*or, more accurately, on the following weekend, when the editor remembers this is her job--which has happened pretty much every time
Dolores Umbridge had always, always, ALWAYS loved cats. Often, cats liked her as well. Though she did not have her own, she often saw one particular cat around Hogwarts. Of this cat, she was particularly fond as her first kitten as a child would have grown up to look precisely the same.
She remembered every single time she saw this cat, a grey Tabby with the greenest eyes.
The first time was from far off, out the window. She had spotted him, for she had decided the Tabby was a male, as had been her childhood kitten, from out of the window, slinking around the corner. She had thought about him all day…
The second time, he was down the corridor from her, staring at her, judging her, somehow, if a cat could judge. She took only a step closer, but the cat must have startled, for he ran off despite her best efforts.
For that, Dolores was saddened. It really ruined her day, actually, even more than the presence of children at Hogwarts.
Each time after this, she only got a couple of steps closer, as if the cat were counting, no matter how slowly she walked or how sweetly she spoke to him.
Twelve steps away last Tuesday.
She just wanted to pet him.
For him to like her, yet he always ran off…
Humans didn’t like her, but cats were supposed to. He must just be shy, she rationalised. Next time, she decided, she would allow him to approach her instead. That must be the problem.
Yes, a cat simply couldn’t dislike her. That would be absolutely preposterous. She would mourn the pain of a cat long before the death of a student, which obviously entitled her to their love.
Yet, the year went on and she never got any closer to the cat than that. Then, one day, just before the OWLs were scheduled to begin, she saw the cat again, just down the corridor…
‘Please, don’t go…’ She drew in a breath sharply as the cat turned away slowly. In frustration, she sighed, ‘If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were taunting me…’
And the cat was gone again- wait! No, the cat had come over to her this time! It was a miracle! ‘There we are, see? Nothing to scare you here…’ She bent down, reaching her hand out. The tabby came closer, sniffing her hand.
When she went to pet him, the cat suddenly bit her. Umbridge shouted and drew back, terribly shocked, ‘Ow! Oh you naughty cat….!’ And the cat ran off.
Dolores regretted her anger forever, as the cat never returned. McGonagall, however, was in a particularly good mood for the rest of the week.
-The author forgot to include the Rememberall