Flash Fiction: Shaggy Cat Story

Sharpclaw Invincible opened his eyes. He could smell them in the air again, already.  This was the earliest they had woken him up in a long time, but he couldn’t afford to roll over and go back to sleep, no matter how warm the Human was today. He grumbled and meowed a little, and then stretched and jumped off the bed.

Some mornings they made it easy for him, but he didn’t think today was going to be one of those days. The bedroom was a cacophony of scent and smelled of sleep, food, and Human. Whenever it didn’t clean the room, Sharpclaw had trouble telling if there was anything in the room he should worry about. This morning, the cloud of smell coming off of the pile of laundry nearly obliterated his nose, but after he stepped on the dirty clothes a few times and pawed at them, he couldn’t find anything hiding that he needed to destroy, so he padded away into the kitchen. There was no sense in just sitting around licking himself if there was food to be eaten.

There was still a little of the crunchy food left from dinner, and he started munching on that, after getting a drink from the dog’s water dish. For some reason the dog’s water bowl always tasted better than his. He was pretty sure it was a conspiracy, and if the Human were smart enough to understand, he would have long since talked to it about that. On the other hand, he’d seen what the dog did to the litterbox, so he didn’t really think he had anything to complain about.

He had just about finished eating when he saw a flash of violet out of the corner of his eye. He kept chewing but he was alert, and he slowly moved his head until he was almost looking straight at the purple urple. At the same moment, he smelled another one behind him, coming in through the window, one of their usual bolt holes. They were being smart this morning. Send in a distraction, and then while he was busy, bring in the main attack force. The last time they had gotten through his defenses, they had probably done the exact same thing.

He continued staring at the purple urple crawling through a crack in the baseboard, and then, without so much as a twitch, he jumped straight back and landed on the one behind him.

It screamed, a horrible high-pitched squeal that was almost too high to hear, and wrapped its whipsaw tail back and forth, trying to get a grip, but this was not Sharpclaw’s first trip to the litterbox. The new one stared in horror as he made quick work of the intruder and kicked what was left to the side of the room. Then he raced forward and attacked.

When he’d finally taken care of them, and two of their friends (he’d had to race clear across the front room to grab one before it escaped) he could hear the Human up and making noise in the bedroom. He caught his breath and walked over in that direction. Just before he got to the bed, a scent of purple urple hit his nose, and he realised that he still had some of their blood on his fur. The Human never seemed to notice, but Sharpclaw still thought it was safest to wash it off anyway. When he finished, the Human was sitting up in the bed, holding one of its books, and looking at him.

“You woke me up, Billy,” it said to him. “Sounded like you were running the triathlon out there.”

The noises didn’t mean much since it spoke such a primitive language and was obviously handicapped in its ability to speak a proper tongue… imagine, having only two paws to gesture with, and no tail! But he jumped up on the bed and sat next to him, anyway. It took one hand off its book and ran it idly down Sharpclaw’s back.

When he’d first moved in with this Human, he hadn’t realised how bad an infestation of purple urples it had, and it didn’t even seem to care. He was a little lax at first about killing them all, but when a group of three or four made it to the Human one morning, it was sick for over a week. Sharpclaw had to suffer through late or missing meals, a dirty floor, and being almost completely ignored by it before he realised that he couldn’t let any of those evil demons through. It was a hard job, but it was nice to have food and a roof, and a warm place to sleep.

The smell of purple urple hit his nose again, and he whipped his head around. One had gotten through, or hidden, or ran too fast for him to see, and now it was slithering around and up the Human’s arm. Luckily, he had seen the critter when he did, and one quick bite at it ripped it in half and sent it back to wherever they came from.

“Ow, Billy!” the Human said, and rubbed his arm with the hand that held the book. “Fine, I won’t pet you then.” He didn’t sound too mad, though, and Sharpclaw was able to finish washing himself in the warm spot on the bed.

It was going to be a good day.



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