Oops, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I noticed that I’ve had a few visitors in the last month or so. Thank you!
This week, I have taken on another Chuck Wendig challenge. You can read about it here
Basically, the challenge is to write a story of approximately 2000 words about X vs Y. I got cats versus evil. So, here is my take on that theme. I hope that you enjoy it!
Jupiter stretched and stood up from his mistress’ plush towelling bath robe, leaving a perfect cat sized dip in the pile.
Humans are strange. He thought as he passed by the shower. Though he spent long hours wondering while she was at that place called Work, he couldn’t fathom her habits and routines.
Why did She voluntarily step into a glass refrigerator and pour hot water on herself for half an hour every morning? Why did She pull hairs out of her skin and paint her claws?
Why did She own so many clothes when she could wear so few of them at one time? (He’d found out the hard way that they weren’t for scratching or sleeping on)…
THUMP THUMP THUMP! A visitor… and a chance for escape.
“YIAW!!” Jupiter said.
“What is it Juju?” She yelled from the shower. “I just fed you.”
With a loud sigh she turned the taps off and snatched her robe off the floor. Too late. The door thumper was gone.
There goes another chance. Jupiter thought.
“Did you hear something Juju?” She peered out the glass window by the door. “Huh. A package. Back in the bathroom with you, mister.”
She scooped him up, one arm around the middle, the other under the butt, plonked him in the bathroom and shut the door. Jupiter sat by the door and listened.
“Huh. Wrong address. I’ll take it to the post office tomorrow.”
She opened the bathroom door, and a whirlwind of hair drying and foul smelling cosmetics ensued. Jupiter ensconced himself on the bed. She followed soon after, pulling the wardrobe doors open.
“Where is that little black dress?”
How would I know? I’m just a helpless little kitty cat. Jupiter smiled. Fur never lets you down.
“Of course you wouldn’t know. If you did you would be sleeping on it.”
Clothes. What a source of misery! She was much happier without them. As if to prove his point, his mistress frowned in the mirror before she left wearing a white blouse and black skirt, muttering about how she wouldn’t look as good for her lunch date.
Jupiter rolled over and released an effortful purr. He slept for another three hours.
There was something strange about the apartment when he woke up. He jumped off the bed and walked down the hall. About halfway, it hit him.
A siren smell like lady cats and salmon. Had She plugged in the Feliway again? Was Gus the moron back?
Fourteen cat years ago, his mistress had decided that her Juju was lonely and needed a companion. Jupiter had hoped that She would find him a mate that would be his intellectual and philosophical equivalent. Sadly, this turned out to be Gus, whose repertoire of behaviour consisted of accidentally locking himself in cabinets, falling behind furniture and getting stuck (ok, so maybe I pushed him a few times), and staring at the wall. To add insult to injury, she had also purchased a male cat. After Jupiter beat him up a few times, she tried a pheromone diffuser, which smelled heavenly but did not diffuse Jupiter’s disdain. After a few weeks, Gus the moron was tearfully rehomed.
No, it wasn’t Gus the moron, Jupiter thought, relieved. He followed the origin of the smell and found himself in front of the large package on the table. He inspected it thoroughly, sniffing the corners, and jumped on top of the box. Only a thin layer of packing tape separated him from the lady cats and salmon. What else could it be?
He raked his claws across the top, the cardboard coming away from the box in satisfying strips. Closer to the prize, he tore at the box like a dog digging for a bone (such an ugly analogy) and chewed at the remaining cardboard. He had to admit that it was somewhat tasty.
Beneath him, the box began to shake. It opened and something came out like a jack in the box, throwing Jupiter to the floor, where he scattered a bowl of cat biscuits. He looked up and saw the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
It was round, and maybe twice the size of Jupiter. Its surface rippled as it floated about three feet above the table. Jupiter thought of things he’d only seen on television: a lion’s mane, a soaring eagle, and the languid glide of a veil tailed fish. He had a sense that he saw both predator and prey in this thing. The beautiful smell had evaporated, and in its place he smelled rotten food. A new toy it was not.
He started, his eyes grew wide. This thing was talking to him. Yes.
Who are you?
FIRST. TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT.
A mate that will be my intellectual and philosophical equivalent.
CLOSE YOUR EYES.
Jupiter followed the strange instruction. In his mind’s eye, he could still see the thing floating.
NOW OPEN THEM.
“YIAWWW!” The shapes of the furniture, the food bowl, and the dust bin were all the same, but they were somehow brighter and more distinct from one another.
COLOURS. THEY ARE COLOURS.
Jupiter turned to face the thing and saw a kaleidoscope of colours: reds, blues, purples, and pinks. The colours have names too? How did I know that? He stared at the thing in awe. He closed his eyes and found his memories filled with colour. He was six weeks old, alone in the pet store. His brothers and sisters had been sold. Next to his glass cabinet, there was a fish tank. There were six fish, only they weren’t swimming free. They were locked in little compartments like him, and each was a bright colour. One was crimson, another turquoise. The others were violet, sky blue, or a mix of colours. He saw the label on the tank and could read it. SIAMESE FIGHTING FISH – $11.95.
That was what the thing looked like! Hey! Hey thing! What about my companion. Will she know colours too?
In response, the thing began to swim through the air, from one side of the kitchen-dining to the other. The light reflecting through the venetian blinds reflected off its surface, exposing scales from some angles, and feathers from others. Jupiter watched, transfixed, lost in memories from his kitten-hood.
OH YES, SHE KNOWS THOSE THINGS. SHE KNOWS THEM EVER SO WELL.
It began to spin on the spot now, a windmill or a wheel of colour. Then it turned on its side and shot out a window She had left open.
“YIAW!” Jupiter jumped at the gap, but it was too small for him to fit through. It was gone.
His stomach began to rumble. In frustration and hunger, he knocked over the dustbin. A rainbow of tins and packets fell out. In the past, this had been one of Jupiter’s favourite things to do. This time, he found himself able to read the labels. The mystery of the packets was all too transparent for him: Arabica coffee, sardines (yum), Mars Bars.
He ran down to his mistress’ bedroom and tried to sleep, but his thoughts and memories overwhelmed him. He had seen so many colours and words in his life.
At 5:30pm, Jupiter heard the key in the lock. She’s home!
“Juju. Have you been a good kitty today?”
Jupiter ran into the hall. His mistress was there. She looked so radiant with her dark lashes, pale skin and red lips. And that blouse… it wasn’t white at all! It was blue, like the sky on a summer’s day! Just looking at her, he knew so much about her. She had bought it last winter…
Mistress. I know. I know so much. He ran around her ankles, leaving fur on her stockings.
“I hope that you’ve been a good kitty, because mummy is having a friend over tonight.”
A man stepped over the threshold. His large hand was reaching down. Jupiter instinctively pulled away.
“Hey buddy.” The man bent down and scratched his head. It was an affectionate gesture, like an adult would do to a cherished child. “I know we’re going to be friends.”
The colours on his t-shirt started to swirl and ripple…
“YIAW!” Jupiter said. It was all that he could say.