19 comments

Contemporary Fiction Funny

Oh c’mon, really? Another one? I am not supporting this, I’m just not. I didn’t complain, at least not too much, when you brought home Cooper, that fat lug of a cat, I even grew to like him, well at least his body heat when we snuggled. I accepted Humphrey, that big goofball of a labradoodle, didn't I? I did. You know I did, even though my water bowl smells of dog. Labradoodle, hah, how trendy are you with your hybrid, breeder bought animals? Don’t you know that a rescue animal is the new “it” pet? I guess I shouldn’t be throwing stones, I came from a breeder too, about eighteen years ago now. Whew, I am old aren’t I? And I’m all of five pounds, that’s small even for a Siamese. Thats all the more reason to go easy on me, right? I’m an old cat now. And this is how I’m to spend my golden years, putting up with a new puppy? She has got way too much energy. She literally vibrates in place. She wants to play like all the time, getting up in my face, barking and growling. Play with me, play with me. I can’t. I just can’t. Been there done that and I’m really just so over it. All I want to do is just lay here by the heat vent, veg, sleep, and maybe follow a sun patch around the floor. I’ve earned it. I was here first you know, all these other guys came after me and it was kinda nice just being an only pet for a few years. I got all the attention and all the pettings and love but now I’m feeling like an afterthought. The best part of my day now is bedtime, not for me, I sleep like all day anyway, but for my humans. When they come upstairs and get into their bed, I jump up (yup, I’m still spry enough to do that) and cuddle in. I do need to surf the blankets a little as they settle in, twist and turn a bit and finally go quiet. I find the sounds of their breathing and snoring very comforting and peaceful, like white noise. It’s very Zen. That’s when I start my own mantra and begin purring. Long, loud inhalations and exhalations. A meditation if you will. It’s very healthful, lowers the blood pressure and relieves anxiety, and with that new ADHD pup in the house I really need to chill when I can. Oh, and another thing I find disturbing about this new thing in the house, she eats my poop. Can you believe it? She violates the sanctity of my litter box, by pulling out little edibles to eat. That is really disgusting. I’ve heard that it’s supposed to be like bon-bons to them, yech! So what am I now, some kind of vending machine? It’s very demeaning. 

So, here I am, the oldest animal in the house and therefore the least interactive. I can see why my people might pay more attention to the younger, more lively pets, but hey, I’m still here! Ya know in other cultures the elders are revered and respected. How about a little of that, huh? 

All right, so it’s been almost a year now since that fur ball arrived and she’s beginning to finally settle into the routines around here. House rules. Certain times to eat, times to take care of business, as my humans so delicately call it, and times to sleep. Good, just take care of yourself and leave me alone to take care of myself. Aloof, you say. No no no, I beg to differ (actually I don’t beg, that’s not my milieu), we cats just won’t grovel for attention like dogs do, all wide eyed, slobbery, and submissive. No, we have pride and not in a ‘lion’s extended family’ kind of way, but in a ‘we were mythological and magical and were once feared’ kind of way. Yeah. Anyway, things have quieted down around here, finally, and I’m just hoping no further surprises are in store for me.  

What the litter was that?! Is that Cooper screeching? Oh my hairball, that’s loud. Well, I guess I should go investigate but I’ll try not to let anyone see me, they might think I actually care. I’ll just stealthily walk over, slowly now, don’t look. Not looking, not looking. Stop, clean my left paw, walk a little more, stop. Sidle up to the door. What’s that odor? Wow, that makes my litter box smell like a flower garden. That’s like they forgot to change my litter for two weeks and tried to cover it up with hand lotion. Oh, I see my other four legged associates have arrived as well, trying to check out the new doings. So, it’s not any of them responsible for the noise and stench. Our eyes all meet and heads tilt, in the equivalent of a shoulder shrug. Anyone? No? Well, I’m game, I’ve got seniority, I’ll check, I’ll be the Double 00 agent, I’ll. . .oh oh! Trouble. My humans are holding another, but much smaller, human. What’s this? Another pet? Good God, no, not again. No more. And this is where those howls were coming from? And the stink too?That’s it, I’m leaving, I’m packing my bags and, oh who am I kidding, I only have metaphorical bags, I’m not going anywhere, besides, I’m declawed, I wouldn’t stand a chance. Spitting and growling at the num nuts I live with here works but probably wouldn't out there in the yard.  

