The moon was very very big. It was also very very bright.

So bright it woke Dot up.

She sat in bed and rubbed her eyes.

A wide beam of moonlight was falling on the carpet.

Shasha was sitting in the middle of the room, bathed in the shimmering brightness.

Dot rubbed her eyes again, and when she opened them, the room was empty.

Maybe I am dreaming, Dot thought to herself.

She blinked.

Shasha was sitting in the middle of the room bathed in moonlight, and Dot sighed with relief.

“Where did you go, Shasha?”, she asked the cat.

Shasha turned her head slowly. Her emerald eyes were half-closed and Dot was sure she could hear her purr.

She lay back in bed and fell asleep.

The next morning she could not find Shasha anywhere.

She looked under the bed first.

Then in the closet.

Under the dining table.

In her parents’ bedroom.

The house was warm and the same.

But not the same.

“Shashi!”, she called out.

The wind outside rustled the leaves.

Dot strained to listen.

Soft fur against her skin told her Shasha was back.

She danced around Dot’s legs, asking to be caressed.

“I love you Shasha,” Dot said softly to the cat.

That night the moon was still very very big, and very very bright.

Dot took Shasha to bed with her, holding her tight but not too tight.

She woke up in the middle of the night, just like before.

Shasha was gone and the room was as bright as day.

This time Dot did not blink but opened her eyes even wider.

She managed not to blink for a long time, and when she finally did, something had changed.

The cat was sitting in the middle of the moonbeam, looking at her.

“Where have you been Shasha?, Dot asked quietly.

“Tell me.”

Shasha turned back to look at the moon and Dot followed her gaze.

Then she got out of bed and stepped into the light.

She felt as if she was swimming in a warm cloud, safe and protected.

It lifted her higher and higher, rocking her to and fro at the same time.

Dot woke up and held her breath for a moment.

“Where am I?, she wondered.

Shasha purred next to her. The sun through the window was red and far away.

Dot could hear her mother making breakfast, and she wanted very much to hug her.

(to be continued)