You are trying to read the morning newspaper when your cat begins pawing at your leg. You brush it away, but it jumps on the table and begins meowing. Finally, the cat speaks. What does she say? Write this scene and what she is trying to tell you.
* * *
“I came as soon as you called. What happened? Did Steve hurt himself again?”
“No, it’s weirder than that. He got us a cat.”
“A cat? Oh, is your building one of the ones with the mouse problem?”
“Exactly. So Steve bought us a cat as a Christmas present. It was nice of him, but he really shouldn’t have. Especially not one like – like – this.”
“What’s wrong with it?” Steve had frequent flyer miles at the infirmary, mostly because he never met a safety precaution he didn’t ignore. He was such a screw-up it didn’t surprise me that he’d somehow managed to find a defective cat.
“Nothing is wrong with me.” The voice came from an orange and black tabby cat sitting on the coffee table in the reception area. It was a female cat – I’m no expert, she just looked female – and was sitting on a newspaper, casually slicing it up with her hindclaws. “I had to let this human girl know that I needed a few tools before getting to work. There is no way I’m letting a mouse have the advantage.”
“That’s what I mean, Tim. As soon as Steve opened the cat carrier it stepped out on its hind legs and started giving orders. Talking! Cat’s don’t talk!”
Annabelle seemed to be barely holding it together. Me, I had no problem. After a full semester of dealing with the magical creatures that hang around my girlfriend Jenny, this wasn’t so bad. I kind of wished Jenny were here to see. Maybe they’d gone to grade school together or something.
“Well, what’s she asking for?”
“I don’t know, I was too busy tending Steve. He fainted as soon as the cat started talking.”
I turned to the cat. “So, kitty…”
“My name is Pussy. Don’t laugh, I didn’t choose it.”
I had to bite my lip, but I didn’t snicker. “Okay, Pussy, what do you need?”
“I need a sword. An epee, to be precise.”
“I studied up before taking this assignment. The mouse is armed. He has a sword, I need a sword. Otherwise fencing is kind of one-sided. And a hat. A nice cavalier hat with a pink feather. He has a hat, I need a hat.”
I could see where this was going. “Anything else, oh mighty warrior maid?”
“Don’t you patronize me, human. But a nice pair of boots would be appreciated.”