Norman the Catbydavidwatts©
The cat's name was Norman, and it was due to his elusive qualities that I am able to tell this tale.
Chapter 1. Just another night.
I was making my way down the hall to my apartment after another boring day of work when I saw him. Well, I didn't actually see him, but something definitely whizzed by me as I turned the corner. As I turned to see exactly what it was, I was sent reeling by the impact of a young lady in hot pursuit of the fleeing feline.
"Norman wait!" my accidental assailant hissed loudly after she gushed her apologies at me while helping me pick up my things that had gone flying from the collision. "I'm so sorry!"
"No harm done," I said as I took my paper from the young lady.
"My cat... he escaped on me," she said while looking very distraught, because Norman had disappeared from view and the young girl looked on the verge of tears. "He's never done that before."
"Here, let me set my things inside my place and I'll help you look for him," I offered.
"Would you?" she said.
"No problem," I assured her as I unlocked my door and tossed my stuff on the chair before following her girl down the hall and out into the courtyard.
To make the long story short, after about a half hour of searching under cars and through the wooded area, I spotted Norman. The little bugger had apparently been amused by my attempts at making the usual noises one makes to try to attract cats and had stopped to check me out.
After a crawl under a bush and a slash by Norman's claws, I grabbed the little guy by the neck and hauled him out, unhappy but safe and sound. The mother/owner was beside herself with relief and joy as she grabbed Norman from me, holding him tight to her tear-stained cheek while thanking me over and over again.
"Oh, he got you didn't he?" she said as she looked at the back of my hand and the blood that dripped from the scratch.
"It's nothing," I assured her. "I'm fine. I'm just happy we found him."
"Come up and let me clean you up," she said. "Unless you're in a hurry or something."
Well, it had been a long time since I had been in a hurry for anything, I thought to myself. What awaited me was a frozen pizza and a few episodes of Seinfeld, so I took the young lady up on her invitation.
We had seen each other in passing prior to this meeting, but in apartment complexes like this one people come and go so fast you can't keep track of them, and you tend to keep to yourself.
Norman's mom turned out to be Janice, and as she cleaned my wound and tended to it, Janice's touch sent shivers down my spine. It had been so very long since a woman had touched me that even an innocuous thing like this was enough to excite me. At 56 years old I had been a widower for six years, and had been content to play out the string and wait for the end to come, and much of the time I felt, the sooner the better. With Madeline's passing life had little to offer and I had equally little to offer in return.
"I said that I bet you didn't expect to have an evening like this when you got home," Janice said, having to repeat this to me apparently, as I had been daydreaming.
"No, but it was certainly exciting," I finally answered.
"You aren't supposed to have pets here and I was just as afraid he would be seen as I was that something would happen to him," Janice said. "He's my best friend... just about my only friend sometimes."
I looked at this sad-eyed girl as she spoke, and the same world-weary attitude I shared was evident in her voice and face. She was far too young to be so jaded, I thought.
"I'm sorry," Janice sniffled. "It's just that I'm still upset at him running out like that. Would you like a cup of coffee... I'm sorry. I don't even know your name."
"Jim. Yes, I'd like a cup if you're going to join me."
We made idle chit-chat as Janice made the coffee. She was a very shy girl but I managed to find out that she was 19 and worked at the Wal-Mart down the road and hated her job. She was a chubby gal who had a cute face that reminded me of the girl on the old Campbell Soup ads.
I stayed for a couple cups of coffee that I didn't really want, but I was enjoying Janice's company so much that I hated to leave. When I did, Janice stopped me at the door and gave me a peck on the cheek.
"Thanks for capturing Norman," Janice said with a blush. "You're my hero."
I made it back to my apartment with my heart racing. The thought that a kiss on the cheek could do that to me was ridiculous, and especially coming from a girl that was young enough to be my daughter. Grandaughter, I corrected myself.
Chapter 2. Getting closer.
That was how it started, and somehow I managed to run into Janice frequently after that, often bumping into each other in the hall, although far less abruptly than the first encounter. I found myself going to that dreaded store she worked at, and 'accidently' found myself at her register with my purchases.
