[Short story] My 8th Friday Flash Short Story: Another day with Tom the Cat!

This story is my fictionalised encountered with Tom this morning. Most of the events are true, but I’ve embellished here or there. Sometimes I’m sure I can hear him speak.

This piece is also an exercise in writing. I’ve realised my shorter pieces, such as FridayFlash, help me to develop my writing voice. When writing long pieces for Camp NaNoWriMo, most of the story stays the same. I guess there’s something about a small piece that raises my confidence.

Anyway please enjoy this new piece: Another day with Tom the Cat!

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“Human!” I heard the voice come from behind as I worked at my PC. I turned around to see from where the word had emanated.

Upon my dresser sat a large, robust, grey cat. Some could call him fat, but judging by his demeanour he’d fancy himself as deliciously plump. I often imagine him wearing a monocle and top hat while demanding I call him “Sir”. He could pull it off.

“What do you want now?” I grumbled. Something inside of me knew this was going to take time out of my already busy day.

“Human, where is the other Human? The one that smells of flowers and such things. The one who too lies in the bed.”

“She’s at work. Is there something I can help you with?”

“No, Human. I demand cuddles and affection.”

I sighed.

“Look, you’re welcome to sit on my lap while I work, but I’m really busy.”

“No, Human, your empty-hearted gesture will not satisfy me. I demand love and attention and cuddles.”

“I’m already giving you attention.”

He glared. Somehow I knew that wouldn’t suffice.

“Human, where is the other Human?” Yup, my day was going to be full of this. You see the neighbourhood cat, Tom, as we call him, seems to have adopted my fiancée and I. Okay, he adopted her, and I’m just a third wheel. He usually pops in towards the evening for cuddles and then sleeps on our bed. Every once in a while, he’ll visit during the day, which always becomes a most vexing event. He just doesn’t understand that my fiancée cannot be on call for him whenever he wants.

“As I said, she’s at work.”

He lifted his left paw, licked the ball of fur and then scratched it against his head. He scanned the room trying to deduce if I was lying or not.

“And why are you not at work as well? Human, are you inferior to the other Human?”

“No, Tom, I’m just between jobs right now. The market is slow and… and why am I explaining this to you? You don’t even care.”

“Quite right.” He smirked. I wondered if cats even smirked; it was hard to tell behind his thick, short fur and even thicker whiskers.

“Human, I demand you summon the other Human while I explore this house. Is that understood?”

I sighed once again.

“No. Just go explore.” I turned back to my PC and the document I was busy with. “And don’t break anything!” I called out.

A few minutes passed and I didn’t see any sign of Tom. It was quiet. In fact, it was too quiet with only the sound of a gentle breeze brushing past the curtains. I realised I’d better check on “Mister Deliciously Plump” to make sure he wasn’t causing any trouble. You see, Tom was too classy for wetting against items to claim them as his territory, or at least, he liked to think so. Still, it was better to be safe than sorry.

I saved my document, closed it and got up from my chair. I poked my head out of the doorway but didn’t see any sign of Tom.

He wouldn’t have gone outside just yet, I thought.

I decided to check my mother’s room, which was just down the hall. Sure enough there he was sitting on her bed and licking himself.

“Tom, this isn’t appropriate behaviour,” I said.

He ignored me and carried on bathing himself, licking vigorously between his legs. His large stomach hung to one side, and I sometimes wondered how he got around with such a bulbous mass.

“Okay, kitty it’s time to go.” I approached the bed and spread out my arms to signify I was going to pick him up.

Without skipping a beat, he responded, “No, Human. I’ll stay here. I fancy this to be my room now. The Human who currently occupies it should vacate by this evening. When will supper be served?”

By this time, I was surprised I could still sigh. My body had continuously created the expression since Tom entered the house that day.

I walked over to the bed and picked him up without mercy.

“Excuse me,” he began, “but what in the hell do you think you are doing? Put me down at once, Human!” He squirmed. “I demand you release me onto my bed so that I may continue bathing myself. Be quick about it, you vermin!”

I ignored his words, carried him out of the room and closed the door behind me. He wasn’t going to lie on that bed, and he sure wasn’t going to claim the room for himself.

“Go on now. Run along and find somewhere else to sleep.” I gave him a shooing motion with my hands.

He turned around and glared at me, his tail wagging vigorously. “This isn’t over, Human. You and I are no longer friends, for you have insulted my great ancestors this day. I shall take my leave of you.” He scurried away, stomach wagging as he went.

I turned to make sure the door was tightly closed. I walked towards my room but didn’t see head nor tail of the furry oaf. As I entered the room, I saw him, sprawled out on my bed and licking himself between his legs once more.

“Tom, I thought you were leaving?”

He looked up and glared at me. “I will do as I wish.” That smirk.

“Whatever.” I sat back down at my desk and tried to remember what I was doing before being so rudely interrupted. I eventually found the document and opened it up. As it sprang to life on my screen so did Tom up and onto my desk. For such a robust cat, he had his elegant moments.

He stared, blinked, and then stared some more. His brow furrowed and his eyes narrowed.

“Yes?” I asked while becoming increasingly frustrated.

“Human, where is the other Human? I demand cuddles.”

I reached out and petted him on the head.

Yip, it was going to be a long day.

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