Her and the Cat

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Characters

LADY 1: A middle-aged woman with graying hair. She is corpulent and looks tired. She used to be a looker in her younger days. You could tell that by her twinkling, honey colored eyes. She is the wife of a decent and wealthy man. Yet, she never stops complaining.

LADY 2: An elderly widow with a small and thin figure. The Police had caught her husband smuggling money. They had taken him to the jail, but he committed suicide before being presented for a trial. He could not bear to see his reputation go to pieces. His widow became a snob afterwards. She denounces every person who dared to challenge the societal norms.

HER: A woman in her late thirties, she is not much to look at but has a cheerful demeanor. She is the spinster of the neighborhood. People are always criticizing her for her odd behavior because she is always happy. The society does not accept her. A unsuccessful person has no right to laugh without constraint.

THE CAT: A thin black cat


Scene I

Setting: Two women sitting in a lavishly decorated drawing room. The table in front of them is laden with delicious food items. The hostess is indifferent to the food. However, the other lady keeps helping herself, trying one item after the other. They are busy talking —

Lady 1: She keeps moving her fingers in her brown curls. She has a habit of batting her eyelashes after every sentence she speaks —

“So I was saying to dear husband last night we should change the entire designing of our house. I think it direly needs makeover. He never listens though. He is a miser if you ask me and yet I love him.”

She bats her eyelashes.

LADY 2 stuffs a pastry in her mouth and gulps it down with a cup of tea.

“Dear God! That is awful business. Does he not know one must keep up appearances?”

She shakes her head in disgust.

Lady 1“That is not his fault, you see. In fact, I only blame myself and my stars since nothing ever goes well with me.”

Lady 2“That must be the fruits of your elopement. You know what I say? Abide by the eternal rules of society and you will be fine.”

LADY 1 stares at her rude friend.

“Or else you might end up in the prison house, swinging with a rope, right?”

LADY 2 opens mouth to retort but stops as something outside the window catches her attention —

Lady 2“Forget our little quarrel. Look who is outside your window — so gay and bursting with optimism.”

LADY 1 glances in that direction. As she sees the spinster waving enthusiastically at her, she rolls her eyes and sighs. Reluctantly, she invites her.

LADY 2, facing the audience —

“I hate the guts of this unnaturally happy girl but I am glad she is invited. The sacrifices we have to make for the society!”

The spinster enters the room —

Her“Hello young ladies. You know I had been out on a stroll. What a lovely morning it is, isn’t it? You see I went hopping around the place, talked to some birds, enjoyed the wind as it played with my hair, and just loved the hell out of the delicious breakfast at Dennie’s. What did you two lovely girls do?”

Lady 1“Just talked a bit.”

Her“A bit? You two must have some gossip to tell, right? Come on share some with me.”

LADY 1, muttering —

“We are not a chatterbox like you.”

The Spinster looks hurt.

Lady 2“She means we were just discussing our problems and all. She wants to change the look of the entire house as it does not make her happy but her miser husband won’t allow. I say that is a blasphemy to not go by the current, which says this house needs renovation.”

Her“Oh but it is lovely just the way it is. You (she points a finger at LADY 1) just like being unhappy and you (points another finger at LADY 2) just want to please a society that does not approve of you either.”

This sudden outburst shocks the two ladies but the truth wounds them and they retort.

Lady 1“When are you getting married, dear? Don’t you think it is about time?”

Lady 2“You do know you shouldn’t be working like a horse all day long. It has made you less of a woman, you know.”

Lady 1“Now I see all the wrinkles peeking form under the layers of your makeup.”

HER: interrupting LADY 2, who was ready with her piece of razor sharp jargon —

“I am happy the way I am. Thank you very much; I don’t need a man to take care of me. I can decorate my own house as per my wishes without having to beg to a husband and I do not care one dime about the society’s opinion.”

Despite her heated words she has not betrayed a shade of anger. They were addressed rather calmly and that irritates the two ladies. She smiles at the pair of annoyed women kindly and exits.


Scene II

The spinster enters a house — her house. Every inch of the tattered building is covered with gloom and dirt. She leaves her basket of roses at the door of her bedroom. There is a mirror fixed on the side wall of the room and a black cat is sitting in the corner of the room.

HER: looking in the mirror —

“Hi, you hideous creature. How was your day? It’s time you take your medicines, you know the darkness is coming to engulf you.”

She opens a drawer of her bedside table and takes all the pills form the bottle. Gulp gulp gulp, the water sends each pill down her throat.

HER: Standing with some difficulty notices THE CAT —

“Why are you still here? Don’t you think I am ugly? Look at my wrinkles. Come on why don’t you hate me like the others.”

THE CAT: staring at the spinster —

Meow… (softly), Meow… (soothingly), Meow… (reassuringly)

Her“Come here. Lets lie down here on the floor, just the two of us — the outcasts!”

THE CAT obliges limping towards the woman, revealing that her left hind leg is missing. The two stay together hugging each other as they take a nap.

An hour later…

The CatMeow…

Attempting to wake her friend up but there is no response.

The CatMeow… Meow… Meow

With confusion and anger but there is no response.

The CatMeow… Meow… Meow

With frustration but there is no response.

The CatMeeeeeeooooooooowwwwwwwww!!!

Forlornly.

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