None of this was an accident, of course. I timed these meetings as best I could, often waiting by my door until I heard her door close in the mornings. I was ashamed of myself at times, almost stalking this young girl, and even more embarrassed at the thoughts I had regarding her.
I would watch her from afar and admire her Rubenesque figure, picturing what her breasts would look like unwrapped. I complimented Janice when she got her hair cut into a shorter style which made her look older. Now she looked 20.
Whether she knew what I was doing or not, I wasn't sure. I felt silly having feelings about a teenaged girl like this, but after a while I didn't much care because I was having fun. Besides, I was just a harmless old man with no real delusions of anything happening between us.
I can't pinpoint exactly when things began to change between the two of us, but I began to notice our meetings started to become more frequent, and longer lasting to boot. Often the chance meetings really were that, and I began to wonder whether Janice was now doing precisely what I had been doing for us to be 'accidently' crossing paths so often.
One brisk November morning we ended up walking down the hall together on our way to work, and instead of me waiting for the bus out in front of our place, I strolled down with Janice to her workplace, which was less than a mile down the road.
"Wasn't that yours Jim?" Janice asked as a bus flew by us as we walked.
"Maybe, but there's another coming in about 15 minutes," I told Janice. "Besides, I'd rather walk with you than go to work anyway."
That was the truth, but it made Janice giggle and blush in response.
"Thanksgiving is next week," Janice said. "Do you go visit family or do they come visit you?"
"Neither. I have no family, so there's no decision to be made. Madeline and I never had... couldn't have children and I was an only child. How about you?"
"Me?" Janice said. "I have no family either. Well, I do but not really."
We walked in silence as I tried to digest that confusing answer.
"The reason I asked was that was," Janice said as she seemed to search for the right words. "If you didn't have any plans or anything, and if you wanted to, I could make us dinner on Thanksgiving. If you wanted to that is."
"I would love that!" I said in probably way too excited a voice. Janice seemed not to notice, as she seemed relieved at my answer. "You have to let me provide the food though."
"We could split it, and if you wanted to we could go shop for the stuff together a couple of nights before," Janice said in almost as excited a tone as I had previously. "If you wanted to that is."
Since I drove and Janice didn't, that made a world of sense, so we made a date. Grocery shopping on the Monday night before Thanksgiving. Putting this down on paper makes my enthusiasm over such a mundane event seem rather foolish to most, but then again you would have had to have lived my life over the prior six years to fully appreciate the way I felt.
Chapter 3. Shopping for Thanksgiving dinner.
When I knocked on Janice's door that Monday evening. she opened it almost as soon as my knuckles hit the wood. Giving Norman a nudge back inside, she slipped out and closed the door behind herself while giving me a big smile.
"Ready to roll?" Janice asked, and when I agreed she nonchalantly slipped her arm inside mine and led me down the hall.
My heart raced as we walked arm in arm, and while Janice probably meant it in fun I was enjoying having a young woman on my arm. The brisk autumn air was hardly noticeable to me as I floated out to the car and opened the door for Janice, closing the door carefully after she hopped in.
The car's usual stale atmosphere was now alive with the gentle scent of Janice's perfume, a soft vanilla aroma most agreeable to me. I inhaled deeply as we made idle chit-chat on the short drive.
"This must be a thrill for you, getting to come to the store after spending the day here," I commented as we navigated through the crowded aisles of the store.
"Yeah, but this is fun anyway," Janice said as she held up a bag of mixed nuts for my advice, tossing it in the cart as I nodded approvingly.
"To the turkeys?" I asked. "Or are we doing something else?"
"Turkey most definitely!" Janice declared as we cruised in that direction.
We stood in front of the display of frozen turkeys and then I slid down to the cooler where the fresh turkeys were.
"Fresh is always better," I suggested, and picked up an absurdly large bird that weighed 24 pounds. "How about this one?" I asked as Janice's face recoiled in horror.
"Omigod!" Janice exclaimed. "We'd be eating that for a month."
"At least I'd be able to invite myself over for leftovers that way," I replied.
"You won't have to invite yourself Jim," Janice said as she hefted a far more sensible 14 pounder. "You have an open invitation to drop by anytime."
