Posted by: patriciamar | July 7, 2016

Short Fiction: All Cats Should Be Long Haired

In honor of tomorrow’s release of “The Secret Life of Pets,” here’s a work of short fiction I just finished.  I don’t own a cat, but I know some.  I’m pretty sure this is how it really is.

All Cats Should Be Long Haired

No cats were harmed in the writing of this story.

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She sat on the smooth, white window ledge looking over the street next to her apartment. Surveying this landscape was all in a day’s work.

She watched leaves swim through the air and drop lightly down on the porch in front of the window.  Through the green painted vertical rails, she could look down on the lawn below and then to the sidewalk.  Two trees flanked her view.  The trees had beautiful rough bark, as if covered in veins of life, of earth.

But, oh.

Squirrels lived there.  Dirty, brown thieving squirrels that tittered and clicked their nails over the bark of the trees—her trees—as they chased each other childishly and incessantly up and down and around.

She hated them.

A man dressed as a bumble bee walked by.

Idiot.

In general, the people in her city gave her plenty to look at, but sometimes…

Another male ran by.  He was wet on his face and arms and chest.  It was disgusting.

She turned away.

Inside her apartment, it was quiet.

Too quiet.

She was becoming more and more certain that her owner was dead.

It had been hours.

Too long and no sign of her, Pamela. 

In the kitchen was her dining area.  Her food bowl was empty and had been.

If her stomach could growl, it would.  If she could growl, she would.

She had a little water left.  She had been conserving it.  Who knew when someone would discover Pamela’s decaying body?  The bedroom door was closed.  The scent of flesh would take ages to permeate the substantial wooden door.

Once the water was gone she would eat the plants in order to survive.  Before, there had been more plants.  Pamela was careless with lives—even her own, it seemed.

She gazed back down across the street to the city hall.  There were people working inside the deep red brick fortress.  The minions worked there, planning huge projects that were loud and violent.  They would soon be ripping up streets and sidewalks and lawns to build their underground human escape route.

She knew where the tunnels were.  There were entrances at the corners of each intersection. If she had to, she could escape when they came to take the body.  Eventually, she would slip out the door and find an entrance, and then escape down the hidden underground path to nine eternal lives.  She had heard them talking about it, the humans.  Only cats had nine.  Humans got but one pitiful excuse for an existence.  Hair dryers and leaf blowers and vacuums—the ideas they came up with…

And there he was, prowling in the grass.

Carl.

The gargantuan tabby.  He terrorized everyone, night and day and afternoon and morning.  Doesn’t sleep.

We’re domesticated, you short haired bastard!

All cats should be long haired.

Oh.…

She’s up…

My “Master.”

My God, she’s loud.  Will I ever get any peace?

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