A busty lady in a white polo shirt and black cargo pants poked me on the shoulder. I took her image in. She had long brown wavy hair, Cat Eye framed glasses, and a nametag covering the breast pocket. “KATHY” the name tag read. Underneath was a small subtitle, in print, reading, “My spirit animal is…” then in felt, “Lion”. I stopped laughing to collect myself and focus my attention.
“Why, what a pleasure to meet you, Kathy. You look just like my mom.”
Kathy’s eyes flexed at the remark and the corner of her lip rose in a sort of confused-type expression. Her mouth gaped open. I carried on.
“So, here we are. No denying it now, Kathy.” I said her name louder, emphasizing each syllable. “When can I expect my money?” I let out another deep laugh.
“Sir. I’m going to ask you to please stop. We’re both here now, you can see there are two lions in this enclosure.”
Meanwhile the dopey grey cat skulked around in the grass.
“And if you continue like this then I’m going to have to call security.”
I was shocked at the blatant ignorance and wilful lies emanating from Kathy.
“WHAT LION?” I yelled.
A crowd of onlookers began to circle around our ensuing altercation while the cat paced back and forth in the den. Kathy stepped back and pulled a remote walkie from her belt.
“104 to 205. Please come to the lion’s den. Yea, disruptive guest.”
“I can hear you, you hag! That’s a stupid cat in there, not a lion! How many times do I have to tell you?!”
Saliva sprayed from my mouth as I spoke while sweat dripped from my head down the sides of my cheeks. My face hot; hands cold. Several people stole glances, wondering what to make of the situation. In the chaos, some crowded around me, others around Kathy, as if they were taking sides, believers vs. detractors. In the distance, three men with shiny black caps ran towards us. I looked at Kathy who appeared to be saying something but all I could hear was buzzing. I spun around and looked at the den, the cat stood closer than ever, its sharp blue eyes were overpowering. I spun around again; the men drew closer. A boulder, half inside the enclosure, half out, caught my gaze between the crowds. I sprinted towards it in a fury, scaling the rock before leaping over the viewing wall. My fingers grasped the smooth edge and I forced myself up, hauling my body over. I straddled the top, looking down at astounded faces. The security guards screamed, as did several others amidst the drama, but all their words melded together in one unintelligible howl. I leaped down and grabbed the cat by the nape of the neck. It had coarse, thick fur and smelled like garbage. It was much, much heavier than I anticipated, so much that I couldn’t lift it.
“See, just a plain old, silly-looking cat!” I yelled at the mass amounts of people through the glass. Ghostly white faces. I was finally getting through to them. I took another look at the cat. It’s eyes. Azure; like the ocean, or a cloudless sky. As I peered into the universe they held, the blueness dissipated, and in its place a yellowish hue shone.