your wish," they all intoned in a singular telepathic voice.

"I... I do..."

And soon my reign as goddess would begin. I would at last be respected – and feared.
A short thing I did, involving deserts, cats, and a spiteful lady.
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