I chose a warm and comfortable corner at the broken-down old pub. But, it’s rather difficult for a cedar tree to fit on a stool that keeps trying to shake you off and at times rolls on the ground to get rid of you. “It’s difficult…” whispered a crabby old witch who had seven black cats on her shoulder sitting so close to each other that any onlooker may have mistaken them as one giant fur ball with ten green eyes. “Yea it’s difficult! Those stools beneath you are allergic to human negativity and are not very fond of a doubtful mind.” She said. I was startled. But, aren’t the wizards supposed to be above the distorting reality?
The witch looked thoughtful for a brief moment. By this time, my eyes had become accustomed to the dimly lit pub, and I noticed, all the cats on her shoulders looked thoughtful too. I have never seen a cat pondering over something before. “Lookie here Cedar, maybe… maybe you have been with humans with messy minds and evil tongues, you still carry that smell which those stools are confusing as yours.” That’s true, I smiled. I have been with all sorts of humans in the last few months and been to places where wizards are not supposed to be. Like… I hesitated for a moment looking at the strange glow in her eyes, as if she was keen and excited to know my whereabouts… so do the cats! “You see Cedar, I’m one from the dark arts department and sometimes I travel beyond the boundaries of the wizardry world to collect ingredients for my potions. You look like someone who can be trusted and to be particular I’m fond of trees with human smells all over them, she winked.” All the cats winked too! I was always cautious about witches, they master the art of riddles and half-truths, make us think the unthinkable by filling a sense of false security in our mind. They do these in stages.
It seems you are not very experienced of our kind, Cedar. The old witch had a friendly smile on her face. The cats looked amused too. Not all witches are like that, just like not every cedar you come across these days lets you pee on them. She burst out laughing. I was dumbfounded and embarrassed at the mention of this. That dog in the park… it was her! “I think… I will look around for a more comfortable and less annoyed seat.” She was laughing hysterically from the look of embarrassment on my face and the seven cats fell down from her shoulders like domino blocks. Her hand gesture seemed to have something to do with: wait up! Finally she managed to put the brakes on her laughter and after a few staggering breaths, she swallowed and heaved a sigh. Her eyes were filled with tears and just as she was catching her breath, she blew her nose into an old embroidered napkin and smiled.
“Don’t worry Cedar.” She made a face slightly chagrined. “Take my words, no more shenanigans.” She put up her fingers in a Girl Scout salute. “Oh how rude of me, I almost forgot to introduce you to my kitties, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.” At the mention of their names, the seven cats crawled up her leg and nestled in where it’s warm and cozy. It’s the best way to travel. “That’s a week you have there.” I smiled. “And wizards here know me as Madame Saucepan. I was given that name because of the way I would stick to a saucepan over low heat, my favorite game as a child.”