“Lewis?” Master Onyx whispers searching for his counterpart. It's 0400 and his dad is still tucked snuggly in his bed.

“Lew?” he calls a little louder. His dad flips over tossing one long leg out from the covers. MO knew that his dad couldn't understand him. To Syd, all MO's vocalizations were mere mewing, only the animals in earshot could truly interpret the language.

However, MO didn't want to wake Syd yet. He needed time to start his project, so he held off calling for Lewis again until he made it to the home office. Entering the small office space, he started searching the small kitty-sized spaces where Lewis liked to snooze. 


Master Onyx, MO for short, outgrew those choice spaces long ago. Frankly, it pissed him off that Lew rubbed it in his face every single moment of every single day by curling up everywhere, lithe and limber. His anger was compounded by the pics Syd posted on Instagram where most of his body cascaded over the sides of shoe boxes and planters, et cetera, et cetera, puke. So, Mo crafted a plan for a space devoid of iPhones.

His scheme would help him regain lost respect. He was the FIRST cat, the master of his domain, and he required privacy. Lewis had a choice. He could be an ally or a victim. But first, MO needed to find him.

Lewis liked the office best and spent most of his time tucked away in its coveted nooks. MO decided one more lap around that room was worth the time. He leapt onto the chair, then did a shimmy onto the desk. He stepped nonchalantly across the books, the keyboard, the loose-leaf paper. “Look, Syd forgot to put the pens away again. I’m always here to help, mmwwrrahaha.” MO mumbled to himself wiping the pens off of the desk towards the floor vent cover. One of the pens ricocheted towards the desk while the other landed on top of the metal grate. “Shit! It’s too big. That’s irony for you.”

Looking over the edge of the desk the slightest tuft of hair was visible from underneath its back left corner. “Okay, Lewis. You have been discovered. If you don’t come out, there will be a catfight. I’m quite sure that you don’t need me to remind you of last time. I got squirted with that damn water bottle, but you lost a chunk of flesh and had to visit the vet. Do you feel like another visit to the vet, Lewis?”

The tuft of orange hair slowly retracted beneath the wood, concealing the cat completely. “You aren’t hidden, Lewis. I just saw you. FFFFTTTT.” MO voiced his first warning hiss showing that he was indeed serious.

“Yaaaawwwnnn.” Lewis yawned. MO could hear the sounds of him stretching beneath the desk and sharpening his claws on the carpet before Lew slowly emerged from beneath the furniture. “What is it this time? I was asleep. Dad told you not to bother me when I’m getting my rest.”

“That is the problem, Lewis. You have at least fifty places in this apartment to nap. How many do I have?” MO didn’t pause long enough for Lew to think about it. He didn’t have all day after all. “NONE. I have none, Lewis. We are about to fix that. You are going to help, or you are going back to the vet the hard way. Understand?”

Lewis knew MO’s temper firsthand. It would be best if he joined in the plan. That is if it didn’t call for too much destruction. MO had a penchant for destroying things. Maybe it was due to his kittenhood behind that dumpster at McDonald’s. He had fought for his very existence then. He had never become fully domesticated. But does any cat ever?

“Here’s the plan. I need a place to decompress where I’m not having pictures posted of me. I hate those damn cat imagens and cutesy-ass gifs. I can't produce enough furballs in a day to show my abject disgust for that shit and to think I’m the subject. DONE. I AM DONE. FFFTTTTZZ.” MO hissed again.

“Okay. Okay. Calm down, MO. I’m in. What’s the plan?”

“I tried to remove that white, flexible hose from the back of the dryer. I can’t fit into that hose, but we can go at it another way." MO paused squinting at Lew. "I'll let you know this in advance. This is your ONLY warning. After we are done with this project, that will be my spot, not yours. Got it?”

“Sure. Sure. No need to be territorial. I have, like, the rest of the place. Am I that selfish? No, but I am a bit offended that you paint me with that brush."

"You're about to be offended." MO grumbled, his eyes becoming slits as he glared at Lewis.

Changing his tone, Lewis continued. "That is a good spot. It’s warm behind the dryer. Syd never looks back there. There are at least three pairs of underwear and a couple socks. Why alter it? Why don’t you just curl up back there?”

“You have zero spatial reasoning.”

“Oh, okay, yeah. You are right. You could stretch your body into a line but couldn’t curl up properly. You need a rotunda of sorts.”

“What is that supposed to mean, Lewis?” MO said in a catty tone, jumping down so he could stare Lewis straight in the face.

“A rotunda is just the name for a rounded area. Sheesh, you always act like you are so smart. Did I qualify it as a huge rotunda, gargantuan rotunda, ginormous rotunda? No, I just referred to a round room.” Lewis quipped.

BAP! MO’s left paw came from nowhere and smacked Lew hard on his right cheek.

“Damn it, MO. If you are going to start that, I am going to lead Dad right to your space after you craft it. You must be nice to me if you want this to stay secret.”

BAP, BAP. BAP! Two more lefts and a right came from MO. “Looks like you only respond to pain, doesn’t it. Did you notice my left? It came at you in an arc. I’m thinking I should start calling that paw, Rotunda.”


“Let's go get this project started. The white tube is already shredded and the wire that held it in its tubal shape is bent enough for you to get into it, but not me. I actually tried that last week. When I couldn’t get my body into it, I decided that the drywall has to go. There is a plastic square on the wall where the hose is attached. If we cut around the outside of the plastic, I can fit. We can do it in half the time if you crawl through the hole I already made and work at it from inside the wall while I work from the outside.”

“Do you really think that’s a good idea, MO?”


Lew just looked at MO and sighed. He felt like bad things were going to come from this. He knew his dad had no construction skills to fix the dry wall. “That’s what the pet deposit is for I guess.”

“What did you just say?” MO asked grumpily.

“Oh, nothing. Let’s sharpen our claws and get this project started. Dad will be up in a couple hours.”

February 27, 2023 16:19

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17:37 Mar 09, 2023

How perfect - very nicely done. You must be a cat person - you captured their 'tude so well! This was fun - I'm curious to see the results of their shenanigans! xo


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Andrew Fruchtman
01:46 Mar 09, 2023

Fun read Sonja. I love to read other writers take on the same prompt. Loved the interplay of the two cats. Keep writing and posting. 😻👍


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Shana Fox
13:07 Mar 07, 2023

MO's new named left hook made me burst out laughing. Fantastic job on the dialogue. You really gave each cat a clear but different cattitude and they play very well off each other.


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David Sweet
20:16 Mar 04, 2023

Very fun story. My favorite, besides the left hook ROTUNDA was "He had never become fully domesticated. But does any cat ever?" 🐈 A truism if I have ever heard one. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up!


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Russell Mickler
17:03 Mar 02, 2023

Snicker, actually, this line was very funny ... >> “Yaaaawwwnnn.” Lewis yawned. Only because it's a verb expressed in the dialogue, giggle, kind of funny. >> I hate those damn cat imagens and cutesy-ass gifs. It's about time that cat's revulsed at these things! >> BAP, BAP. BAP! Two more lefts and a right came from MO. Ha! I liked the plan to make a place to nap (BAP!) in the rotunda ... :) A fun read :) R


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Wendy Kaminski
15:47 Mar 02, 2023

lol This was really cute, Sonja! Very essence of a dominant and a submissive feline in the same household. :) Some favorite lines: - wiping the pens off of the desk towards the floor vent cover - haha so true of ALL of them! - I should start calling that paw, Rotunda. - lol - BAP, BAP, Ditty BAP, BAP. “ROTUNDA!” - LOL! I really enjoyed this - thanks for the fun story!


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