An internal dialogue kept close in the mind of a cat.
| "Come on, SmiLing. Can't you hear that mouse rustling under the couch? Are you a cat, or not?" Harrump. I'll have you know I possess superior hearing. And what kind of question is that? I'm one fine feline. "Please. Can't you make an effort? Would it kill you to try?" Perhaps. I'd rather not risk it. "What's the matter? Afraid to get your paws dirty?" Oh, you noticed my manicure? I spent an exhausting thirty minutes sharpening these nails this morning. Really, the armchair doesn't do it any more. And that pathetic scratching post? Puh-lease. "SmiLing, I'm begging you. Do something, anything." Danielle, no need to beg. It's beneath you. I did do something. See my sleek fur? Who do you think groomed it? Speaking of maintenance, you could really do with a shampoo. Have you no pride, girl? "Are you only capable of catching a nap? I suppose a cat doesn't understand the ol' saying, use it or lose it." I fail to see what all the fuss is about. Clearly, you did not witness me stretch twice and rise to re-position myself. That took real effort, Danielle. I also am loathe to tangle this amazing fur. Remember? You already complain I shed too much as it is. "What will it take to motivate you? I know there's a hunter lurking within you. That animal instinct can't be denied. Can't you feel it clawing to get out?" Merow. Hey, I do feel something. It's making my skin crawl and my tail twitch. It's, it's an itch. Wait, for it. There's another sensation of rumbling and rolling. Aahhh, it's gone now. "Oooo, cough, cough. That's rank! Wait, do you see it? Your bomb flushed out the mouse. He's making a run for it. I think he's blinded. Did you see him bounce off the table leg? He's stunned. You could catch him." Why, yes, I could, if I cared to, but why would I? It's vermin, Danielle. I have no idea where it's been. What might I catch? I shiver to think of the possibilities. "Aww, he's up and scurrying away. You blew your chance." Ah, chance. What fickle fate placed me here? You ask too much of me, Danielle. I am but a creature of refinement and beauty. You do the domestic drudgery. Wha'? "Okay, if you're too comfortable in here, SmiLing, I'll introduce you to the outside. Stop your squirming. Maybe a change of scenery will adjust your attitude. Count your blessings I don't drop you in this puddle." Ack! No need to be so rough. You're ruffling my fur. Really? Is this absolutely necessary? Oh, so you're slamming the door, Danielle? Danielle? Can't you hear my piteous cries? Damn, I think I broke a nail. My paws feel damp. Yikes! That mouse just dared to sidle up to me. Oh, it's whiskers are twitching. The bold thing is staring at me. Danielle?( 485 words )