Feline Instincts

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: pixabay.

Feline Instincts

It’s something that people always seem to underestimate. Us cats, well, we can tell when someone doesn’t like us. And those people are generally not that nice to know.

We had a good relationship, me and my human. She respected me, cared for me, and I reciprocated in kind. I always thought she was sensible, had good intuition herself, but apparently I was wrong. She let HIM move in, after all, and in just a few seconds I knew he was trouble.

Hey, Babe, what’s with the cat in the house?” he’d asked, aiming a scowl in my direction.

Oh, I haven’t introduced you. Phil this is Lucifer, or Luce for short.”

Suddenly I found myself being lifted and thrust towards this monster of a man. It was my natural instinct to growl but as it happened I needn’t have bothered with the warning.

He turned away with a dismissive comment: “Just keep it away from me. I hate cats.”

It! What’s with the ‘it’? That told me all I needed to know.

Luckily Denise was not one for always going out, for this Phil seemed to be around all the time. I guess if everyone felt the same way about him as I did, no one was going to work with him. While my owner was about I was perfectly safe, and okay, I admit it; I took advantage.

I’d sprawl out on the bed, scratching when I had no need to, just because I knew it got to him. I also chose his favorite chair to sit on.

Denise, has this cat got fleas or something? The damn thing is always scratching.”

Oh, how could you even suggest such a thing,” she said, lifting me to her face and nuzzling my fur. I let out a contented purr and stared him straight in the eye. I’d not be the one to look away, and I wasn’t.

Hateful thing,” he muttered under his breath, not loud enough for her to hear, but I did. I knew his sort.

Then suddenly everything changed. Denise went out for a long time, and after prowling around and keeping my distance I went and found somewhere that Phil could not reach.

Where’s Lucifer?” she asked him as soon as she got home.

How the hell should I know? And so long as it’s nowhere near me, I really don’t care.”

I’d heard her voice and had come running, with my customary purr of greeting. She picked me up and hugged me, then she turned towards the man. She tried to hold me out towards him but I was having none of it. There was no way he was going to put so much as a finger on my fur; if he tried there would be blood, and it wouldn’t be mine.

Denise put me down on the ground where I snaked around her legs. “You two are going to have to find a way to get along. I have got a job!”

Job?’ I didn’t really understand the word or the full implications of her words, but the idea that we would have to get along made me nervous. There was no way I was ever going to make friends with a cat hater.

The first day caught me out. I knew Denise had was not there, but I didn’t think she would be long. Phil knew better and took advantage, first standing on my tail then shutting me inside a cupboard. I didn’t mind the cupboard, for us cats can make ourselves comfortable anywhere, but I made sure Denise felt sorry for me when she found me there later.

Oh, my poor baby. How did you get shut inside there?”

Must have sneaked in when I got the vacuum out,” Phil said,

Denise looked at the floor. There was no way it had even felt the weight of a vacuum cleaner, let alone been cleaned by one. “Well,” she said, not wanting to pick a fight, “You’ll have to be more careful in future.”

That was just the start, and things went from bad to worse. After he had kicked me, I took to spending more and more time outside. I made him pay for it though, when Denise was home and I was safe. Anywhere he moved towards, I’d make sure I was there first. After the kick, I took great pleasure in sharpening my claws very thoroughly on his favorite sweater.

Look at this!” He shook the shredded garment in front of Denise. “That... cat... did it intentionally. He’s got to go!”

Says who?” I hadn’t often heard Denise raise her voice. “You should remember whose house this is, Phil. Lucifer is staying.”

I had spent a lot of time sitting on her lap that night, making sure he kept those words in mind, but the following morning I was out of the house. There were plenty of places for me to hide away in the garden.

There was my favorite tree, a perfect spot for when it was raining. Thick branches swirled and curled out from the main trunk making perfect nesting spots. Not only could I keep an eye on the birds coming and going, but I was sheltered from the rain while I did so.

He must have seen me up there, for a few days later he was out there with this stinking roaring beast of a machine which tore into the branch and cut it down. How dare he! I knew his game, though; he was trying to drive me away and it was not going to work.

The weekend gave my nerves a rest. Denise was home and when she wasn’t, that man was out too. I made sure I was close to her the entire time she was in though, and perhaps that was why he did what he did.

Monday was sunny. There was a well in the garden, not used, but it made a nice place to sit. There I was, soaking up the sunshine, when that man walked outside. I didn’t think anything of it, looked the other way and ignored him. That was my big mistake.

