A menacing exchange of glowering, slitted eyes, the two antagonists circled in soundless rage. Not for the faint-hearted, each appraised the other like Great White sharks in oceanic depths unwilling to fight unless necessary. Who'd blink first? Who'd rule the street? A hiss, a meow, and the ginger cat fled.
The monster who lived under my bed had sharp teeth and slitted, emerald eyes that flashed with anger. If anyone disturbed the monster’s sleep it growled and hissed and shot out razor talons. Sometimes, when all was still, it even leapt on the bed smothering me.******I loved that cat.
Green slits flicked open. She unwound like a cat waiting to purr the fridge door closed, but knowing there cream. I wasn’t good with women, too shy, but suspected her arched back suggested tiredness or desire. So, I did what any feline lover would, poured her a glass of milk.
Mornings just weren’t the same without you, the bed cold, my legs chilled despite the heavy duvet. Perhaps the loneliness affected me most, the creaking walk downstairs, drawing back the curtains to an unshared dawn. I miss you, Kat. You were the best partner a man could ever want — feline.
The mice thought they had me cornered. They did. But not in the way they hoped.
I watched as whiskers twitched and beady eyes squinted; I’d never seen a mouse squint having always kept my distance. They stood there like six-inch tall gods in their genderless, purple uniforms. I hated them, all dapper in their finery. Their little peaked caps were a natty addition, though, I’d give ‘em that, but they only antagonised me further. Enough was enough!
It was odd, but despite being in a Mexican standoff with a dozen rodents, their polished, silver ray guns pointed at my chest, I wanted to laugh. So, I did. At first it was a snigger, then a chuckle, then a great belly laugh that rolled up from deep inside to burst out of my mouth past dry lips. The mice didn’t like that, but what could they do about it? I possessed what they needed. Those little, wannabe rats just had to know if it was true. I could see it in their every straining neck, every squinting eye, with every agitated flick of their oversized ears. They were desperate to see the contents of the package I so desperately clung to, as though my very life depended upon it, which it probably did. Their fetid breaths stank of suppressed anticipation.
They waited until I’d finished, the tap-tapping of their booted feet giving their impatience away. One, who I presumed their leader, stepped forward of his comrades, gestured to my prize and snarled like a rabid dog, his whiskers twitching with angry intent.
He didn’t scare me. Oh, I knew his gun could put a hole right through me if he chose to use it. My gamble, roll of the dice, was that he wouldn’t.
I looked the tiny fellow up and down through narrowed eyes, impassive and calm. It unnerved him. I knew that because he peed in his Lycra shorts. All that genetic engineering and they couldn’t stop a mouse with a super mind and attitude to match from befouling the floor. How many millions, billions even, needlessly died in the Rodent Wars, both human and mouse, for it all to come down to this one moment? Almost two centuries of needless genocide and I had the power to end it all, asleep in a box. Cradled in my outstretched arms was salvation.
I didn’t have chance to make my move. Neither did the gun toting vermin. The package stirred. It unfurled from its slumber, licked its lips, a razor-sharp incisor slipping out from concealment with languorous ease. As if aware of his importance, the creature loosed a purr of epic proportions. The effect on the mice was instant. They saw the box vibrate, dropped their weapons, and legged it. For all their superior firepower, and all their genetically enhanced brainpower, they were still petrified of a cat. Instinct, what a bummer!
I didn’t know if there was more like him. I’d found the fellow living in the same barn that I was hiding out in. However, the mice didn’t know that. He could have represented a feline nation for all they knew and they couldn’t take the chance. The cat opened its eyes and jumped to the tiled floor, its sharp claws clipping on the tiles. It looked at the fleeing mice then back to me. It was so nonchalant. That cat oozed style. He meandered over to the dropped guns, bent to pick one up, no easy task for a cat, and then turned to me.
I didn’t like the look in his wild, green eyes, as he opened his sharp-toothed mouth and growled, “Get me some milk, punk.”
Five cats, two hamsters, one cage.
My ex’s cat and I hated each other. A mutual dislike, my ex often said as we lay in bed staring at the ceiling. And it was. I hated everything about it: smell; hair; freaky eyes, way too green; how it meowed like crazy until I fed it. Everything. But when it died and I buried it in a suitably smelly, old shoe box in the garden, I still felt obliged to tell my ex (I wasn’t that cruel).
“I don’t own a cat,” she said.
“Our cat,” I replied.
“We never had a cat,” she hissed. “Grow up, it’s over,” she added, lips curled back, spittle frothing, and stormed back inside her brand new penthouse apartment.
Left alone in the pouring rain, (story of my life) I turned tail and went home. I was greeted with a meow and a pair of freaky green eyes. And so it went on.
Lost dog: It’s giving me kittens.
Now, I don’t want you getting all protective or too worried about this cat because, in truth, he’s playing ya. There’s lots of sparrows nesting in this guttering and this fella’s waiting for them thanks to some unsupervised scaffolding at the back of the house. He even smiled for the camera.
I don’t know if he’ll get his tweetie-pie supper but if this cat hangs around much longer it’ll be bats not cats on the agenda.
Amazing what you see if you can be bothered to look up to the clouds.
PS. I saw a different cat up there last week and my wife thought I’d made it up. She said I was known for storytelling. I was shocked, as you can imagine! This is my evidence of roof-scaling felines and the lengths they’ll go to for munchies.
Cats purred over her dead body.