Eventually, Kahinoor became bored and decided she would explore further. Looking up she saw, high above her, a small circle of light. Perhaps she could get into the garden that way. She could clearly hear, echoing down the chimney, the sound of birds tweeting in the trees. She was looking forward to playing in the garden for the first time, and it really couldn’t be that hard to get to the top. She started to climb.
Now cats can climb pretty much anything that they put their minds to, so long as their claws have not been clipped recently and providing there are little indentations for them to hang on to. The inside of a chimney, for example, is perfect climbing territory. It is not widely appreciated though, particularly by cats, that their stamina is quite limited. So it was that Kahinoor soon found herself in that unbearably tiresome position where she couldn’t go up any further, and couldn’t see to go down.
Admittedly the faint light at the top of the chimney was now a bright rectangle and very close, but if it had been only the length of a paw away it would have been too far. She hung there, motionless for what seemed like an eternity and then, uttering a plaintive mew, she plummetted downwards. The chimney was tall and she had a long way to fall. Even as a young cat she knew she was in trouble. It wasn’t going to end as well as her earlier tumble down the stairs had done.
Perhaps it was the shock of falling. Perhaps it was a reaction to her fear, but suddenly everything changed. Whereas previously the dark walls of the chimney were passing by in a blur, now she could see every detail, and her motion downwards was gentle rather than a headlong plunge. It was as if time had stopped, or at least had been slowed to such a slow pace that she no longer seemed to be falling but was instead being lifted down by an invisible hand. She had never experienced this feeling before.