Okay, so it’s time to be flexible again and put on that ‘I’m so cute and plush like” facade. Go along to get along and all that jazz. Let me check this out,

I think it’s called a baby. Baby is a word, I believe derived from the Sumatran or something like that, that means he who drains you of energy, sleep, and money. Maybe I’ve got that wrong, but I’m close. 

Oh, here they come, must be introduction time. C’mon guys, Humphrey, Cooper, New Thing (sorry kid I don’t remember your name, you’re New Thing to me) shake a paw, it’s time for a meet and greet with the even newer thing. Best behavior, please, smiles and excitement but no jumping. I have a feeling that thing is gonna be around for awhile.  

February 27, 2023 13:23

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19 comments

Wally Schmidt
04:13 Feb 28, 2023

Even before the human baby was introduced, I was thinking this cat sounded like the older sibling when a new one comes into the house. Cautious, resentful, curious, experienced. You really nailed the situation and that cat's reaction to it.

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Andrew Fruchtman
12:24 Feb 28, 2023

Thank you so much for your feedback, it was fun to write and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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Wally Schmidt
15:19 Feb 28, 2023

And the title!

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Andrew Fruchtman
22:52 Feb 28, 2023

👍

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Zack Powell
17:39 Mar 04, 2023

You really nailed the voice here, Andrew. Cynical, jaded, judgmental, a little holier-than-thou. Everything that you would expect from a cat narrator. And the mannerisms, too, like: "Well, I guess I should go investigate but I’ll try not to let anyone see me, they might think I actually care. I’ll just stealthily walk over, slowly now, don’t look. Not looking, not looking." That's just like a cat, pretending not to give a damn but still coming to inspect things anyway. Probably my favorite writerly decision here was to make the cat older an...

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17:28 Mar 09, 2023

I truly love this - you must be a cat/dog person. "New Thing" I see this whole scenario playing out. Perfect. The only thing I'd change is more paragraph breaks - easier to read. not a biggie. xo

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Andrew Fruchtman
21:31 Mar 09, 2023

Thank you so much Patricia for your feedback and yes I am a cat/dog person. I have 2 of each. I agree that more paragraph breaks would make reading easier. I do appreciate constructive comments. So glad you enjoyed my little story. 😻👍

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Sonja Wallace
21:51 Mar 08, 2023

You could feel the tired in the old cat. The thoughts are believable, especially for a Siamese.

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Andrew Fruchtman
23:32 Mar 08, 2023

Thank you Sonja, yeah I’ve spent years watching our little furball and imagining thought bubbles over her head. Thanks for reading me and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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Kathryn Kahn
21:21 Mar 06, 2023

I really loved the internal monologue of this cat. Her attitude is perfect.

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02:59 Mar 06, 2023

This story was so cute and very well-written! I love the creative idea, and it was both intriguing and gratifying to watch the story unfold. It's short and sweet and is a great take on how pets react when new family members are introduced. The cat has such a personality, I loved it! My favorite part was the very end, especially these lines: "Best behavior, please, smiles and excitement but no jumping. I have a feeling that thing is gonna be around for awhile. " Great story!

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Andrew Fruchtman
13:29 Mar 06, 2023

Thank you Alexandra, it’s very gratifying to get positive feedback like this. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed my little story. 😻

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Michelle Oliver
23:37 Mar 05, 2023

Cute. Your old cat has such authority in the house. I love the voice and the insight into a cat’s thought processes. You have captured the personality of a cat perfectly.

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Andrew Fruchtman
02:20 Mar 06, 2023

Thank you Michelle. My 18 year old Siamese, Lucy, inspired me, but wants a cut of the prize money should I win.

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Michelle Oliver
03:05 Mar 06, 2023

Haha I think that’s fair!

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Tricia Cundiff
18:30 Mar 05, 2023

You walked right into that cat's thoughts and wrote them down. You captured the superiority attitude and the begrudging acceptance purrrfectly! Thank you for a fun read! (Don't babies always upset the 'norm' for our pets?!)

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Andrew Fruchtman
20:59 Mar 05, 2023

Thanks for reading me Tricia. Getting into my cat’s head for this story was fun, but I can’t stop licking my hands now.

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Helen A Smith
13:30 Mar 05, 2023

It was good hearing an older cat’s point of view. You gave a great insight into the workings of a feline mind in this story. Enjoyed reading.

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Andrew Fruchtman
20:49 Mar 05, 2023

Thank you Helen. This was so much fun writing. I actually just transcribed the musings of my 18 year old Siamese. She and I are thrilled you enjoyed it.

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