A pressurized jet of water hit me square in the back and suddenly I was no longer on top of the well, but inside it. I know there’s a saying that cat’s always land on their feet, but that is very dependent on depth of the drop. If I’d have fallen down to the bottom, I had not the slightest doubt that that would have been the end of me. If it had water in it, I would have drowned; if not, I would have hit the bottom so hard I’d have died on impact.

I was lucky. There was a tiny ledge running around the inside, just deep enough to keep me hidden. I stayed there, shaking from the shock and the soaking until Denise returned home. Phil had tried to kill me, and it was by sheer chance that he had failed.

That evening, while I was curled up on Denise’s lap, I began to plot. I would never be safe while that man was living in the house and he showed no signs of leaving. If I could have told her, I know Denise would have thrown him out, but all I could do was hiss every time he came anywhere near me. Perhaps she had suspicions, but that was all and I could do no more. Or could I?

He would kill me, and delight in it too, unless I could find a way of killing him first.

The well was the key. I would ‘fall in’ and make sure he saw me, just before Denise was due home. I’d never seen him anywhere near it; he certainly would not know about the ledge. I’d balance myself and kick up such a caterwauling that even he wouldn’t fail to notice. And with Denise knowing how he felt about me, he’d have to try and rescue me.

The weather almost ruined my plans. It rained all morning, but in the afternoon the sun came out. I sauntered down the garden, dodging the kick he aimed my way, and then I sat on the brickwork of the well. I lifted one front paw to lick, then another. I could feel Phil’s eyes on me. It was now or never, do or die. I lifted my back leg up and rolled myself into the well, landing with four feet just fitting on the ledge.

I won’t deny that I was scared, and that gave an added desperation to my cries. Over and over again, I meowed, letting my voice become more and more pitiful.

Shut the hell up, you damn cat.”

Had I misjudged him? Was he going to leave me? I heard his feet approach. “Where are you?” he grunted, poking a stick into the well. He was trying to knock me all the way in. Well, two could play at that game.

I crouched down low and made a mewling noise. In any other circumstance I’d have been embarrassed, but this was war and all tactics were fair tactics. My timing had to be right. No, more than that, it had to be perfect.

The man I hated leaned over, looking for me in the shadows. Further, further... just a bit more, and then I leaped from the ledge onto the back of his neck. He lifted a hand to try and knock me off himself and lost his balance, simple as that.

I heard the bumps, the cries, the curses, until there was finally a splash and then silence.

He was gone. I had won.

I made my way back inside the house and curled up on what had been his favorite chair to wait for Denise to get home. And I purred, I admit it, for once again all was right in my world.

 

 


Submitted: July 10, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Mike S.

Another fine cat tale, Hull!

Fri, July 10th, 2020 8:53pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Mike.

Sat, July 11th, 2020 5:04am

LE. Berry

Go Luce... I really enjoy stories told from an animal's perspective. Nice piece hullabaloo22

Fri, July 10th, 2020 9:20pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, LE. I genuinely believe that a cat hater should never be trusted.

Sat, July 11th, 2020 5:18am

Tammi Fitzpatrick

Yay! I wanted Phil gone, too.

Fri, July 10th, 2020 9:41pm

Author
Reply

Ha! Thanks so much, Tammi!

Sat, July 11th, 2020 5:19am

88 fingers

Love me. Love my cat. Good story.

Fri, July 10th, 2020 9:54pm

Author
Reply

And never trust a cat hater! Thanks so much for giving this a read, 88.

Sat, July 11th, 2020 5:20am

Vance Currie

I know you are a cat lady, Hully, and who better to write a story from the POV of a cat? I am a stuffed bear man myself, but I used to own a cat. The way you wrote this story was a credible interpretation of how a cat might feel and think. Maybe planning a cunning murder is beyond a cat's ability, but it made for a good story and a satisfying ending.

Fri, July 10th, 2020 10:40pm

Author
Reply

Oh, never underestimate a cat, Joe! And never trust a cat-hater either.
Thanks so much for giving this a read.

Sat, July 11th, 2020 5:21am

Sue Harris

Good for Lucifer, I say, only what he deserved! A really well written story, Hully, with a very satisfying ending!

Sat, July 11th, 2020 5:41pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Sue. Glad you enjoyed it.

Sun, July 12th, 2020 9:03am

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