Flash Fiction Story 010: "The Scratch"

Thk thk thk.

It’s five AM and the only coherent thought that my mind can manage is this:

My cat is an asshole.

Not in the sense that my cat is weirdly fascinated with showing me her asshole on a regular basis, although she does. Actually, she is an emotional terrorist. I’m going to feed her in a minute. I will. I will.

But is that good enough?

Thk thk thk.

Apparently not. Lately, in her efforts to both get her meals precisely on time and claw at any substance that will not fight back, she had pawed a perfectly cat-sized hole into the box spring of my bed. From there, she has burrowed into the interior of said box spring and invented a fun new alarm clock for me.

Thk thk thk.

I like my cat. I like my cat. I like my cat. It doesn’t matter if she particularly likes me. I’m pretty sure she does. After all, I control the food, even though that’s not helping me out all that much today.

If she could just chill out for another twenty minutes… That would be all I need.

I burrowed my head deeper into my pillow as the cat burrowed herself even deeper into the box spring. At least she comes about this behavior honestly, I suppose.

No. This is a cat. I am a human. I am the boss here. She’s the pet and even if ancient Egyptians worshipped her ancestors to an unhealthy degree, she is just going to have to exercise some self control and WAIT. FOR. HER. GODDAMN. FOOD.

“Kitty cat!” I cried out. “Stop it with the damn scratching!”

Sweet, blissful silence followed. See? Cats are fine if you just try to appeal to their sense of propriety.

And then…

Thk thk thk.

At this point, you might fairly say that I’m spending more energy resisting getting out of bed than I would if I just caved into the cat’s demands and make with the chicken and rice formula.

I rolled over. A feeble, tentative step in my larger surrender. The day was beginning whether I acquiesced or not. The cat had won this game of chicken. Continued intransigence would help no one.

That goddamn cat.

I reached over for my glasses on the night table, and found a health dollop of guilt instead. Curled up next to me was my little ball of floof. I was just being cranky. It wasn’t fair to her.

She purred and everything was right with the world once more, although I found a whole new reason not to get out of bed.

Thk thk thk.

Then it dawned on me. She hadn’t been the thing in my bed scratching at all.

Art by Eris O'Reilly

Art by Eris O'Reilly