"That one looks like he wants to come home with us," I said. "Looks like a Todd to me."
"Have to give your turkey a name if you're going to invite him to dinner," I said as my eyes started to water in thinking of days long ago, when Madeline and I would do silly things like naming our turkeys. "We used to..." I managed to get out before my voice started breaking.
"Todd it is!" Janice exclaimed as Todd the Turkey went into the cart and we went off to the produce section.
I was grateful that Janice had come to my rescue back there, because I was on the verge of losing it right in the middle of the meat department. We grabbed potatoes and frozen rolls and went to the checkout, where Janice was greeted warmly by the cashier, a young woman about Janice's age.
"Can't get enough of the place can you Jan?" the cashier cracked as she scanned our order. "Who's this, your dad?" she said innocently enough but to my embarrassment.
"Definitely NOT!" Janice snapped back. "This is my good friend Jim."
I paid for the order over Janice's objections, telling her we could figure it out later, and took our cart out to the car.
"Guess that was embarrassing for you Janice," I said as I fired up the car and headed back home.
"More like it was embarrassing for you," Janice said softly. "I'm sorry."
"I'm fine with it," I answered. "At least she didn't say grandfather. That would have been bad."
Janice giggled at that which lightened the mood a bit.
"Besides, it would be an honor to have a daughter like you," I said after a moment of silence.
"Is that how you think of me?" Janice asked casually. "Like a daughter?"
I thought back to the times in the store when I would look at Janice when she was otherwise distracted; admiring her form as she reached and bent over while looking for tiny glimpses of skin, and adoring the soft and full roundness of her buttocks and the sight of her breasts straining against her sweater.
"No," I answered honestly but with considerable shame. "I don't think of you like a daughter, although I probably should. Is that bad?"
"Definitely NOT bad," Janice said as the car pulled into the parking area of our apartment building. "Because I don't think of you as my father. I think too highly of you for that."
Chapter 4. Thanksgiving Holiday cheer.
I dressed in my holiday best for the occassion, which was a shirt and tie. Janice looked lovely as she greeted me at the door. She was wearing a rust colored sweater with an autumn design to it, and she looked beautiful, which made me glad I had put a little effort into my appearance.
I helped Janice as she buzzed around the kitchen, and I was impressed at how talented she was. She really knew her way around a stove, and I loved the little things she did as she cooked. It reminded me of the way my wife did things, and living out of cans and frozen dinners had made me forget about such things.
The dinner was an absolute delight from start to finish, and Todd the Turkey was as moist as flavorful as could be. As we did the dreaded clean-up afterward, I was struck at how beautiful Janice was. Not that I hadn't noticed this before, mind you, but spending all this time with her gave me a chance to really appreciate her.
She was about 5 inches shorter than my just about 6 foot height, and her hair was as black as black could be. She had pale blue eyes that were usually cast downward, but when she looked up they had such a vulnerable softness about them that they made me feel guilty about the feelings I was experiencing toward her.
I suppose that most people looked at her and thought that she'd be beautiful if she lost 40 pounds or so, but I have an appreciation for women with a little more... shall we say substance? She carried the weight well, and was solidly built. During the course of the day I had made an effort to make casual contact with Janice, like an occasional hand on the shoulder, and she didn't seem to mind it.
"Glad that's done with!" Janice said as we collapsed on the couch, having gotten the dishwasher going and cleared the carnage for the most part..
"That was an incredible meal," I told Janice.
"It was nice to have someone to share it with," Janice said, and to my delight she inched over next to me on the couch, and put her head on my shoulder.
My heart started beating like it hadn't done in a long while as Janice snuggled up against me. Overcoming the aroma of turkey and all the fixings was the scent of an woman by my side, and as the pleasant scent of Janice's delicate perfume reached me, I felt an old familiar surge race through my loins.
As we watched what promised to be the first of a million showings of "A Christmas Story" this holiday season, I glanced down and saw what I had feared. My erection, and the complete outline of my cock was being displayed quite blatantly in my camel colored slacks as it curved over to my right pocket. Even in the dim light of the television it would be clearly visible to Janice if she happened to look that way, so I tried to divert her attention with conversation.
"I haven't had a day this nice in over 6 years," I said during a commercial.
