Monday, July 1, 2013

Scratching, Gently Scratching at my Chamber Door

Sunday had passed into Monday as the full moon reached the top of its arc and started down the other side of the sky. I'd been napping behind my computer, too sick with fever to do anything constructive, but too stiff to walk to the house and slip into my bed again. Every 20 minutes or so I'd raised my head and clicked my email button, watching with blurred vision as my outlook express cycled through to the "you got nothing, sucker" banner.

It was quiet in my studio, only the occasional thump of my forehead into the desk breaking the silence. And then, there was a scratch at the door.

It was deadly cold outside, at least in the 20s below zero. Anything that was alive and non polar must have been hanging onto existence by a thread. Out of curiosity I swung the interior door open and flicked on the outside light. Looking up at me through my glass storm door, licking the frost off its chin was a raccoon sized black cat. "C'mon man lemme in" he said.

Sure, I should have noticed he spoke to me, since even in Minnesota cats don't usually talk. But like I said, I was sick and a little woozy and it seemed like a reasonable request since it was terribly cold; so I opened the door.

The moment I'd given him room he burst inside and across the top of my pool table, ripping its cover to the floor while scrambling to get to the computer desk. Leaping from one counter to another the animal pounced onto my corded electronic laser mouse and with one swipe of his long, sharp claws, ripped through the tiny cord and dragged the device to the floor.

The sound was incredible, my eardrums popped twice in the barrage of ultra high frequency as the beast shrieked his gleeful anger and tore at the plastic with all four paws. He and his gray pray flopped about my floor like dying salmon in the bottom of a rowboat, and yet with all the power he could muster he never disassembled his target. I just watched at distance, not that I was pleased with having my property ransacked; I was more worried about what might happen to my face if I bent over and said "Bad Kitty, drop that right now!"

He seemed to lose his breath, he slowed and finally stopped, laying on his side and gently picking at the plastic as if he were suddenly overcome by depression.

"It's a computer mouse you moron; it's not to eat" I stated with an added grunt of disgust.

"I, I'm sorry" he mewed, "I saw you playing with it through the window and, well, I just wanted a little taste. It's so cold; I'm so hungry... forgive me?"

He was a cat, he was a killer perhaps, but a really cute killer. I was powerless.

"Well, if you keep...”

"Hey! Is that microwave popcorn?" He yowled as he again leaped to my pool table, tearing its uncovered fabric to shreds on his way to the box of Orville Redenbacher "Real Butter".

It was going to be a long night.

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