Sunday, 16 August 2009

cat-lit steps

late august, early hours, we stood drunk under the stars at the edge of the crag, contemplating our steep descent into the tree-top dark. as we willed our night vision to improve a white cat wove between our legs and took charge, tracing our path. its coat carried all the light in the sky, reflecting the cities that neighbour this small wilderness.

our star-lit cat waited at the corners of the path while we stumbled down, trusting, half-joking to each other about the chasm inches from our feet. as we caught up it would leap, apparently into nothingness, the only visible thing in a gloom made of rocks and trees and night.

i described the mythical sea-horses in the book i'm reading about ireland: they would gallop from clifftops to drown their bewitched riders. will this unlikely night creature have us step into the void? it chose not to; we were delivered to our tent and while we played at tarot by candlelight in an old fire pit, it hurled itself up oaktree trunks as if its next magic would be to fly.

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