Tale 1: A Cat in Jerusalem
I saw this cat frolicking and playing with a shrub, so I stopped to take a pic. She then saw me and immediately stopped dead in her tracks. And stared at me. Just stared.
I said, ‘Whoah cat, what’s the death stare all about? I was just taking a pic. Relax’.
She didn’t respond. She just stared. So I stared back. We both stood there, staring at each other, no one flinching.
After 20 minutes she finally broke the silence and said ‘Who the fuck are you anyway?’
What are you doing here?
I saved all my money so I could go travelling. I like to travel.
She didn’t respond. She just stared. So I stared back. An hour passed and neither of us had flinched. Then another hour, and another. I started to mentally berate myself for getting in so deep with a cat. But now this staring contest had started, I couldn’t back down. People would walk past and try to see what I was staring at, thinking it might be an ancient attraction. Then they’d see the cat peering straight back at me through the bushes, then look back at me, and think, ‘holy shit’.
Challenges arose. Kids started playing a game of football around me, one of them kicked the ball straight into my head at a very high speed, possibly deliberately. It hurt dearly but I didn’t move a muscle, so as to antagonise the cat with an amazing feat of strength. I could see she was impressed but she didn’t reveal too much. Then, right on cue, a test was presented to her, in the form of a snake. The snake circled her for a few minutes. I felt like saying ‘Are you crazy? That snake will destroy you. The jigs up, let it go.’ She didn’t move. The snake then jumped up and bit her on the neck. She didn’t flinch. The snake slithered away. I panicked, ‘There’s no way I can beat that, this cats a machine’ I thought.
Soon after a little kid started beating me with a baseball bat for fun. Again, I didnt flinch. His mother came over, she was Greek or Spanish or whichever language it is at tourist sites that chatters incessantly, at full volume, without a breath. Talking. Yelling. Endlessly. Until you almost snap and yell ‘QUIET! You freaks are ruining this experience for the other tourists!’, it was one of those languages. Anyway, after taking a look at the staring contest I was engaged in, she rushed over and pulled her child away, saying something like, ‘Quick Giuseppe, get away from this man, he’s insane’. I felt like saying, ‘I’m not insane, bitch. I’m just in a 5 hour staring contest with a cat. Besides, I’m only 3 days into this trip. It’ll be around 60 days before I start going insane.’
It was now dark and I was in pain. I could tell the cat was hurting too, probably thinking ‘Shit, I’m a stray cat and haven’t eaten in 4 days, if I don’t eat soon I’ll die’. Not to mention the snake bite. Another hour passed, and another, until the church bells rang for midnight and I snapped.. ‘AAAAHHHHH! Fucking cat! Fuck you! You think you’re better than me!’ I ran at her before restraining myself. She finally broke her stare with a smug cat grin and ran into the night like an urban fox from London. I yelled ‘I really do like cats you know. I relate to them. Especially the strays, I dont judge you because you’re stray. I always feed you guys. Please!’ But she was already gone.