"Tell me about your wife," Janice said. "If you don't mind talking about her that is."
"Mind? No, I wouldn't mind at all," I said while taking the time to shift a little to try to make the bulge less obvious. "Madeline and I were married for twenty-three years, and we were very happy. We had a house out in the suburbs and lived the typical middle-class life."
"No kids?" Janice asked.
"No, we weren't able to have children, but we wanted them badly. Anyway, everything was wonderful until Madeline got sick. Cancer."
"Oh," Janice said softly.
"They tried everything to save her but the cancer was relentless," I said while the tears I had feared would come began to well up in my eyes. "I wanted to be with her every minute so when the inevitable neared I took her home. If she was going to die, and she knew it by then, she wanted her to die at home. At our home. It took a long time. Too long and too painful, but at least she died at home and in my arms."
I tried to be subtle about wiping the tears from my face, but it wasn't necessary because Janice was crying worse than I was.
"Geez, I'm sorry," I said while I looked around for a box of tissues. "I didn't mean to ruin a womderfulful day."
"You didn't ruin anything Jim," Janice said sniffling. "That was so beautiful."
"Well, not all that beautiful," I added. "I lost my job because I had stayed home all that time, and I lost the house when the bank foreclosed soon after."
"And you'd do it all over again in a heartbeat if you could," Janice said.
"Yes. How I loved Madeline so."
"She was the luckiest woman that ever lived," Janice said softly. "If I could experience that kind of love from a man it would be worth any amount of suffering that followed."
"You're very young Janice," I said. "Someone will come along one day and you'll find your happiness."
"Nobody wants a fat cow," Janice said morosely.
"Stop that nonsense Janice!" I said rather abruptly. "You're a beautiful woman, and it's just a matter of finding the right guy."
Janice pulled her face off of my shoulder and looked up at me with her tear stained cheeks glistening in the faint light. I leaned down to kiss Janice's forehead but she raised her face as I did, and I found myself in the middle of an incredibly passionate kiss.
"Oh," I said in my awkward way. "I didn't mean that."
"I did," Janice said with a hint of a smile in the corner of her mouth. "I meant this too."
With that I found myself in another kiss of epic proportions. I was feeling rather guilty in doing so, but I was enjoying it far too much to stop. My erection was back in full bloom as well, but luckily Janice was too occupied to notice, or so I thought.
"You don't mind doing this, do you?" Janice said with a giggle. "I notice that you give every indication of liking it."
As she said that, she nodded in the direction of the tent my erection was causing in my slacks, and I felt my face burn with embarrassment at this.
"Blushing too," Janice said.
"I'm sorry," I managed to get out before Janice leaned forward to kiss me again, and as we necked I felt Janice's hand slide down my body until it rested on my thigh. Her touch was electric, and even though I knew it was wrong, I hoped she would move her hand over and touch me.
We necked for a while on the couch, and even though I felt like a predator I at least manitained enough self-control to keep my hands to myself. When we finally tore apart from each other, I looked down at my lap.
I cannot describe the horror I felt when I saw the large stain in my slacks where my erection had been bulging. It almost looked like I had wet my pants or something, and I hoped that Janice would not notice, but it was too late for that, and when she looked down there she let out a giggle.
"I didn't... it's not what you think it is," I babbled.
"I know what it is," Janice said with a smile. "I'm flattered."
"It's just that you're just a child, and I shouldn't be having these feelings toward you."
"I'm not a child, I'm a woman," Janice said as she pulled away and looked at me with those tender blue eyes. "I thought you had noticed that, judging my the way you've looked at me, and the way you reacted when I sat next to you."
"Well of course I'm very attracted to you Janice, but..."
"No buts Jim," Janice said with an impish grin. "Don't you dare apologize to me because for some reason I excite you, because I'll strangle you!"
Janice looked at the ever widening stain that crept over the front of my slacks and giggled.
"I could clean you up," Janice suggested.
"No, I don't think that will be necessary," I said, and got up to get ready to leave, since it was getting late anyway.
"You're mad at me aren't you?" Janice said as she got up with me.
"Mad? God no," I said. "I'm just confused and ashamed of myself."