The night falls like a wet bandage.
It is spring.
The sun rises, the trees are joyful.
They frolic in the chiaroscuro.
Her four-poster bed smells like mothballs.
The branches of the trees knock against her window.
A soft music can be heard
Nightingales revel in the day.
One step after the other.
Coffee bubbles in her cup.
It grumbles like a breathless tiger.
The sun shades the wall behind the young woman.
You can see the tapered fingers of the fir trees.
On the freshly whitened wall
Dehliah rubs her eyes.
Dehliah’s lips soak in the coffee
She feels a whiff of warmth.
One sip after another.
The alarm clock rings. She is late.
Someone knocks on her door.
She rushes in — too late.
The newspaper is waiting in front of her slippers.
To pick up the newspaper, put away the coffee.
The morning powders like a pearly blush.
Dehliah smiles at the new day.
She is still asleep.
A chickadee sings.
The alarm clock still rings.
The carpet absorbs the spilled coffee.
The night folds its shady sheets.
The day shows its nose.
Someone is coming.
Dehliah holds her breath.
Her neighbor is a hundred years old.
She smells of braised mutton.
And she like a forest.
She smells of moss and burnt fern.
A smell of fire, barely camouflaged.
She is a little old lady with no past.
A shrew with an excellent memory
Dehliah looks through the latch.
It is indeed Mrs. Mirtonflon.
She sees the long figure
She sees the curly hair like brambles
The black and shiny locks.
She turns around surreptitiously.
Dehliah is breathless.
Someone is missing.
It is the cat Gormeflu.
He is not with the old lady.
Where could he have disappeared to?
Gormeflu is a grotesque cat.
It’s Mrs. Mirtonflon’s cat.
He eats only salads.
He likes to gossip and take a nap.
But Mrs. Mirtonflon is alone;
Gormeflu doesn’t help her.
Where is the big ginger cat?
Gormeflu is missing.
Who stole the big fat cat?
Dehliah wants to know for sure.
She goes out on her doorstep.
She hears Mrs. Mirtonflon whistling:
« Gormeflu, Gormeflu! «
But the cat does not answer her.
Suddenly the door opens again,
In front of this curious Dehliah.
It is Mrs. Mirtonflon.
Her eyes are red.
She looks like a demon from hell…
« Have you seen my cat?
Have you seen my big chubby cat? «
Asks the neighbor to Dehliah.
« No, ma’am,
I would have known,
If I had seen it. »
replied Miss Dehliah
Before locking herself in.
The neighbor scared her to death.
Suddenly, she sees a red spot
Behind her window.
The cat! It has taken refuge in Dehliah’s garden!
Listening only to her courage,
She opens the French window
But once in her garden,
What a disappointment!
It was the reflection of a bunch of tulips,
No cat here.
Dehliah decides to act.
She puts on her overcoat,
A coat with worn sleeves
That her grandfather gave her
And she goes out into the courtyard of the building.
After a few steps,
She’s near the square with the slide
And guess who she sees,
Crouching on the swing?
It’s Gormeflu, the big ginger cat!
Dehliah doesn’t ask for anything else,
She pounces on the prankster,
and misses his grip.
Gormeflu, knowing he was discovered,
Runs off in the English way without hurrying,
It doesn’t take much
For Dehliah to catch up with him
But then, catastrophe,
Knowing he was being pursued by his neighbor,
The cat suddenly takes the wrong path,
And jumps into a manhole !
Dehliah gets down on her stomach:
« Kitty, kitty… »
But not a sound,
Her voice is lost in the depths,
The cat has well and truly disappeared
And Dehliah remains like this,
Kneeling by the sewer,
For most of the morning.
She feels guilty
For having pushed the cat to take the plunge
In the sewer that smells like rotten wood
And she curses herself for going out
To play detective.
Should she warn Mrs. Mirtonflon?
Should she jump into the sewer?
Dehliah hesitates and watches –
And if the cat reappeared?
She decides to go and ask for his help
To Mayor Grigorio
Once she reaches the town hall, she surprises him:
Grigorio is making a herbarium
Leaves of beech and chestnut trees,
leaves of aspen and banana trees,
fly through the town hall,
This mayor is definitely an original!
« What do you want, young lady? «
Grigorio the mayor asks her,
As a plane tree leaf
Comes to flatten itself against his big nose
« Mrs. Mirtonflon’s cat… »,
begins Dehliah, out of breath,
But already Grigorio doesn’t listen to her anymore,
Busy as he is gluing a poplar leaf.
Dehliah leaves the town hall distraught
Who can help her to find the orange cat?
Should she get out her diving clothes,
And rush into the infernal well?
Should she put a clothespin on her nose?
And her latest swimsuit?
Antoine the garbage man passes by Dehliah
As she is about to jump
« Young girl, what are you doing?
Don’t you know that this sewer is guarded by a monster?
He has the body of a dragon,
And the head of a pigeon! «
Dehliah shuddered and burst into tears
« How can I get this big cat back?
It’s my fault that he dove in there! «
Antoine thinks and leaves
A few hours later
He is back with a fishing rod and some bait
He took some roquefort,
« That should attract the cat,
comments the young garbage man.
« Little, little », our two friends whistle together
An echo is heard,
But no trace of a cat,
It seems to have vanished!
A few hours pass thus,
And the fishing is not fruitful
Here comes the neighbor,
Mrs. Mirtonflon, wrapped in a grey shawl
She really doesn’t look convenient today.
« I lost my cat »,
she said to the two young men.
« Have you seen this rascal? »
Stunned, Dehliah answers with an air of nothingness
That of cat, point, they did not see any!
Maybe he’s playing chase,
But the birds haven’t noticed anything either.
It would be too beautiful, they would have told them…
Mrs. Mirtonflon leaves
More surly than the owl of the woods
And leaves them stunned
Near the sewer where the cat fell
A long time still goes by
Before Antoine leaves again
Dehliah is close to giving up
She decides to return to her apartment.
And there, what a surprise!
Here is Gormeflu sitting on a hat
He is watching on TV
A field hockey game
« I forgot that this cat was a fan
of the Sunday sports team »,
Dehliah says with relief,
as she wipes her forehead.
The girl smells like a drain
But no matter, she breathes
The cat is not lost in the depths,
He can watch television,
Dehliah says to herself happily,
And she goes back to bed.
It was a day well spent.
Gormeflu satisfied with his misdeeds
Smoothes his moustache with a playful air
« I got them good, those damn humans,
And tomorrow – there’s skating,
I intend to look again
Beware who’ll stop me,
I’ll pretend once again
To fall into a pipe
Unless I get the hang of it
To jump into a volcano,
In a precipice or an ocean,
As long as they let me occupy the living room.