Once upon a time, there lived a special Bengal cat. People traveled far and wide to visit this cat, for it possessed not just the gift of speech, but the power to foresee the future. This was during a time where the world was ravaged by widespread disease, pervasive hunger, and gruesome wars, so people from every corner of life came to witness the cat’s mystical ability. Whether they were rich aristocrats, middle-class workers, bored elders, or curious children, all desired to hear the cat’s wisdom.
The cat was neither greedy nor ambitious, but his ability forever changed the world. Thanks to his visions, he informed political leaders as to how they would initiate ceasefire, divulged to devoted scientists how they would find the cures for all the world’s diseases, and every starving visitor was told to be patient, for the cat had already informed the world’s governments on how they would end hunger. No longer did the world at large suffer…except for one man.
One warm day, a rugged, long-haired man came to visit the cat, who happened to live in a nicely-furnished outdoor cat house smack-dab in a Wisconsin trailer park. He body was covered in rags, his neck adorned with a nearly-torn scarf, and had half his head engulfed in a wool cap. His weathered shoes silently treaded on the ground as he made his way to the Bengal, who silently observed the man from atop his abode.
“Forgive me,” he began to apologize with a humble bow, “but I do not have any money or any other form of payment; regardless, I came to visit because I feel my very way of life is threatened.”
The cat purred with amusement and said, “Please, I am in no need of earthly things. All I request is a scratch on the head after I have granted you my service. Now, what is it that you seek to know?”
The man released a heavy sigh, glancing around the quiet trailer park before settling his vision back to the cat. “From the moment of my birth, I have dwelled in misfortune. My family was always poor, and we had to resort to theft to survive. My father died in the war when I was very young, my mother passed away from an illness some ten years later, and my older brother was murdered over a scrap of food just as I entered adulthood. I am the only survivor of my broken family, yet I still lived on watching the way the world spiraled into ruin.”
The cat scratched its ear as the man continued, “I have grown accustomed to these twenty years of loneliness wandering as a vagabond. I am fond of observing nature, I delight in caring for God’s creatures, and I take great pleasure in assisting the lost soul who crosses my way. For the past four months, however, I have been unable to enjoy any of these things. I live for silence, but the sounds of bustling cities keep me awake. No one longer does anyone need my guidance, for they know where their future lies. All of these inconveniences are thanks to you, I am told.”
A whisker twitched as the cat started intently at the man. “I don’t mean to interrupt, but are you perhaps resentful for all that I have done for mankind?”
The man raised a dismissive hand. “I am not, for the world does not revolve around me. Though I may make myself sound like a saint, I am nothing more than a selfish man, having chosen to live out by myself without interaction from anyone. But this life of dreariness and isolation is all I have ever known, and now it is being taken away from me. It was what taught me the error of my thieving ways, and I feel I owe it some debt. Truth be told, I have not felt this sort of fear in quite some time…in fact, it has not been acquainted with me ever since the fated day when I became a wanderer, as I was unsure as to where that road would take me. The time has come for me to take another course in life, and that is why I come to you.”
The cat nodded. “Say no more.”
As the Bengal closed his eyes and meditated, a tangible blue aura engulfed the concentrating feline, every one of his fur strands prickling from the phenomenon. Sweeping ripples of his concentration coursed through the air, but the man remain rigid in its onslaught of power (excluding the flapping of his scarf, which ticked his long hair). The feat of wonder lasted for no more than a minute, as the blue flames ebbed and the fur settled as the cat opened his eyes.
“I have dived deep into the realm of the future, and its knowledge of your role has been made apparent.”
The cat blinked. “…or so you would like me to say.”
The man sighed. “You figured me out, huh? I had a feeling you would; I just had to confirm your power for myself.”
Purring, the cat said, “They don’t call me the All-Seeing Cat for nothing. Your sob story was impressive, but no one would mourn the loss of living in an isolated hell of a world, much less wear winter head apparel in the heat of summer. Please, remove your disguise.”
Lifting his hands, the man removed the wool cap as the long-haired wig tumbled to the ground along with the scarf. The rags were shed to reveal a well-groomed man in his early thirties, gleefully producing a sign that advertised thirty-percent or more on car insurance.
The cat rolled his eyes and said, “Figures. Even I can’t solve all the world’s problems.”