[Editor’s note: This is all that could be saved from the diary of Samwise Dicken, beginning the 27th of May, 2014. These are the personal notes of Mr. Dicken, chronicling his stay at his parent’s house in Indianapolis while they were away on business. These notes have been released for the public with the consent of Mr. and Mrs. Dicken.]
I have been missing this quiet, this peace. I was more than happy to take my parents’ offer to watch the cats. It feels like years since I have lived alone, and in truth it has been a long time. I am quite pleased to be able to cook and clean only for myself, and operate solely on my own schedule. I can simply read a book or watch a movie, should I choose to do so. Taking care of housecats is a small price to pay for the reverie of being alone.
This house is too big. I will never understand how my parents could live here easily, for there is simply too much space. I cannot imagine being able to use each room effectively, and it seems they have the same issue; my brother’s room and my own seem to be primarily used for storage at this point.
I do not enjoy being in large houses, or by large windows. I know it is just a nervous tick, a childish anxiety left over from my youth, but I can’t help but feel exposed. In such a large house, the feeling of knowing you are alone may be overshadowed by the sheer presence of the emptiness. You begin to wonder what may be there with you.
I will overcome my child-like fears. Perhaps leaving the cats free to roam the house, and sleep in my room, will comfort me.
My plan was in error. The cats’ presence was a comfort, for the most part. However as the night wore on I can only assume they grew bored with my restless slumber, and took off to enjoy the house at nighttime. I woke several times to what I imagine was simple feline curiosity, a far-off sound or the tinkle of a toy bell.
This morning I took the time to close a few doors, shut off access to a few parts of the house. This should keep the cats out of some of the rooms, and help put my mind at east about the size of the abode.
Day 4: [Editor’s note: At this point, Mr. Dicken’s paranoia seems to have begun. It’s source is unknown.]
My concern grows. I have been unable to shake my anxieties, and I fear I am closing in on a paranoia. Last night, in the early hours, I woke to the sound of voices. I thought I was awake, though now I cannot be sure. I laid there paralyzed with fright, as I slowly realized that these voices, to my horror, belonged to the cats.
I am more and more certain it was just a dream, as surely cats cannot speak. I do not remember what it was I felt I heard, though I do know it filled me with dread. The cats will sleep in the basement again tonight.
On my way out this morning I saw that some of the doors were ajar, and promptly closed them. Their hinges must be weak, or their wood shrunken with age. I cannot consider that the cats have opened them.
Everything I do, everywhere I go in this house, the cats seem to be there waiting. I may glance in the mirror while shaving, or look back before leaving in the morning, and one will be there. Always in the corner of my eye, always a step behind me.
I must be mistaken, they seem normal house cats. They show me affection, and play with string. They seem more concerned about their morning and evening meals than they do about my whereabouts. And yet there they are, always just out of view.
I have taken to leaving all doors shut, though I continue to find ones ajar. I have put away my razor, and secured all the knives. I have no reason for doing these things.
Day 6: [Editor’s note: On day six Samwise seems to have taken a turn for the worse. His handwriting was shaky, and uneven.]
My only hope is for them to accept me. I have begun to pay more attention to their one-on-one relations, and the group dynamic. The power structure of their little hierarchy can change day to day, sometimes hour to hour. Size is a factor, but not the only variable. Pecking order is shown by means of seat location, food bowl choice, and litter-box usage. Preference seems to be contested by short tussles, where the victor receives a grooming.
I must understand these creatures, if I am to have any hope. I can no longer fight my battles with closed doors and indifference. I can only hope that my understanding of them will help them understand me.
[Editor’s note: Much of this page has been lost. Samwise’s handwriting became indecipherable, his thoughts muddled. Sentences are smeared and word are unidentifiable. What was able to be saved has been reproduced here.]
“… [smudge] last day. There is n[this sentence appears to have been erased several times] Hope is gone… [indecipherable scribble] I must… show… [smudge, which extends along the rest of the line] We are…. family… [ink blot] We… are one.”