Adventures of a Feline
had told the full story of Smidgens perfidy to Mrs.
receiving the sympathy and understanding and generous attention
in return. At the end of the evening, she got him to allow
as to how the cat
really hadnt been to blame, since it was she who had
forgotten to feed him.
This inexorably led to him having to accept the presence of
in the household.
knew it would be thus. He knew his woman, and nothing was
get him thrown out, no matter what the man said. When Mrs.
H went to the
kitchen for a moment, he stood next to the man and stretched
to his full
length, extending his claws into the sofa cushion, aware that
the man was
suppose you think this is the end of it, Mr. H said
to him. That if
this doesnt get you thrown out, nothing will.
looked up at him with a complacency that was unmistakable.
you wait, Mr. H said.
squeezed his eyes shut at the man slowly, completely aware
was war, and confident of the eventual outcome.
the man stomped off to his office.
Saturday found Smidgen bored and perversely longing for a
return engagement of the excitement of the weekend before.
The woman was
gone increasingly often and for increasingly long periods
of time. The man
was unable to put him out if he hid, but hiding was nearly
as tiresome as
being out of doors in the heat of this time of year. His whiskers
at the thought. What to do? He wondered. The gentleman (sic)
needed to be
brought to heel, and that quite sharply.
preparatory to taking a reconnaissance of the mans territory.
The sight of his own claws reminded him that they needed a
Of all the furniture in the house, the leather chair in the
mans office was
certainly the most useful for that purpose.
his felinus knightus invisibility cloak, he drifted into the
confines of the office, where the man sat, interminably doing
important as far as the cat could see. However, he did provide
a nice anchor
for the chair, which had a tendency to swivel away from his
paws when empty.
He coyly threaded his way under the desk and into position
behind the chair.
of claws ripping at something behind him awake Mr. H from
he gasped, startled. It took him a minute to identify the
the sound, upon which he tried vainly to reach behind the
chair and swat the
cat away. The cat ignored him. He tried to spin the chair
his knee on the desk in the process.
blighted beast! he raged, standing up. Inspection of
the back of the
chair revealed extensive depredations, more than he had heard
occur in the
immediate past. Damn it!
regarded him from the doorway to the office, clearly laughing
him. On the whole, the cat thought it was time for the constant
routine. The ice had been broken; it was now time to wear
the enemy down.
where Mr. H went or what he did, the rest of the day found
nearby. Sometimes snoozing (but never so deeply that Mr. H
was able to grab
him and throw him out), sometimes silently watching him in
sometimes bathing, but always within sight.
point, Mr. H sat down at his desk with the newspaper spread
it. Smidgen jumped up onto his desk and walked into the middle
of the paper.
Ive got you! Carl cried, scooping him up.
employed the old wriggle-and-claw method with great efficacy.
bounded away, only to return to wind about his ankles a few
later, while Mr. H was still nursing the bloody gash on his
Mr. H settled to his paper again. Smidgen jumped up on the
the desk and sat like a statue of Bast, regarding him with
cat was surely an attractive beast. He had the strong, square,
broad head of a dominant male. In addition, he had one of
those wise leonine
faces, which was filled with a bluff, hearty, honest expression
to nobility when he forgot himself (which, to be fair, was
not very often).
In addition, thanks to a diet that was the best Mrs. H could
devise, he was
sleek and shiny with impeccable whiskers and clear green eyes.
to pay attention to a beast he had been assiduously ignoring
last three years, Mr. H was forced to admit that this was
a cat an owner
could be proud of. Naturally it was in the nature of having
a nice lawn,
nothing to do with the cat as a companion per se. But as the
on, and Smidgen made himself comfortable on the desktop, Mr.
H found himself
looking at the cat not in a spirit of enmity (which appeared
to be useless
anyway), but of inquiry.
returned his gaze. Unless he missed his guess entirely, the
nearly won. It was now time to sooth the savage beast, i.e.
