Samej sat on an old wooden bench and absently stroked the head of his cat, Noissapmoc. He closed his eyes in the heat of the day and listened to the happy chatter from the birds in the trees. Today was a good day. In fact, he figured this was the best day of his life. He had sent a message to a young woman who lived near the Spirited Forest. When he opened his mail, much to his delight, it was a positive response from her. Samej smiled when he read the letter and stroked his long white beard. Leslie Burrows was going to meet with him first thing in the morning to try and help his people.
Weeks earlier, he had heard the astounding news about her quest to break the curse cast upon Prince Peter. With faith and determination, she destroyed the evil sorcerer and set the prince free. The latest gossip to reach his ears was the delightful news that they were to wed in the future. Samej immediately sent Leslie an urgent message before that happened. He didn't want any delays. What was happening in the Enchanted Land required a powerful wizard.
He stopped stroking the cat and leaned back in his seat. He gazed out at the desolate land. Aside from his tiny shack in the woods, there was nothing surrounding it. Samej had moved back to his birthplace when the chaos started in the Enchanted Land. He was old and tired. His days in the wizardry world had come to an end. It was only a matter of time before he would die in the comfort of his bed.
Samej stretched out his feeble legs and sighed. His black cat purred loudly. "You will have a new master soon," he spoke softly. "I want you to obey what she says. That's very important." Noissapmoc seemed to understand. She rubbed her wet nose against his gnarled hand and meowed.
He smiled in recollection. It wasn't that long ago when he acquired this affectionate cat. Samej had been browsing the stands at an open market when a man in a striped coat called to the crowd to gather around. The magician waved his wand, produced a rabbit out of a hat and made his assistant disappear. The audience applauded politely and one man in the crowd asked for something more daring. The magician, without hesitation, grabbed the black cat that was sitting on a nearby stool. He motioned for Samej to come close and assist him with his next act. Kindly he obliged and stood next to the magician in wonder.
"I have the powers," the magician said, "to make this cat do as I say. When I ask her to jump onto this man's shoulders, then climb onto his head, the cat will obey." The audience waited eagerly to see if it worked. When the magician waved his wand and muttered an incantation, the cat sat perfectly still and refused to budge. The magician seemed a bit ruffled and his face turned a bright red. "I will try it one more time." With the wave of his wand, he ordered the cat to move.
The large black feline never took her eyes off Samej. She seemed entranced by his presence.
Annoyed that one of his spells didn't work, the magician picked up the cat and shoved her into his arms. "Here, you can have it. She's been a thorn in my side for years now. One day she listens and the next time she completely ignores me." The man apologized to the audience and continued on quickly so as not to lose their interest.
Samej never stayed for the remainder of the show. He held the cat protectively in his arms. The moment they made contact, there was a bond between them. He couldn't explain it. This feline, unknown to his previous owner, was no ordinary cat. This animal had special powers.
From that day on, the two of them were inseparable and did everything together. Samej knew that his days on earth were numbered. That is why he went to great lengths to find the perfect master to take his beloved pet. Samej gently stroked the cat again. His thoughts were not on the peace and tranquility of this place where he lived, but on the young lady, he would meet tomorrow. He was sending her on a dangerous quest and into unfamiliar territory. She had been successful before and with the same luck and determination, she would be again.
Samej grabbed the cat from underneath the belly and placed her onto the porch. He slowly rose to his feet and walked toward the entrance. "Come inside, Noissapmoc. It is time we get ready for bed."