The Nemesis

She’s disemboweling the blanket. The brown one. The blanket I was just under. She is Zelda. My nemesis.

My name is Clarence and I am a bogeyman.

Not the Bogeyman. I am not so arrogant as to claim to be s/he who is the Bogeyman. There are a number of us around, you know. Usually when there are small children in the area. The monster that supposed to be in the closet or under the bed? Probably one of my colleagues. Not me. Well, maybe the closet. But only if it’s regularly vacuumed.

It’s the dust bunnies, you see. Vicious, malicious dust bunnies. I avoid them like they carry the plague. Because they do. That laughable bit of fiction humans tell each other? That the bubonic plague was spread by rats? Lies, all lies. I’m telling you, it’s the dust bunnies. It’s a part of their ongoing nefarious campaign to take over the world. And not just the plague. Oh no, not by a long shot. The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic? Dust bunnies. Think about it, they make you sneeze. The 1952 Great Smog? Dust bunnies, airborne.

Maybe it’s time for my pills. I’ll take it in a bit. She is still patrolling the room. I am safe, for the moment, under the child’s helmet. It’s small, dark and completely devoid of dust bunnies. It’s perfect.

Everything used to be perfect. I’d rattle the blinds, make suspicious shapes in semi-darkness, and be rewarded with the child’s terrified screams. Angelic music to a dedicated bogeyman’s ears. The child was never able to sleep alone in his own room. At least not for long.

And then she came. Zelda.

Now, she patrols every shadow, chases me from my every hiding place. No scrap of darkness is safe from her claws or teeth. She doesn’t even deign to hiss at me anymore. And she feeds the evil dust bunnies by shedding fur everywhere she goes.

And the child? He sleeps soundly the whole night. Alone. It’s enough to make me want to hand in my cape.

In fact, I am handing it in. I quit. Maybe I’ll try being a Tooth Fairy. I hear they’re hiring. I’ll even wear the tutu and sparkly wings.

Fab’s note: To the best of my knowledge, dust bunnies are not responsible for spreading the bubonic plague, the flu (Spanish or otherwise) or for generating smogs, both great and small. 

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Cricket for dinner

So, post number six and I’m already stuck for ideas. I was very tempted to post some of my works. But I shall resist. No, not just yet. Instead I will blog about…. Something from the files of Zelda, Attack Cat Extraordinaire.

Daddy brought it home. My designated prey. A puny green thing. But a genuinely living puny green thing. Not just some mockery of life, attached by a string to a paltry stick.

He released it into the balcony and said, “Zelda, a toy for you.” Purring my thanks, I padded to the balcony, belly to the ground, ears twitching and tail swishing back and forth. Daddy left, but I didn’t care. Finally. Something alive for me to play with.

I eyed the pathetic thing as it cried and leapt, seeking escape. The little tease. I could pounce, but the sun hit my back just right. I waited. Even as I twitched my ears and flicked my tail, eyes slanted open, I waited.

For it to tire. For it to slow. Just a little bit.

I waited.

It’s slowing. I crept closer. Slowly. No sense startling it.

I swatted it with my paw, claws fully extended. Pinned it to the ground. It writhed. I listened to it scream in a frequency far too high for Mummy to hear. Good thing too. She’d have made me let it go. I tried to put it between my jaws, to present to Mummy. It leapt away from my paw and escaped.

The little tease.

I swatted it again. Harder, this time. Stunned, it didn’t struggle as I held it in my mouth. I made sure it was still alive. Coagulated blood, even cricket blood, would give such a bad taste to the meat. I stopped right in front of Mummy, and presented my gift to her.

She screamed and jumped. Silly Mummy, she missed. It’s a wonder they have anything to eat at all, the way they keep missing the prey with their clumsy feet. She’s supposed to pounce toward the prey, not jump away from it.

But I am a good hunter. A good provider. It couldn’t escape far. Even Mummy would be able to catch it for tonight’s dinner.

I turned away and padded to my favorite sun-drenched windowsill, my tail up in the air, satisfied.

I made a contribution. Tonight, we feast.

End.

P/S : We did not have cricket for dinner that night. I released it and I’d like to think it’s living happily somewhere. Kindly desist from despoiling my delusion. Thank you 🙂

Attack Cat Extraordinaire

First, the unfinished business. The serpent lurks in point two of my previous post. I can carry a tune. That’s about it though. Was the lie too easy to spot? Any tips on how I could be a better liar?

Oops, I mean, how I could write more convincing prose? 😉

Onwards.

A friend of mine mentioned that I probably ought to introduce Zelda. Or rather, Her Royal Majesty, the Princess Zelda, Attack Cat Extraordinaire.

We got Zelda from Petco after extensive, persistent campaigning from my son, henceforth referred to as El Kiddo. She was a rescue cat. To paraphrase the character Adam Young, from Gaiman and Pratchett’s Good Omens, Zelda is a genuine, 100% purebred mutt. Or whatever’s the feline equivalent of “mutt”. The Petco lady told us she was found, with her litter of siblings, in a locked car under the broiling Southern California sun. Of all her siblings, she was the only one to survive.

Bad things should happen to whoever left the kitties there. Just sayen.

At the time we adopted her, she was known as Piglet. El Kiddo announced that since she had proven herself to be a fighter, she deserved a more legendary name. He wanted to name her Link, after the MC in the Legend of Zelda series of Nintendo games. Then we pointed out that Link is a male character and Zelda was, emphatically, a she. So he named her Zelda. He never liked Piglet as a character anyway.

In Indonesia, where I’m originally from, we believe naming is important. People/animals acquire characteristics of whatever we name them after. Well, this certainly held true for Her Royal Majesty.

Not for her the plebeian comforts of a cat bed. Not even El Kiddo’s bed. At least, not the whole night. She stays just long enough to scare away nocturnal monsters and for El Kiddo to fall asleep. Then it’s off to the main bed, where presumably, she thinks she’s fulfilling the same function.

Her water must be fresh and cool, straight from the tap. She’s learned how to turn the faucet on by herself, should her humans prove unable to satisfy her whim with adequate speed. Stale bowl water for the Princess? Perish the thought. And getting the wrong (read: different) brand of cat food is an unthinkable, deviant act against nature itself. Almost sacrilegious.

Yes, we love her to distraction. Especially El Kiddo.

As for the final part of her title? Ah, that I will leave for her to elaborate. Needless to say, I shall act as Her Royal Majesty’s humble interpreter and scribe 🙂