I'm late for work. Again. Straightening my jacket, I head out the door into the brisk morning air and trudge across the wet grass to my car. I get in, sit down. I turn the key and glance in my left side mirror. Perfectly framed in the mirror, I see an unexpected sight -- a black cat, in the middle of the street with one of its front paws raised midstep, motionless. On the sidewalk, a dozen small sparrows are merrily hopping around eating seeds that have fallen from a tree, oblivious to the cat secretly plotting their demise. At precisely the same moment I glance in the mirror, my stereo turns on and my car is flooded with the pounding basslines and cut up breakbeats of the Amon Tobin song Creatures; it was a perfect soundtrack to the scene at hand.

"This is a ninja cat", I thought to myself in my pre-coffee haze. "Surely the reincarnation of some long dead assassin."

A ninja cat. A crafty stalker of prey who lurks unseen until it's time to strike. A skilled archer silently drawing an arrow in a bow.

A shadow with teeth.


I watched. I waited. As I marvelled at the graceful beauty and balance of the cat, I realized I no longer cared that I was late for work. Work was nothing. This was something. This was life, death, beauty and tragedy. I was enthralled. Time stood still, but the beats raced on at a frenzied pace, building up the tension as I sat in anticipation for what seemed an eternity.

Finally...the pounce! The cat springs upon the birds in a grand leap, but they seem to dissipate like smoke in the wind, leaving the unfortunate cat empty handed (empty pawed?).

I drive off a little bit disappointed the cat failed and a little bit relieved the birds escaped.

A ninja cat in training, perhaps.

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