My cat brings me gravel. He picks it up from the drive just outside and brings it to the kitchen. His catches tinkle as they are dropped on the tiles and my cat looks up and smiles.
He is pleased to offer me such a grand present, I can tell. Each droplet of gravel he brings me is a soft shade of grey, cream, or brown. Tiny on the floor but large in his mouth.
I have learned to do a morning scan for these prizes left on my floor. Too many times have I been rudely dragged from my sleepy morning state to sharp pieces of rock cutting through the tough skin on my feet. Waking up is hard enough without an injury to accompany it.
My fellow cat owners offer me their traumatic stories of poor dead (or worse, dying) creatures that their predators bring them. They say my cat will soon be doing the same. It is their nature.
I’m not so sure. My cat is older now and much more agile than the silly kitten I first brought home. Yet, no poor defenceless mouse has been dropped to my kitchen tiles. Just the gravel. Everyday.
Maybe my cat, like me, enjoys the home comforts. Why go further when he can bring me perfect little gifts just from the drive?
We curl up in front of the T.V. together with the heating on. Occasionally, my cat will stand to stretch every vertebra in his back, and it inspires me to do the same. A click often accompanies as I do so, it creates space for comfort.
My cat will get up unannounced and leap out of the cat flap with a flick of his thin white tail. I am left with a warm spot at the end of the sofa to stretch my toes into.
I will often sit and watch and wait until he returns with cheeks full like a hamster. My cat will walk proudly past me and make his way into the kitchen and I hear the tinkling of the gravel on my tiles again.
The ringing is my summon so I quickly attend. There, lying on his side, is my silly cat, batting gravel from one paw to another. His gifts.
George White is a Creative Writing graduate from the north of England. She enjoys writing flash fiction but she also dabbles in ekphrastic and dystopian fiction. She splits her time between writing creatively and writing blog posts about what has caught her eye in the media.