|20.20|21|22|22.2|22.22|22.222|23|24|25|Those Extra Four…|1|2|3|4|Back Cover|
April 22nd, 2020
Up the hallway, down the hallway. Up the hallway, then down the hallway. Back and forth he paces, just like all the humans downstairs right now, except in a much less frantic manner… then again, when aren’t the humans living in a frantic manner? Their whole species just needs to calm down, smoke one of those sticks that make them happy. In fact, now that he’s thinking about it, they really need a day dedicated to smoking that stuff, that would fix them up. Better yet, a specific time of each day dedicated to smoking – the stress they put themselves thorough could kill them, it’s like they don’t even realize this basic facet of living. He glances over at the clock on the box and a lime green 4:20 glances right back. All right, she’s been sleeping long enough; time to intervene.
At first he just sits at the door, staring, hoping to will her awake. It works more often than one might think it does, however this time it doesn’t pan out, leading him to more drastic measures: the paws. He bats the sunken-in panels of the door over and over, closing the minuscule gap between the bolt and the bolt hole with a loud bang at least a million times to no avail. She’s left him no choice; – the claws must now come out. He doesn’t want to damage the door, but homegirl needs to wake up already.
It seems like all the scratching in the world won’t wake sleeping beauty from her slumber. Back to pacing then, at least until pacing gets old. Then he starts running, nay, dashing back and forth, scaling walls, he clears the entire dusty old couch in one foul leap. A raucous of this caliber will break the spell, surely it must… but lo, it does not. When his infinite well of energy runs dry, he returns to his post outside the door, sat in wait. She’ll be out in no time, he knows she will, it’s not like she has a food cache in her bedroom. He’s just gotta be patient.
This patience lasts a record-breaking four minutes before the batting is resumed with a scratching session following close behind. Anger is building. He prowls back to the clock, 4:29. Unbelievable! If ever there was a time for drastic measures, now would be the time.
He locks his sights on the door handle. This is a very advanced maneuver, a feat he’s only accomplished a pawful of times. Closing his eyes for a moment, he takes a deep breath, centering himself, priming his back legs. ‘It is time, girl.’ He leaps, bounding up into the air and wrapping his paws around the handle. Gravity does the rest of the work and the door swings open – he is triumphant.
All’s quiet on the bedroom front. The dust bunnies are hidden inside their various burrows dug into the piles of dirty clothing and miscellaneous objects that form trenches leading to their main hub underneath her bed. Like a delicious mouse in search of even more delicious cheese, he traverses the maze, seeing through the darkness as clear as day.
At last he’s reached the bed. As he climbs up the blanket draping off the side, he steps lightly – now that he’s here, he doesn’t want to wake her up. Not yet.
Ah, so serene, so peaceful. Her face as she sleeps is that of an angel’s, almost glowing in the darkness as she gently breathes in and out, the pillows on her chest rising and falling in a most harmonious rhythm. He almost just abandons the plan and curls up next to her, nuzzling in close to feel his pet’s warmth and share in her slumber. Almost. Instead he reels back, shrinking down into the bed sheets and dilating his pupils. With a wiggle of his butt he pounces, landing square on her face.
She wakes and, through a mouthful of fur, shrieks, “Milkshake!”
‘That’s right honey, it’s breakfast time.’
With far more protest than he would have liked to receive, she eventually gets up and walks her apparently heavy feet over to the downstairs door, grunting when the lights hit her eyes. He slips through the crack and lightly floats down the stairs, perching under the railing and patiently waiting for his pet to follow.
She eventually does, and with his food bowl in her hand.
“Thank god you’re finally up! We need to leave, let’s go!”
Whilst she’s fiddling with the can containing his magic meaty mush, distracted by the ignorance she displays towards the neurotic other humans that are buzzing around the cave like honeybees who just caught wind of an approaching giant hornet, he slips behind the biggest couch in the living room and turns himself away from it. Backing up with his tail confidently pointing towards the ceiling, he approaches the soft, absorbent wall of fabric. A few tail twitches later and his territory is marked; his reign may have only begun last night, but everybody knows who’s in charge here.
“Harley! We gotta go, this isn’t a joke! Are you ignoring me?”
It is at this point he can hear the sound of flowing water. Running a big circle around the room to cover his tracks, he ascends to the countertop and finds his food. Chow time!
For a few blissful bites, anyway, until she grabs the bowl and starts walking back towards the stairs. Ugh, she better not make a habit out of doing this, it is very unwise to make the master wa–
That’s when he sees her. The other cat, the terrified one; they lock eyes, obviously a challenge to battle, a call to arms. Tightening his pounce and executing a masterful wiggle, he goes airbo–
“Harley, if you stay here the aliens are going to kill you!”
–rne once more, gliding through the living room, aimed directly towards the hissing monstrosity known as MowMow. All this only to be snatched out of the air by the girl who made him wait to eat.
“I can snatch a cat Dad, let ‘em fuckin’ try!”
The Mongrel pretends her using him to prove a point was one of his hallucinations and allows her to carry him back upstairs.
He wiggles himself free as soon as the door is closed, or rather, slammed with the force of a still slightly damp twentysomething. She places the food next to the water dish on his sustenance tray and immediately storms back into her bedroom, slamming the door shut behind her, and before he even has a chance to rub up against her leg as thanks for this offering! Oh well, it’s time to enjoy the spoils of his victory; she’ll have a chance to be grateful for his presence after tomorrow’s wake-up call.