Carefully avoiding all the furniture of the desktop, he picked
his way over
to where Mr. H was sitting and rubbed himself on the mans
hand. Mr. H
tentatively stroked him, upon which Smidgen decided to reward
him with a
loud rumbling purr.
heavens! Carl said to him. Whats all this
to pet Smidgen, who decided it was time to throw himself down
on the paper in a rapture of ecstasy. This he did, rumbling
his lungs as
loud as he possibly could.
you arent such a bad boy are you? Mr. H asked.
Youre a bit of a
devil, but not such a bad old boy.
realized that the cat was so smooth and fluffy and just
generally nice to feel.
got kind of a luxurious fur coat there, he commented,
being the smart cat that he was, gave every evidence of going
Hs car pulled into the driveway, he started and realized
just wouldnt do to change his attitude like this.
only because shes not here, he told the cat, and
we both miss her.
was glad to find no obvious evidence of cataclysm. While both
her pets were alpha males, she had hopes that the fact that
different species would avoid actual bloodshed. Given Mr.
Hs temper and the
cats weaponry however, she expected to be swabbing wounds
at some point.
dear. How was your day? she asked.
quiet, he allowed. The cat clawed my chair.
leather one? she asked, surprised, In your office?
I was in it no less, he said calmly.
its a good thing he didnt miss and claw your butt,
Did you punish him?
tried, he said. But hes hard to catch.
didnt chase him?! Visions danced through her head.
at least not much. Mostly I yelled at him.
Well, he probably didnt pay that much attention.
didnt seem like he did.
could close your office door.
when I do that the air conditioning all seems to collect in
its freezing. Then the dining room is an oven.
true, she agreed. Well, Im sorry about your
at his mildness. The Saturday before he had been fit to be
when she came home. For a little bit, she had seriously considered
find a new home for Smidgen. Of course, shit in a shoe and
a clawed chair
were two very different things, but Mr. H loved that chair,
and it was an
expensive one. What could account for his unwonted calm?
a puzzle. He should have been filled with dudgeon, requiring
and a spectacular dinner. Instead she could get away with
the shrimp Caesar
salad she had already planned. As if shrimps werent
enough of a treat, she
thought, but he did get fractious if he didnt get an
occasional break from
her rather strict vegetarian regime. Shed let him have
all the shrimps and
put some cheese on hers. Of course, he would want cheese too,
and what was
she going to do about his cholesterol level if he kept that
getting distracted. What was she to make of his response?
sat in the doorway to the kitchen, staring up at her all wide-eyed
and innocent, which was an infallible sign that he was up
to something. She
gave him one of her looks, and he twitched the tip of his
tail at her.
Ill trust you, she said. But leave his chair
looked away, which she rightly took as a sign of acquiescence.
part, he simply couldnt understand why there were such
differences between the males and females of the human species.
From all he
could tell, the females were sensible and accommodating, while
were irritable and quite irrational, and therefore unpredictable.
some experiences of his own, he couldnt help but wonder
if it wasnt
because the human male did the thoroughly unnatural thing
himself to one female. While he had ceased to be interested
in such childish
activities (after a notable trip to the vet nearly a year
ago now a
distant and horrid memory full of awful smells) he did remember
certain pride the string of intrigues that had littered the
with ruddy kittens.
also be a mistake for human males and females to live together.
could be deleterious to the sanity of both. Certainly no cats
that he was
aware of would countenance such a life-style.
wondered if human males were also stupid. It seemed likely.
dinner, Smidgen decided to up the ante. There were shrimps
and that was worth daring a bit. He got next to the gentlemans
rubbed against them.
was shocked. What was that? He looked down to meet Smidgens
which were pleading with him.
he said firmly. Go away.
the shrimp, Mrs. H said. Shall I put him out?
no, thats all right. Go away! he said again to
Mr. H said firmly, shaking his head.
Virginia tumbled to the reality of the situation and strategically
went to the fridge to refill her glass of water from the pitcher
Out of the corner of her eye she unmistakably saw her husband
slip the cat a
large shrimp. She sighed with relief.
conquest was now complete.
stuff: Please do not print, copy or distribute this without
permission from the author. All rights reserved. Copyright
© 2001 Alexandra R.
Nyfors. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly