At night all cats are grey

The Night descended slowly onto the grey buildings as the clock struck the dark hours of winter. It ached for the light-heartedness of summer, for the long and colourful days, and for the nights echoing with the sounds of music and laughter. But the summer was long gone and the colours now faded gradually into many shades of grey during the cold months of the year.
‘At night all cats are grey,’ the Night noted to itself, gloomily watching people casting indistinctive shadows as they disappeared behind closed doors. As if to prove it wrong, a scrawny ginger cat ran under a streetlight, holding a half-eaten fish between sharp teeth. He came to a halt and ate in rapid bites, crouching nervously out of sight behind a bin. One of his ears was missing the tip. His tail was dirty. And there was a faint smell of garbage to him. The Night rolled its eyes in disgust. At the end of the street, light footsteps approaching the stone bridge over the river made the Night turn its dark and elegant head: A shadow reached the parapet and two elbows collapsed on it with a heavy sigh. The ginger tom moved away from the stolen fish, his whiskers trembling in the wind. For a moment the street was quiet. Then the sound of tears filled it with sadness. The Night felt suddenly very tired. It wished that melancholy were not the sounds on a winter’s night. The arms pushed on the parapet; the shadow was suddenly sitting with legs hanging over the water. The Night froze. Its heart sank. ‘Not another one,’ it said to itself, ‘please, don’t let it be another one.’
‘Leave me alone,’ a trembling voice said.
‘Meow,’ the ginger tom replied. He had just jumped onto the parapet.
‘Can’t you see I’m not,’ the voice continued, sobbing taking the rest of the words away. But the cat didn’t seem to understand.
The Night shut its eyes. It couldn’t bear to watch. It waited for the sound of the river claiming a lonely life. It waited, wishing there were something else to do. Minutes passed, nothing came. Instead the Night heard a soft purr. It opened its eyes to the world again. The cat had climbed onto the shadow’s lap, rubbing the tears away with his bony head. Two arms were hugging the orange fur. The dirty tail flicked to a silent music.
Silently, the Night praised all cats, grey or not.

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