2 - Cat
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The following account proved to be proof of Mrs. Lu's luck.

Even in laboratories, some discoveries are made by mistake or by chance; the microwave because of a chocolate bar next to a military device; the Velcro because of plants that stuck to a hunter; the tire because of rubber exposed to heat… These are just a few out of thousands —, so why not wouldn't it happen with a “researcher”?

I, and I hope those using this research too, believe that luck is not a factor that discredits a discovery. It all depends on whether the event will be viewed from the right angle, and if we discuss angles, even that can be a hit of random factors.

Perhaps this has not been properly contextualized earlier — a product of my own disinterest: Mrs. Lu was a housewife, she never ceased to be. Even after her husband passed away. She preferred to survive on his retirement and that was not of note until her “research” got into my hands. I wonder why she never tried to sell her information, as I have sometimes seen deceased colleagues try to do.

All of interest in context, I include her notes written on research ███-35A.

I don't think there's ever been one of those things that made me get so freaked out! For a moment I even thought I was going crazy, but Bethoven noticed it too. He began to bark like crazy, but didn't even approach the cat — which was more than very strange. What kind of cat would frighten such a big dog like Bethoven? I answer it myself: something that is not a cat!

It all started with goosebumps while I washed clothes that continued even after I closed all the windows in the apartment. I tried to go on with my day even with this feeling bothering me. I went to sweep the house. When I gathered the dirt on the shovel, there was a bunch of gray hairs in the middle of Bethoven's orange hairs.

It appeared while I was setting the table.

It was a huge, well-fed cat. Long gray fur, golden eyes that seemed to glow brighter than the living room lamp.

Bethoven… I don't know if he sensed there was something in the house too or if he just wanted to play, but he rushed to the dining room, as if he'd been called. Stared at the cat for a moment before starting to bark. He sure was bigger than the cat, but still… He barked as if trying to fend off this intruder before it hurt him.

The cat didn't leave. It just stood there defying us.

I left the dishes on the table. If the dog (which was supposed to be a guard dog) didn't scare it, I would.

The cat turned, its full, furry tail raised. It rubbed itself a little on the dining room's entryway — which for a cat is like marking territory — and headed for the hallway that led off to the exit, which had an entrance to the living room in the middle. And I followed it to open the door and send the cat away.

Around a corner, it dared to pull a movie cliche on me and disappeared.

I looked for it in the living room, no sign of it other than the gray fur on the floor, camouflaged by the dark wood floor in a similar shade to the fur's. The same thing for the rest of the house, however its presence remained. It was watching from somewhere.

I left it alone. It was out of sight and Bethoven stopped barking.

Roberto arrived and I got used to the feeling.

When he went to sleep, the strength of the feeling returned. I could see two dots of light for a moment when I turned my head. Why do these things like to hide in the corner of your eye so much?

I can't tell if my nightmares were because of that cat, but in the morning, I felt the sting of scratches when I went to take a shower. From my knee to my ankle, scratches still open but not bleeding.

I can't even say that cat disappeared right away. I wanted to, but I can't.

It reappeared the next day. The whole of the following week. And if on the first day just getting close to it made it disappear for the rest of the day, in the following days it reappeared in less and less time. After about four days, right after I scared it off it reappeared, it didn't even wait anymore. The feeling of it watching me, however, never went with it. It got weaker, but as soon as its image came back it turned “normal”.

Every day, my patience got smaller. I tried to set traps around the house, but none worked. It doesn't matter much to talk about them here. Every time it was trapped, whether with wood, steel, glass… it passed through the object like sand through the cracks of a wooden door. It passed through, sat down somewhere and stared at me.

About the cuts… They disappeared as soon as new ones appeared in different places and angles.

Still, with all these problems caused by the damn feline, I tried to stick to my routine. Since nothing worked agaisnt it, getting myself pissed off wouldn't matter. I got used to cursing it and talking to it out loud, even more than I talked to Bethoven.

It was in the second week of this crap that I found my way out of that torture!

I always liked housewives' magazines. I can't do half of the easy things that are written there… But there was this column called “breathe and relax” that had something easy to do: light a lavender incense.

I went right down to one of those weird little shops to buy incense. The cat accompanied me, of course. Just as it spent more time with me, it went farther and farther from the apartment by my side.

I put the incense in an old coffee cup. I felt a certain suspense striking the match, wondering if I would relax as soon as I lit it, how long it would take, how much could it make me forget about the cat. The smoke rose, weaving fragile spirals that fell apart before even reaching the ceiling.

It didn't take me long to discover that it's not a good idea to light an incense with windows closed (stuff not explained in the columns and not even thought about during my little despair). When the house was almost sick with the scent of lavender, I realized it and opened the nearest window.. But then I was surprised.

Looking out the window of the building, watching the people and cars below… I noticed that there wasn't that annoying feeling of being watched. I looked back waiting for the judgment of the pest, but there was no one there. Not even Bethoven — I bet he was sleeping in my room.

When I was little, there was this story of the man who bought shoes smaller than his foot so he could feel the relief of when he took them off. I remember my grandmother telling me it and I couldn't get into that guy's mind to understand. Inconceivable is a funny word, but very fair to me. It didn't make sense… until I took off my own tight shoe. I took a long time at the window, looking straight ahead without the urge to turn around.

Note: The scratches disappeared two days later.


Page taken from diary 3. There is a photo of a cat and of Mrs. Lu's dog — Bethoven — with streaks yellow in color in the eyes of the anomaly.

I feel I must say that as I read her accounts, Mrs. Lu's lack of care is notoriously inconceivable if applied to any Foundation personnel. The first accounts I found only show me that she should have died even before her husband. For that reason, I see value in her luck.

Whoever reads this paper may think that I belittle the work of scientists who tried for years and years before their results arrived, never relying on chance. However, I see a raw beauty in this "luck", in the randomness that takes us in good directions from time to time. And, perhaps, guided by this admiration of her luck, I continue reading her diary.

NOTE: Some time after this episode, the specimen that Mrs. Lu gave so many nicknames to throughout her account was found. I will add the studies to this paper soon.

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