Translation Copyright: Ross Naheedy 2008
Story by Samad Behrangi

Two Cats on a Wall

It was a summer night. No moon. No stars either. It was totally dark, right at midnight. The crickets were singing. There wasn’t any other noise. A black cat was coming from one side of the wall. He had dropped his head, was sniffing and walking, swaying his head to sides.

Another cat, a white one, was coming from the other side of the wall. He had also dropped his head, sniffing, and was walking, swaying his head to sides.

They kept their rhythm and walked until they banged heads in the middle of the wall. Each one let out a Hsssssss and jumped back a step. Then they sat and stared at each other. They were no more than two steps from each other. Their hearts were beating fast. They sat like that for a moment without a word. Then they grumbled and kept staring at each other.

Finally the black cat inched his way forward. The white cat made a move and screeched, “Meaooowwwww! Don’t come any closer!”

The black cat didn’t heed and kept inching forward. They were still grumbling under their tongues. Now their distance was only a step with the black cat still inching his way forward. The white cat couldn’t take it any longer. He threw his claws at the black cat, tearing the black cat’s ear, and then screeched, “Meaooowwwwww! Hsssssss! Didn’t I tell you not to come closer you stupid cat?”

Not missing a beat, the black cat took his turn and yelled “Hssssssssss!”. But he couldn’t strike his opponent. He was mad. He pulled back a bit and said “Meaooowwww! Clear the way for me, other wise I won’t be responsible for what I’ll do to you.”

The white cat had a fit of laughter, licked his whiskers and said, “What a funny cat you are! I clear the way for you? If it’s a nice thing to clear the way for another cat, why don’t you clear the way so I can get to the other side of the wall?”

The black cat responded, “I said clear the way so I can pass, then you can come and go wherever the hell it is that you please.”

The white cat laughed even more wildly. “If you don’t listen to me know I’ll eat you alive in one piece.”

The black cat became mad and suddenly yelled. “Meaooowwww! Go back to the roof! Clear my way! You little dying rat!”

Suddenly the white cat felt dishonored. He cut his laughter. His voice was shaking. He worked a scream from the bottom of his throat. “Meaoooow! You call me a dying rat? You stupid cat! Pfffffttt! Take this! Pffffftttt!” and with that he threw his claws at the black cat again. But this time the black cat moved to the side and threw his own claws and tore the white cat’s nose.

Blood started to flow. Now there was no stopping the white cat. He curled his back and raised his hair, making such a noise that the crickets stopped their singing and became totally ears. A red rose that was opening stopped midway. A large star fell in the sky.

The white cat said angrily, “Meaoooow! Didn’t you hear me say to move back and open the way for me? You little dying black rat!”

Now it was the black cat’s turn to laugh. “Firstly, rats are usually white. So you’re the rat. Secondly, don’t make so much noise because the humans will wake up and come and find us and beat us senseless. I’m really not afraid of noises and will not move back. I’ll just sit here and wait for you to lose your patience and go back your own way.”

The white cat calmed a little. “I lose my patience? I wish you were in Hasan Kallepaz’s kitchen earlier today to see me sit for three hours in front of the mouse’s hole without blinking an eye.”

The black cat didn’t say anything else. He was sitting calmly and looking at the white cat. The white cat, too, sat and didn’t say another word. Then there was the noise of a baby crying. Once the baby stopped crying, the crickets started singing and the red rose started opening.

For two minutes the cats stared into each other’s eyes and neither one admitted defeat. But it was obvious that their patience had worn out. Each one wanted the other to start talking.

All of a sudden the white cat said, “Hey! I found a solution!”

“What solution?”

“I have something important to tend to. It’s very important. Why don’t you make your way back to the beginning of the wall, let me go, and then you come and go as you please.”

The black cat couldn’t help but laugh. “Wow! Some solution you’ve found! I myself have something to do, too. It is very essential and must be done now. I can’t even wait half a second.”

The white cat became gloomy. “Here you go again with not playing along! I told you I have something very important to do. Believe me and open the way for me to go.”

The black cat said in a louder tone, “Meaoooowww! Well you’re not the boss of me! Who are you to tell me what to do? Watch your mouth!”

The white cat grumbled and got up and yelled, “Meaooooowww! I understand clearly what I am saying! You’re just an uncooperative cat! I have to go the Hasan Kallepaz’s house. I’ve smelled some good food over there. Now do you understand why I have something important to attend to?”

The black cat grumbled and said, “Meaoooowww! Do you think that I’m just wasting my time walking over these walls? I have smelled something better from the other side and I’m very hungry. If you stand in my way I’ll hit you so hard that you’ll fall and split your head.”

The white cat couldn’t hold himself back any longer and yelled, “Meaooooowwwww! Stupid cat! Move a side! Pfffftttt! Take this!” and suddenly clawed the black cat’s hair. Hair filled the air around them. Both started to scream and started fighting, calling each other names.

They were deep into their fighting when someone from the bottom of the wall splashed them with cold water. They became disoriented and ran away. Each one ran back to the side they had come from and didn’t even look back.