A HORRIBLE TALE TOLD BY KALMON.         
      
             It is about 10 days ago now, when I first heard Annelise 
                shouting for Helge, that he should come quick and listen, because 
                there was a cat, that you couldn't see, who was miaowing 
                somewhere.  When Helge came to listen where the sound was 
                coming from, the miaowing stopped. 
                          This whole performance was repeated nearly every day for 
                the next few days, and we started to have a little fun about, this 
                thing with a ghost cat, that only was there, when Annelise came 
                into the old rubbish-room in that end of the house, and stopped 
                miauwing when Helge came. 
                          Every morning when we were having our morning coffee, 
                there was a lot of fabulating around and about the mystery of the 
                noisy cat without a body, and that reminded me of the Cheshire 
                cat in Alice in Wonderland, where the cat disappears and only the 
                grin is left, but here it was only the sound of the grin, that was 
                hanging in the air. 
                          Perhaps it was the souls of cats long since dead,. which 
                haunted the house, because they, at times in the past, were 
                drowned in the toilet bowl in that end of the house, and only 
                could be heard by a person, who like Annelise was in a very 
                close psychological contact with the cats on the farm. 
                          "The children are all grown up and gone now, so 1 have  
               only the cats and you stupid lot of menfolk to take care of, and here 
               the cats are the most important people". 
                           Annelise is mother to a whole clan of wild cats, among 
               which a few are less wild than the others and sometimes honour  
               the house, by coming in and reposing themselves on the floor in  
               front of the wood-burning stove. 
                          They are all red striped marmalade cats, and I can't see the 
               difference between them, but apparently Annelise knows them 
               personally and have names for all of them, but as there are so 
               many of them, and they all the time walk around in different 
               places in and around the farmyard busy catching rats and mice,  
               so it is not so easy to see if one or two are missing. 
                          One day one of the old cats called me into the ghost room  
               and tried to explain to me, what was wrong, but as I am not really 
               well up on the special dialect of the cats on Bornholm, I did not 
               believe his story, that there was a member of his family behind 
               the panels of the wall.  Actually I  believed the cat was a 
               ventriloquist, and that is why 1 did not do anything to clear up 
               the truth of the matter.          
                          When all this mallarcy had been lasting a week or so,  
               Helge got tired of listening to all this 'katzenjammer', and in the  
               end he did no longer bother to take the trouble to go and listen to  
               a sound that wasn't there when he arrived, but it nevertheless 
               nearly every day gave us the opportunity to tell weird stories 
               about supernatural phenomenon with werewolfs and hellhorses 
              and cats, which in reality were witches, who were burned on 
              the stake at the time of King Christian number four. 
                          So one day Annelise got so desperate, when she again heard 
               the sound of the invisible cat, that she started to tear down the panels  
               from the wall, and when she saw the tail of a marmalade cat sticking  
               out of the glass-wool behind the panel, she was struck by the terrible  
               thought, that the cat was dead.  She fled from the place in horror,  
               loudly screaming for Helge, who came flying and heroically ripped  
               some more panel boards away from the glass-wool. 
                         Suddenly a very much alive cat jumped out of the wall and 
               disappeared out of the door and across the yard without as much 
               as saying thank you. Annelise was deeply chocked by the thought, 
               that the poor cat had been shut up in the wall for 10 days without  
               food or anything to drink. 
                        After having made sure, that the cat had come to no harm 
               from the stay behind the panel, Annelise came back and radiant 
               with happiness told us, that everything was all right with Redfe, 
               that is the name of the cat, because she is a young red female feline. 
                           Back of beyond the old horses stable the panel cat was 
               sitting and stuffing her self with food and milk; but Annelise 
               was still so upset about what the poor cat must have suffered, that 
               she again and again told us, how she several days ago had heard 
               something scratching behind the panel, it must be rats, she said, 
               and then she  hammered so hard on the panel by her chair, that the 
               coffee cups were dancing on the table, where we were sitting 
               and drinking our breakfast, to stress the fact, that this was the way  
               she had done it several times during the 10 days the poor cat had 
               been sitting in there behind the hammering and couldn't get out.  
                          The  worst thing being, that the cat had got nothing to 
               drink for many days, and having had nothing at all to read, as 
               Helge drily remarked. 
                          Surely someone will ask, how the dickens did the cat get in 
               there?  If you look, at the drawing, you will see a hole in the 
               windowsill, that is probably the way she got in there, and as 
               cats cannot walk backwards, Helge has explained that to me, the 
               wee being couldn't get out again. 
                           Annelise was so chocked, that she had to take a glass of 
               something or other, very strong, to strengthen her self.  As the 
               level of the liquid behind the label of the Tequila bottle sank 
               towards the table top, so was Annelise sinking down into a deep 
               dark misery caused by what had happened to one of her beloved 
               cats, and while she was stumbling around the house in her nearly 
               unconscious drunken stupor, she tumbled backwards into a large 
               cardboard box, that she could not get out of, until[ she in spite of 
               her incredible intoxication succeeded in cutting her self out of 
               the box by means of a pair of garden scissors, which accidentally 
               lay floating about within her reach. 
                           Not until later did she become aware of the fact, that the 
               pinible pain in her backside was caused by the sharp points of 
               the metal clamps in the bottom of the cardboard box. 
                           In spite of a little thought, that mad cats get a scratched 
               skin, it is nevertheless a very special pleasure for me to express 
               my unlimited admiration and acknowledgement of the abilities of 
               Annelise to handle any situation.  Even when she is gloriously 
               drunk she can cut her self free from being boxed. 
                           Everything is now back in the old groove, and Redfe is 
               walking quietly and proudly in and around the farmyard with her 
               tail held high and by tiny elegant dips by the tip of her tail she is 
               telling the other cats about the frightful days and nights behind 
               the panel. 
 
                            Written on the seventh day of the month of March 1997. 
 
                                                            Kalmon von Balticum. 
 

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