Cat Lady

“She eats cats!” exclaimed one of the kids.

Santi and his friends, all sixth graders, were out riding their bikes after school and had just passed the Cat Lady’s house. “Who eats cats?” asked Santi as he drove over a dead bird on the sidewalk.

“The lady that lives in that yellow house back there,” said Bella, the only girl in the group. Very sure of herself and trying to scare Santi, she continued, “She brings home cats all the time, but they never come out. She eats them.”

Santi and all the other friends laughed half-heartedly.

That evening, Santi’s parents left for a dinner party, and had his Uncle Tony babysit. “How was your day,” asked Uncle Tony.

“It was good,” said Santi. “There’s a cat lady around the block that eats cats.”

Uncle Tony laughed and said, “Let’s find out.” He grabbed a deck of Tarot Cards from a cabinet, opened the box and shuffled the cards. Santi drew one and gave it to his uncle. It was the Queen of Cups.

“There, you see,” said Uncle Tony. “The cat lady is a nice woman and doesn’t eat cats.”

“How do you know?” asked Santi.

Uncle Tony explained: “The card shows a loving queen, sensitive and caring. In fact, she’s quite nurturing and makes decisions from the heart. I’m sure she loves and cares for those cats, and not eat them.”

Satisfied, Santi said, “Okay.”

The next day, after riding their bikes around the neighborhood and finally dispersing to go home, Santi came to the yellow house.

It was big – a sprawling ranch-style, brick home painted yellow. And in front, bent over trying to pick up a heavy bag of cat food, was the Cat Lady. She looked up at Santi and said hello.

Santi, deciding that she didn’t look scary, stopped and said: “Hi. Can I help you with that?”

She smiled, thanked him, then introduced herself. “My name is Mrs. Carra.” She stood. She was tall and very well dressed, not at all what Santi thought a cat lady would look like.

Next to her was a small cage containing a kitten. “My newest rescue,” she said. “I foster cats and kittens. There are so many that are unwanted. I do my part in caring for them until I find ‘forever homes’ – a suitable family for each. It’s what I do to help these poor little darlings.”

Santi thought back to what Uncle Tony had said – that this woman is caring. “That’s a cute cat,” said Santi. “I like cats, too. Can I help?”

Mrs. Carra nodded, picked up the cat food, and asked Santi to carry the cage to the house.

Inside, the house was big, light and airy. The smell of baked bread and cookies was in the air. And it was incredibly clean. “Your home is nice,” said Santi. “It’s the nicest house I’ve ever seen – even bigger than my friend Bella’s. She’s kind of a brat, but she’s ok. I thought there would be cats all over.”

Mrs. Carra laughed: “Well, there normally would be, but I keep them in what’s called a Catiary. It’s a house for cats so they can run around, enjoy and play, and all in a safe environment.”

“Can I see it?” Asked Santi.

“Sure,” said Mrs Carra. “But only for a short visit. I have a family coming in a bit to look at a few cats to adopt. Follow me.” She picked up the new kitten and took Santi to the great room.

The afternoon sun is streaming in through large windows. There were empty cat cages of all sizes lined up against one side of the room. In the middle was a doll house sitting on a table. The doll house was large and detailed – a mini house, in fact. Mrs. Carra pointed to the house and said: “This is the Catiary. This is where I keep all of my foster cats.”

Santi looked confused, so she said, “Here, I’ll show you.”

She put the kitten down by the doll house. With one hand she took hold of a silver object connected to a charm bracelet wrapped around her other wrist. She pressed a button and the kitten disappeared.

Intrigued, Santi said, “Where did it go?”

“Why the kitten is in the Catiary, of course,” she replied. “Look through the windows.”

Santi peered through the doll house windows and focused his eyes. Then he saw it – several miniaturized cats in each room. They were all playing and running about like normal, unaware that they were unnaturally small.

“This is where I keep and protect my cats until I find a suitable home for them,” she said. Mrs. Carra stood behind Santi and continued, “Would you like to see them up close?”

Santi had an idea and decided to act. He quickly stood up, stepped backwards, and pushed Mrs. Carra to the floor. He grabbed her bracelet, found the correct charm, and pressed the button. Mrs. Carra immediately vanished. He looked in the Catiary window and found her tiny self inside, still laying on the floor, but this time surrounded by cats. She got up, anger bursting her face.

“You’re a horrible boy,” she yelled with her small voice. “Get me out of here right now.”

Santi, still with the charm bracelet in hand, exited through the front door and left the house. He smiled and thought, “I think I’ll bring Bella here.”


This is Dante P Ramon, your host and author of The Dark Reading, scary stories inspired by Tarot cards. I invite you to listen to our podcast regularly, and visit us on the web at And please feel free to share The Dark Reading with your friends.

I just picked the Death card, so good night for now.


Season 1 Episode 13.

©2020 The Dark Reading. All Rights Reserved.

All third party marks are the property of their respective owners.


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