Chapter 6 – The Cat of Campanhã

As a fan of urban exploration, I’m also a connoisseur of street art. Over the years, I had the opportunity to meet several artists, with whom I kept in touch. One day, during a web chat with one of them, I found out something strange.

Those who know Campanhã Station, in the city of Porto, know that it is surrounded by a huge cement infrastructure. What most people don’t know is that it hides a huge network of service tunnels, part of which I had already had the opportunity to explore.

As might be expected, street artists were able to enter some of these tunnels and took advantage of their walls to practice their art.

It was during one of these visits that my friend and a few other colleagues came upon something very strange. In one of the tunnels, they found a cat. This would be nothing exceptional, were it not for the fact that the animal didn’t leave the same spot in months and constantly repeated the same movements.

After all I had seen since l found the diary, I couldn’t help it but check it out. I arranged a time with my friend and took the train from Braga to Campanhã.

When I got there, he led me directly into the tunnel. The metal door was next to the rail, some three hundred meters from the station, and it was wide open, giving easy access to the interior. Inside, the walls and even the ceiling were covered with multiple styles of graffiti. From simple “tags” to elaborate murals, one could see everything there.

We walked in the tunnel for several tens of meters, until we reached an area opened to the right. In that direction, there was a large well, the purpose of which no one seemed to know.

“That’s where the cat is,” my friend said.

I pointed my flashlight at its bottom, about eight meters below, and then I saw the animal. As I had been told, it looked like an ordinary grey and white cat. I watched him for a few minutes. During this time he remained almost motionless, sitting on the ground, moving only occasionally at intervals which seemed more or less regular to lick one of his front paws, always the same.

Behind the animal, I found an iron door, but it was rusty and didn’t seem to be used in years. In fact, I doubted it would even be possible to open it, at least not without destroying it.

“Since we discovered him four months ago, he’s always there doing the same thing,” my friend said. “A normal cat would have died of starvation.

I had to agree with him. That cat might not be in the diary I had found, but it deserved to be.

“I brought a rope,” I said, pointing at my backpack. “We can go down to look closer at it.”

“Sounds good to me.”

At that moment, two other artists who were painting next to us approached and one of them said “Can we go with you? We’re also curious about the cat.”

“If you like,” replied my friend.

I took the rope from my backpack and attached it to a concrete beam almost directly over the well. I let each of my companions test the knot, and as soon as they were satisfied, we began the descent. The artist who called me there was the first down, followed by me and only then by the two who approached us.

During all this, the cat remained undisturbed, only licking its paw a few times. He wasn’t just indifferent to our presence, it was as if we weren’t there.

We walked around it, watching closely, but physically nothing distinguished it from an ordinary cat. Had it not been for its strange behavior and the fact that it had been in that well for so long, no one would have paid it any attention.

I also inspected the rusty door and confirmed that it was so stuck it was impossible to move.

Finally, curiosity got the better of one of the artists who had joined us, and he tried to touch the animal. To our surprise, his hand went through the cat as if there was nothing there, while it remained motionless like nothing had happened.

We took several steps back. We didn’t know what that creature was or what it could do. However, after all I had seen before, I was the least alarmed of the four. My companions looked terrified.

“It’s a ghost!” Said one of the men who had joined us.

As I could attest, it was a good possibility. But I said nothing. They had already had a great shock, there was no need to aggravate it.

“What do we do now?” asked my friend. “Should we tell someone?”

Before anyone could answer, the man who had tried to touch the cat started screaming desperately.

“What is it?” his companion asked, but he just kept screaming.

His screams were so loud they made my ears ache. He started to circle the well as if he was trying to run away from something but didn’t know where to go. Finally, he tried to climb up the rope, but fell after little more than a meter, sitting on the floor and leaning against the wall.

We gathered around him to try to calm him down and figure out what was going on, but he kept screaming.

“Look ?!” said my friend suddenly, pointing to the hand of the fallen.

Part of it no longer had skin, showing the muscles underneath. Before our eyes, they disappeared, leaving only bones. Finally, even these vanished.

The man, at last, stopped screaming.

“Are you alright?” asked his friend.

When he didn’t get an answer, he tried to touch him, but he withdrew his hand when the body of the fallen emptied itself like a balloon. Finally, it disappeared completely. Whatever had consumed him, it did so both from the outside in and from the inside out.

In a panic, my two remaining companions climbed the rope back into the tunnel and ran outside. Calmly, I followed them, taking one last look at the cat, which still looked like as if nothing had happened.

I only talked again with my friend days later, through web chat. He was still somewhat shaken by what we had seen, so I only gave him some comfort and didn’t tell him about the equally strange things I had seen before and the myriad described in the diary I had found.

However, he told me something very interesting. After our visit, he had tried to go back to the tunnel but discovered that the entrance had been sealed with cement.

Who had done it? Was it the organization that Alice had told me about during my first visit to the Faerie Bar? And how had they discovered the cat’s existence?

As always, one of my explorations had brought more questions to torment me. Unfortunately, these only increased my insatiable curiosity, drawing me deeper into knowledge that no human being should have.

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