(humorous magic realism story)

This early spring evening promising nothing except the shrieks of cats enjoying the spring fever, Eduard Onishyk, a well-educated man in his late forties, having deep vulture eyes covered with classy glasses and slightly smirking thin lips, dressed in a casual black suit, worn by businessmen on camping trips, knocked at the door of a neighboring summer cottage, covered with ornaments and pictures from Ukrainian folklore painted right on the walls of a two-storied building.

The door was opened by Alik Marchenko, a rough-looking square man in his early fifties dressed like a former sportsman in a grey hoody, trainers and sportive pants, having an image of a self-possessed boxer seeking serenity and solitude among fruit trees and strawberry patches after his stormy youth full of fortunes and misfortunes, scars and bone fractures, flops and flying colors.

They did not look like friends because after opening the door, Alik stood like a hypnotized creature with a half-open mouth trying desperately to chew a piece of a bitten apple. In a sec, Alik got himself together, looked at a bottle of whisky in the hands of Peter, and coughed in his hand, “Hi, I see that you have a question to me, right?”

“Yeah, if you don`t mind, I will drop by. I heard that you got a new fire place built,” Eduard smized enigmatically.

“Its not a new, its an old stone option. You are welcome,” Alik showed a way to an airy studio-kitchen with a playing fire in the fireplace made of smooth river stones.

“Wow! It`s a ritzy ridge…a fancy furnace…and a vintage form!” Eduard got stunned not knowing what to add.

Alik fetched a folded table with snacks and flashed with a Cheshire cat smile, “That was one of my dreams – an old stone fireplace with a country chimney and a loom wheel over it.”

“How about a rocking chair with a tartan plaid over it?” Eduard poured whisky cautiously in two glasses. “I remember that you spoke about it last winter.”

“That is my dream number 2. I believe that next winter I will get it,” Alik looked at his pot-bellied whisky glass with fire glows frolicking in it and sipped it with closed eyes, “Grouse Scotch, the best blended malt…good choice… ”

“Yeah, I dont drink the others, except William Grants. It is incredible too,” Eduard squinted and glanced askew at his big-shoulder neighbor.

“Ouch!” Alik turned his head and looked directly in the eyes of his companion. “Dont drag your cats tail. Let`s come back to our…”

“Cats,” Eduard interrupted suddenly and stood up, beginning going back and forth in the sweeping studio-kitchen. “You know I dislike your red cat Yar, who feels as a hotshot host in my house.”

“It is not surprising, in spring, love affairs are normal for all cats and your black lady-cat Feisty is not an exception. She is the fancy fantasy for all feline tribe in the neighborhood,” Alik took the second sip of whisky, watching forks of fire flaming.

“Surely, you are right. On the one hand, but on the other hand, he marked the whole territory of my house and I smell him even in my bathroom. My Feisty is always pregnant…”

“Her test is always paw-sitive, um?”

“Please, dont interrupt me, and I even dont know how he penetrates in my house!” Eduard was ready to lose control, but came to senses on time, taking a sizable swig of whisky.

“But you fixed so many video cameras around your house. I just don`t believe you,” Alik kept on enjoying the enigmatic dances of fire flashes.

“Jolly well! I noticed several cracks through which he squeezed his fat ass while going to eat the feed-stuff of my feeble kitty and to enjoy her…fluffy tail. But when I closed all the holes in my foundation and basement, windows and walls, chimney and roof, he did not stop appearing in my house whenever he wants! ” Eduard got excited.

“Blimey! What a cat-astrophe! So what did you do?” Alik went on tasting whisky undertones not raising his eyes to glance at his offended a bit nightcap-mate. “Did you ask Peter to bring his Rottweiler dog to chase my cat?”

“Yeah,” Eduard choked on a piece of cheese in his hand.

“Did you drive my cat in the basement and threw this Rottweiler there to tear my Yar to shreds?”

“Yeah,” the eyeballs of Eduard started sucking from the sockets.

“Did my cat run away?”

“Yeah!” Eduard got shocked. “Are you a psychic man?”

“Maybe…However, it was Peter who told me about it yesterday…So what do you want to know of me?”Alik poured the second glass of whisky.

“How did he do it? I can`t understand the mystic disappearance of this meowing Don Juan. In my basement, I clogged all ventilation tubes and covered all holes with a crammed coat of concrete… How did he do it?”

“Why do you ask me, Yar is lying under the wooden ladder over there,” Alik stretched his arm showing the squat place of his hide-and-seek-kitty-happy tiger. “Go and ask him. Though he dislikes you a bit, if you take a flacon of catnip and offer him to smell, he will forgive you all your sins for a while…”

“You are kidding, man, but I have another offer.” Eduard stopped circulating the studio and took a seat at the table again. “Tomorrow we will stage an experiment with your cat. I will install a camera in my basement today, and tomorrow, after his forthcoming illegal entry in my house, together with Peter and his dog, we`ll drive him in the basement again, shooting his rushing and dashing from the very beginning till the end… ”

“What for?” Alik yawned reluctantly and threw a friendly glance at his cat licking his balls under the ladder leading to the second floor.

“Don`t you see that if your cat fade away once again, it will mean that he can pass through the walls!” Eduard exclaimed excitingly. “The second variant – there is some abnormal portal in my house!”

“So what?”

“So what!” Eduard mimicked his whisky-buddy. “We can try to use this portal as your cat!”

“Are you of sound mind or this idea flashed in your skull after the week of a whisky binge? ” Alik stood up to straighten his shoulders and to throw several logs in the firebox.

“I am stone-cold-sober,” Eduard hiccupped. “Didn`t you see any films about…portals?”

“Do you mean ‘Beetlejuice,’ the fantasy comedy film with Barbara and Adam yelling, ‘We are very unhappy because we are dead!’?” Alik sprawled on his armchair again. “You offer to go to your basement and start shrieking the same words, right?”

“No, we are to analyze it and after that to make an attempt,” Eduard rubbed his nose and added, “By the way, a breakthrough idea came to my mind. If we invite Peter, he will spread the rumors around our settlement and the nearest villages too…So, it`s better not to invite him…”

“And his Rottweiler too?”

“And his Rottweiler too…Now it is better to go to my basement, to close the doors and to yell like your cat…”


“Do-Re-Mew-Fu! After that we will get back to your fireplace again. Do you agree?” Eduard stood up and suggested following him.

Being just a bit juiced, Alik had nothing against. “Let`s go to pass through your walls and to fly to the local dolls!”

“Local dolls! Don`t take the bottle of whisky! Boxer! We’ll see it in ten minutes!”

“Ten minutes! Suit”

To the surprise of them, ten minutes after, they were sitting at the same table, at the same fireplace, at the same bottle of whisky…They had gone to the basement, imagined the fireplace, shrieked at the top of their lungs, ‘Whisky and Fire, Fire and Whisky!!!’ In a while they got a blackout and in a sec found themselves sitting at the same table, fireplace and a bottle of whisky!

“Wow! It works! Yeah, it whips!” Eduard and Alik bellowed together.

“But it will be our secret, right?” Alik frowned.

“Top secret, our Cat 007!”

“Cat 007!!!”

“How will we call our technique?”

“Loaded Cossack!”



Eduard and Alik roared together again, “Great things are ahead of us!”

“Together with Yar!”

“Loaded Cossack and a bottle of whisky!”

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