Flash Friday 07/12/2012: Overlap
It was a warm day in Julie’s garden. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t Julie’s garden, mainly because Julie was a cat and had no right to claim any sort of land. As far as usage, usefulness and territorial scent went, however, it was hers.
A warm day only meant one thing; rolling aimlessly in the grass and chewing on it. Making yourself puke for the sake of digestion is a one-man job, and before Julie knew it, the familiar pangs of loneliness had crept in once more. It was time to pay her owner a visit.
Striding through the open glass doors into the lounge, she saw that her owner had taken position on the sofa. She had only travelled halfway across the wooden floor, mewling as she did, before she caught sight of the treacherous Other Cat that already resided on his lap.
The Other Cat was a strange specimen. It had to be a cat, because it sat upon the owner’s lap, the sanctum which God himself reserved for cats to lie on. Unlike any cat that Julie had seen, however, this one had a screen on it, that the owner used to watch movies and read books on. It even allowed him to type emails up with a built-in keyboard, something which Julie had tried ever-so-much to help him with by walking across any keyboards he so much as looked at. It never won her any favour. This cat’s tail was very long and black, which lead into a hole in the wall, the same one that made Julie feel funny when she licked it. This new cat entered Julie’s house merely two days ago, and it had already dominated her owner’s attention.
“Shut up, cat,” the owner said, silencing her cries. “Trying to watch my show.”
Julie could put up with a lot of things. She could stand eating chicken and turkey chunks for the fifteenth time in a row. She could stay resilient when the woman from next door dragged her good-for-nothing son over, who encouraged the screaming child to calm down by ‘playing with the cat over there’ while ‘the cat’ was still getting her prime time of sleeping. She couldn’t, however, stand by and watch as this false cat dominated all of her quality time.
Julie noticed the mug of tea on the table beside her owner. Silly man, you still haven’t learnt.
Hopping up beside it, she took a look of the mug. It was the Batman mug — the one he prized so much — filled to the brim with tea. It was like a man cheating on his wife in front of her, and having the decency to leave his prized possessions in an industrial crusher beforehand.
Dapping the mug towards the side, the slight tinging noise of claw-against-china causing the owner to turn around. “Oi,” he said, watching the mug jutter towards the edge. “Stop that, you. Let me finish this and then I’ll feed you.”
Plan B was in motion. Stepping onto the keyboard, she admired the amount of heat the Other Cat was kicking out. In fact, it was so nice that, despite tutting from her owner, she felt obliged to lie down and toast her stomach on the warm plastic. When the owner didn’t move a muscle, she slowly turned her head and looked right up at him.
Now it was a battle of attrition.
First it was a glance. Then it was a look of confirmation which lasted a second or two. Another glance. A tut. Finally, she won.
“What? Why are you staring at me?” The owner said. “I told you that I’d feed you after the show. Look, gerroff, you’re making my legs ache.”
The owner’s hands dug under Julie, going to pick her up. Julie decided she was having none of it, her flailing meaning that pretty much every key on the keyboard was pressed several times over.
“Come here, you…there!” The owner took a solid grip on the squirming ball of fluff, picking Julie up off the keyboard. “Now look what you’ve done, all your key-pressing has made the player go to the end of the show. Now you’re going to go off into the garden like a good cat, while I try to find where I was and– ”
“To be honest,” the detective on the screen said, looking pensively at his assistant. “If you place all the pieces of evidence together, it makes perfect sense. The killer was none other than…Ms Nancy.”
Both cat and owner stared at the screen as Ms Nancy was arrested by the police, a powerful heroic tune playing her off of the screen as the detective and his assistant shared a smile with one another.
“Well, bugger,” the owner said, replacing Julie. “Suppose that ruins that, then. Come on then, let’s get you fed.”
Julie jumped onto the side table as her owner placed the Other Cat down on the floor. There was always a way.