This is a short story I submitted for a Flash Fiction. It was my first submitted piece every. The theme for the week was “Something Found”. It is the viewpoint of a cat whose owners have a baby and bring it home.
Pawdefer, the Cat
By Edie Erickson
Ah! The things are gone. I think you call yourselves humans, but I am not interested in your names. I have a story to tell you and we need to get some things clear first. My name is Pawdefer. That is pronounced with a French accent: Paw-de-fer. If you call me anything else, I will not answer. Now that the ‘hellos’ are done, let’s get down to business.
This took place many suns ago. The she-thing had been sitting on the sofa when I strolled up. I perched upon her belly and found it in a state of constant motion. I got jostled around too much for my liking. Using my paws (okay, my claws) to calm the belly, she-thing screamed and threw me across the room. I didn’t sink my claws that deep into her stomach. Apparently, she did not like it. Oh, don’t feel bad for me. I landed on my feet. I am good at that. I am a cat after all.
The she-thing got up and went into the kitchen. As I began licking my paw, she screamed again. She sounded like a cat in a bear trap. I padded into the kitchen and watched as she proceeded to pee right there on the newly tiled floor. I was scolded when I did something that. Now, here she was doing it. I was going to give my opinion when he-thing came running into the room. He was babbling and running around in circles. I deduced something wasn’t quite right. He was usually calm and collected, but not today. She continued to scream and he kept running out of the kitchen then back in again, meanwhile mumbling, “You’re doing good.”
She was standing there screaming, it didn’t look good to me. I joined in with my own meows (translation: stop screaming). It was hurting my ears.
It stopped alright when He-thing ran in the house, put his arm around her, and pushed her toward the door. Out she waddled like a duck fattened for the Christmas feast. Finally, peace descended upon my dwelling once again. Sun after sun came and went. Nobody came to stroke my fur or freshen my food or scratch behind my ears. Rude. There was no clean place for me to do my business. The mice were really fun to play with. I was super nice and cleaned up all the pee on the floor. It was tasty. Something between water and salty-earthy human flavor. That’s right, you’re a human. You won’t understand.
Three suns came and went before they came back. I was enjoying my afternoon nap when they disturbed me. I stretched and sauntered over to the door. The he-thing came in. He was looking tired. Wow. He needed a shower. Then she-thing came in. Wow, she smelled even worse. They were talking in quiet, high voices. I had never heard them speak like that before.
As I said, I sauntered to them. They ignored me. I brushed up against them, meowed, and even purred. They just kept on talking. I, finally, stretched up onto his leg with my claws. I wanted to get his attention. That worked. He-thing glanced down at me and lifted me up absent-mindedly. He was behaving so oddly; making faces and vocalizing nonsense. His breath was awful. I had to leap down. Shaking my head in disgust, I walked out of the entryway when she-thing came in. Wow, she smelled even worse. They were talking in quiet, high voices. I never heard them talk like that before.
As I resumed my position in the patch of sunlight warming the dining room carpeting, a new smell wafted through the air. I arose followed the smell into the living room and there sat a blanket with something underneath. I rubbed the blanket. It contained something solid. I heard a coo. I brushed up against it again and it emitted something like a small snort. Then it wailed. I had to see beneath the blanket. I had to know.
“Meow,” I ordered. Upon my clear command, they removed the blanket. Oh no, I thought. Another one of THEM in small form. I approached it warily. The wailing was almost too much for me, but I was curious. I had to understand that smell. It smelled like he-thing and she-thing. It was a THEY-THING. This was not good and that noise! Was this going to keep happening?
And then another, stronger aroma arose. I can enjoy any number of smells, but this! The stink was more powerful than those of my distant skunk cousins. Wow! Why did they have to bring that thing home to me?
She-thing picked up the wailing, stinking they-thing and walked into another room, talking softly as they went. From my vantage point on the floor, I couldn’t quite see what was being done to it, but at last the hideous stench abated. And not a moment too soon! I’d seriously considered evicting these people permanently. That night after the he-thing cleaned out my toilette and got me fresh food and water, I decided I would allow them to stay for a while longer.
After the big things went to bed, I thought I had better check on the they-thing. I padded softly into the room where it was sleeping. I skillfully jumped into its high, barred bed. My movements were, of course, utterly without sound. I am an expert skulker. Seeing the sleeping they-thing, I sniffed at it. It smelled faintly of milk and I licked its face clean. Delicious.
It began to grunt and squirm at the touch of my rough tongue. I feared it might wail again. Desperate to spare my ears the discomfort, I got up close, settled down, and began to purr. They-thing cooed when I did that. Sure, I liked it. There was a soft place on a high dresser. I could see it from up there. That was the night I found my job. I found something to do. I was to watch over that little they-thing. “Purrrrrrrrrrr.”