"Cat-ery Battery" by Althea Cohen-Porter

The sun beat down on the worn old chair in the window. The strands of fur blanketing the chair sparkled and shined like it was made out of gold. Which it was, because it was my fur. 

In the middle of the the gold lay a lump the same color. A very handsome lump. Guess who the lump was? Me. Muffin, the top cat. The only cat. The cat who ruled the house with a mighty paw, who forced Human to labor under me. The all-powerful, all-knowing Muffin. And no one was better than Muffin.

So there I was, in my chair, the picture of dignity. My paws freshly groomed, my fur neatly in place. I had the air of a royal. Chin up, shoulders back, chest puffed out. 

The front door banged open. I jumped, my ears flat back across my head like the wings of an airplane. Muttering came from the hallway. Something heavy thunked on the floor. I relaxed. It was only Human, home from an errand. Human did those a lot. I sat back down, but something didn’t seem right. I sniffed the air with my perfect pink nose. There was the scent of carpet cleaner. There was the scent of cooking meat from the kitchen. There was the scent of another cat. Another cat! In my house! 

I let out a yowl that rattled the sand in my litter box. Another cat! There could only be one cat, one all-powerful Muffin. Human would forget about me, not love me… 

I listened harder. A clicking sound. A light patter of footsteps. A soft mewing. 

There could only be one cat in this house, I would make sure. I bared my pearly teeth. The new cat stepped into my room. I hissed.

The cat stopped walking. She looked up. She tilted her head to one side.

“Mew?” she said. 

I hissed again. The cat came haltingly closer.

I was confused now. I thought she would have run away at the second blood-curtling hiss. But no, she came closer. I watched. Ten feet away. Seven feet away. Four feet away. Three. Two. She hopped up on my chair. One. 

Then she was by my side. She nudged me with her fuzzy little head and started purring. 

I would not have this. No way was a kitten intruding into my house, sitting on my throne, and getting away with it. I arched my back and growled as best a cat can do. The kitten turned. She stopped purring. She blinked at me again. 

“Muffy! Be a good boy and show Peaches around,” Human called from the kitchen.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. Human was my slave, not the other way around. Human couldn’t order me to do anything. 

Fine. I stood up and jumped off my chair like an acrobat. My back arched perfectly in midair and my little feet pointed as they landed softly on the carpet. I’m sure I looked like one of the gymnasts Human sometimes watched on TV. Peaches was much less graceful. I walked haughtily out of the room. Peaches followed. I walked to my food bowl. Peaches followed. Now slowly, tauntingly, I picked up a pellet and crunched it slowly, staring at Peaches the whole time. She hesitated. She wasn’t sure if she should eat my food or not. 

Satisfied, I turned my nose up at Peaches. I was about to turn tail when Human bustled into the room carrying a tiny silver dish. Human set it down in front of Peaches. The kitten sniffed at her own food and ate a bite. 

Determined to ditch Peaches, I set off toward the front door with the cat flap. I thought I would be able to escape the house in peace until I heard Peaches’ frantic pattering behind me. I turned my back on her and scrambled through the flap. Peaches followed. I turned around to tell her how I felt about sharing the cat flap when a rumbling came from behind me. Peaches shrank back against the door. I turned around. 

A big brown dog stared back at me. Its tail whipped back and forth, back and forth. It looked from me, to the terrified kitten behind me, to me again. I guessed it was deciding who to eat first. Maybe I will eat this kitten with a touch of gravy, or this handsome cat with mashed potatoes. Souffléd cat would look nice in my doggy bowl.

No one was going to eat me with mashed potatoes, not on my watch. I hissed. My ears were two airplane wings again. I was a ball of golden daggers, all pointing at the dog. I was the knight and Peaches was the kitten in distress, backed up against the bricks with her white paws scrabbling the dirt. The dog was the dragon, and the knight always slayed the dragon in the movies Human watched on TV. I swept one paw in the air in front of my face. 

The dog startled. It wasn’t expecting such a ferocious opponent. It turned and ran away from me; I was just that frightening. Human happened to be out on the sidewalk with a broom, waving it in the air behind me. Human was lucky I was there to defend.

Human ushered me and Peaches inside, one of us under each arm. We were plopped down on the old golden chair. 

“Mew?” Peaches looked up at me with her big yellow eyes. She headbutted me, then jumped off my throne. She sat down on the floor, staring at me. She started purring, vibrations too loud for her size. 

I purred back. I supposed it would be nice to have another commoner to rule over. Maybe I could even use a sidekick. Muffin and Peaches, the Dog-Fighting Duo. 

After all, no one was better than Muffin. The all-powerful, all-knowing Muffin. Peaches would never be as good-looking as I or as perfect as I, but she came pretty close.

 

© Althea Cohen-Porter, The Logan School for Creative Learning

 

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