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I have lost my cat.

Her name is Khatri and I've had her for three years. Her name means warrior, which I thought was fitting. She does go to war on our curtains quite often, after all.

She's been missing for a week. My parents say that she will come back soon, but I doubt it. They told me that she probably just got lost, but they're lying.

I am sixteen years old, not four. I know a lie when I see one.

Khatri was never my parents' favorite. She eats the fish that my dad takes out of the freezer for dinner and chews up all of my mom's shoes. She scratches the shit out of all of our doors because she has separation anxiety. She is sad when we leave her alone for long periods of time. Both of my parents have their own reasons to get rid of my pet.

One weekend, all three of us went on a trip to Washington for a week. We left Khatri with our neighbor, Nadia. Nadia has always been kind to us, and we knew that the poor old woman was very lonely. Her husband passed away a few years ago, around the same time we got Khatri, and she lives all alone in that big, empty house across the street.

She loved Khatri from the first meeting, and she immediately volunteered when she heard we were going out of town. My mother was wary about letting anyone into our house, but Nadia was by far the safest bet. It was better to have her than entrust our house and Khatri to a total stranger.

I called her about halfway through our trip to check in on things and make sure they weren't having any problems. I should've known something was wrong. Nadia seemed a little too enthusiastic, just a little bit too happy. She said that Khatri was fine, that she was having a great time and that Khatri was behaving wonderfully.

To clarify; my cat is a bitch. She has never behaved wonderfully in the three years that I've had her. I should have known that something was wrong at that point, but I was distracted and much too busy enjoying the time on vacation to overly worry about it. I just accepted her report and went on enjoying my vacation.

When we came home five days later, Nadia was covered in Band-Aids. Looking at her made me wince and feel very guilty. She tried to lay it off at first.

"Oh, this? This is nothing, really. I'm fine." She said

But when my mom went to shake her hand and hand her her pay, we saw her hands were torn nearly to shreds. When we asked her about it, she once again insisted that it was nothing, but we all knew she wouldn't be back at our house in a while. Before she left, she told us the reason it had happened. Khatri had shredded Mom's favorite navy blue dress, the one with the belt, and when Nadia had tried to get it back, she'd been punished by my cat.

My mother told her to get the little rat out of her sight before she was further tempted to make my pet into a meatloaf. I did as she asked.

She has plenty of good reasons that she would want to kill my cat. I don't say that I blame her entirely, but I love that damn cat anyways.

My dad also has cause to want to abandon my cat on the side of the road or put her up for adoption or do something to make her go away on a more permanent basis.

He works for Gateway Real Estate in our town. He's just an agent, a worker bee under the queen bee. On this specific occasion, the queen bee and her family came over to our house for dinner. Mom had heard from a wife of a coworker that there were big things coming for Dad, even a prospective raise and promotion. We thought that was why Queen bee, Heidi Makala, had wanted to come over for dinner with my family.

Dad had gone fishing the past week with his buddies and brought us a beautiful piece of black cod, fresh out of the ocean. He was going to make his famous curried fish and roasted vegetables. It was one of my favorite meals, too.

He took the fish out of the freezer when he came home on his lunch break and sat it out on the counter to defrost. I had school and Mom had a meeting, so no one was home with Khatri. He'd spent the rest of the day worried that she would smell it and come for the fish.

He had come home to find his perfect piece of fish, whole and intact despite his worries. He had spent nearly two and a half hours preparing and cooking this meal for Queen Bee and her family. I'd come home from school to still see him cooking and stressing over the texture of the fish. I tasted it and it was sublime, just like I knew it would be. I reassured him that he was just as good of as a cook as he'd always been and he'd kissed the top of my head gratefully.

Later that day, I came out of my room where I'd been working on my Chemistry project to hear screaming.

I ran downstairs to find my Dad staring at the couch in horror. His perfect piece of fish was lying on the counter in its pan. Well, what was left of it. Khatri was standing on the counter, looking very fat and very happy with herself. He was screaming at her and looked about ready to use the knife from the fish to cut her into tiny little pieces and serve those to Queen Bee. It was six o'clock and they were coming at six-thirty. My dad had no fish, no main course, and half an hour to make another one.

Queen Bee had been promised fish, a wonderful piece of cod. And now there was nothing but shreds. I grabbed Khatri off of the counter and sprinted her to my room, almost afraid that Dad would follow me to try and get to her.

He didn't and ended up cooking up some steaks instead. The situation was mostly saved, but he never forgave her for that certain incident. I think he might still be mad about it.

That's just one out of many situations that could give a reason for her 'disappearance'.

My Mom could have taken her. But she says that she didn't. My Dad could have taken her. But he says that he didn't.

And you want to know the weird part? I believe them. I really do.

Because I have lost my other pets the same way. Even before I moved to this neighborhood.

It started when baby Alicia was born. I was four years old. She was with us for a little bit, and then she was gone. Poof. Disappeared, just like that. My parents don't like to talk about baby Alicia. They say that she had an accident, but they won't tell me what the accident was, or where she went. They won't even tell me if she died or not.

You know, that could have been an unfortunate accident. She could have suffocated in her blankets or fallen off a high place or been kidnapped. I'd almost let myself believe that, too.

Except for my pets. My pets are what makes me a little frightened. Because I had a dog and a guinea pig and a bird.

My first pet was a bird. I called her Polly. Because she was a parrot. I thought that was very funny when I was six. One day I came home from school to an empty cage. I'm still confused about how that one happened. My parents said that the cage was unlocked when they got home. I know that parrots are supposed to be really smart and all that, but I don't think they can open latches and swing open cage doors. Plus, where would she have gone? The window was closed and the door to my bedroom was closed. My parents dismissed it.

The second one was a guinea pig named Wallace. He was a sweet little guy who really liked to eat, sleep, and run around on my bedroom floor. He was cute and fuzzy and had a little cage in my bedroom with a spinny wheel and a little cave to sleep in. He was docile and really just wanted to eat and sleep. I was nine and could relate strongly to that. One day I came home to an empty cage. At this point, I didn't even bother to tell my parents. They knew, and they were hiding something, but they wouldn't tell me what, and after a while, I accepted that.

Then came Rodrigo, my german shepherd. He was the one I had loved the most. He was just a couple weeks old when I got him, and he was fiercely protective of me. He barked at all the people who passed by us on our walks and always wanted to snuggle. His loss hurt the most. he wasn't even a year old when he disappeared. He was so sweet and cuddly and cute. He was just a little baby when I lost him. I cried for weeks over that.

And now Khatri. My first cat. This one didn't hurt as bad. I almost expected it. No, I did expect it.

And I'd believe I just lost her too. I would believe that it had been an accident, that she'd frozen out in the cold. That they all had just been accidents, horrible accidents. I would have believed that this was all one big coincidence.

I would have believed it, if not for the weird scratch marks that showed up on their limbs every night before the disappearance. I would have believed it if not for the blood under my bed every time my pets go missing. And the gravelly voice that whispers every night before they disappear.

It's been counting down from five, every time. It got to two the other night. There's only one left. Except my parents have said no more pets. No more babies either.

So. That means that someone in this house is going to disappear.

And I woke up this morning with claw marks on my arms.


February 26, 2020 02:56

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