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  • Nina Reis

Broodje Aap: Caupi's Escape

Imagination meets the physical structures of Amsterdam - stories of things and non-things in the city. They are true if you want them to be true.

“Yeah right, ‘wat dement’”, Caupi thinks and wants to shake his small little cat's head. Only, the limited range of movement of his boney neck allows him to just kind of tilt his chin rather than actually shake his head. “Medicijnen nodig”, he thinks again to himself and a cheeky smile shapes his small little mouth with grey whiskers. Then he turns away from the poster with his name on it and slowly starts walking. His legs feel stiff but, nonetheless, he carefully places one foot in front of the other, his skinny body bending left and right as he moves forward. Despite his decaying eyesight he feels safe on the dirty pavement with the warmth of the brick walls to his right and the traffic to his left. He senses the movement of air caused by hundreds of paddling feet - sweaty feet, manicured feet, feet in sneakers but mostly feet in sandals - it is summer. Underneath, the smell of car dust, metal, oil, perfume, and hot rubber on hot asphalt. “A refined cocktail called freedom”, Caupi concludes, impressed by the sophisticated workings of his nose.

All of the sudden, his sensors detect an increasingly strong smell of hot grease and roasted meat. His tummy grumbles and Caupi feels an energy rush in his small muscles. His nose steers the way and just like a big sailing boat his entire skinny body changes its course, heading closer to the source of this delicious sensation. “‘Perfectly capable’ instead of ‘wat dement’”, he thinks as he passes determinedly between a pair of sneakers, manoeuvring his old boney body over a door step.

Ben leans against the walls, his tummy growling, his phone is his hands when something sneaks through his legs. But Ben is a busy guy, so his gaze remains locked to the screen. He is hungry and the smell from inside the kebab shop is making his mouth water. “Dürum met friet en colaatje”, he hears a voice from inside yelling. The phone slides into the pocket of his jogging pants and Ben steps inside the shop. He lifts his hand and a white plastic bag with warm aluminium wrapped food inside gets handed over the counter. Just when Ben is about to grasp the bag, his phone rings and the vibration in his pocket makes him withdraw his hand - the bag falls to the ground.

Caupi flinches and his body aches as he ducks down, ears back and eyes wide open. After the first shock, Caupi notices the smell of meat and spices coming from the big white bag in front of him. He stretches his head forward and slowly lets go of the tension in his muscles. His small head moves closer to the bag until his nose touches the warm white plastic. Then a miracle happens: the white plastic veil disappears to the sides, the reflecting aluminium parts in front of Caupi’s face, and releases steaming meat wrapped up in a thin layer of dough.

Ben watches this skinny, dirty cat at his feet that is feasting from his food and a smile appears on his face. Caupi’s claws are wrapped in aluminium foil, the pointy nose with grey whiskers deep in meat and sauce. “He didn’t get very far”, Ben observes. He continues watching his presumed dead cat.

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