Writer's Cramp Prompt: A Unique Day in the Life of a Pet
|Have you ever had a day that seems awful until you look back on it and realize that it was actually the best day of your entire life?
I have. A year ago today.
As I awoke, I heard my master scream. I leapt up instinctively, cracking my head on my slumber pod in my haste. I used two tentacles to open the pod, one to rub my injured noggin, and the rest to hustle me toward Nancy’s room. I entered cautiously, peering around, when I heard a groan from the bathroom. I scurried inside, my beak dropping wide at what I saw inside.
Nancy lay at the bottom of the shower, looking dazed. I threw one tentacle at the water control device and several more toward my master, their suction cups attaching firmly to her damp skin to pull her onto the bath mat. I unfurled another tentacle to detach the towel from its holding receptacle and cover her shivering body.
“What is it, Nancy?” I asked her telepathically. “What event resulted in your apparent state of distress?”
The earthling’s eyes slowly turned, until they met my light-sensing organs. “I… I… don’t know, Glarg!”
I scanned the room with every available sensory detector at my disposal until I found a lingering heat signature that led in the direction of the frosted window.
Faster than thought, I threw five tentacles to the window sill, and catapulted my body through it. Shards of glass flew everywhere, slicing my thorax as I flew outside, but I didn’t care. My only desire was to catch the awful invader who had caused harm to the human who had so generously cared for me when I had crash landed two years prior.
As I began an arcing descent, I spun three tentacles over my head, mimicking the contraption that humans call a helicopter. I scanned the area, using my upper brain to pattern match the heat signature of the attacker as my other brains processed light refractions, air molecule compositions, and sound waves.
Finally, my upper brain found a match. Adjusting the angle at which my tentacles were spinning, I swooped down toward the trail of infrared energy, picking up speed quickly. Ahead of me a dark, furry shape squeezed through a small hole in the fence.
My light refraction detectors narrowed, and I accelerated toward the movement. I was too large to fit through the hole, crashing through the slats of the fence in a shower of splintered wood. I knew I would need to spend several minutes in the healing tank of my ship after taking all this damage, but I didn’t care. It was worth it to make sure that this attack on my master didn’t go unpunished.
As I hurtled into the neighbor’s yard, I finally laid light refraction detectors on the culprit. It was a small mammal, weighing 5.1 kilograms. It had two triangular ears, green eyes, and fluffy black fur covering its slinky, four-legged body. A long tail rose from one end, weaving through the air in a sensual slither.
Hurriedly, I ran the light refraction pattern through my memory cortex until I found a match. This was what was known as a cat! I’d heard Nancy think about such mammals before. She found them cute. I wasn’t so sure. It had long fangs, sharp claws and looked downright dangerous.
I moved my tentacles into attack position, worriedly turning my motion detectors toward its razor-sharp claws. I had already taken damage during the chase, and I wasn’t looking forward to feeling the pain notifications that my nervous system would initiate when the beast’s claws came into contact with my purple flesh. But it couldn’t be helped. I had to put this awful creature down before it could do anything more to Nancy!
The cat turned to face me, lowering its chest and baring its teeth. It made a terrible gaseous sound, as if forcing too much air through too small a passage in its throat. I accessed my memory cortex, shuffling through the thoughts Nancy had shared with me regarding cats until I found a match for this behavior.
It was hissing!
This was bad. Even Nancy thought of hissing as something to be feared, and she liked these monstrous creatures. I wondered if I would survive the imminent combat with the beast.
Suddenly, the cat’s luminous eyes flicked upward, and its tense body relaxed slightly. What was this? An evil trick? A ploy to get me to engage my rear sensors and distract me from its impending attack?
I would not be so easily fooled.
I leapt forward, slapping two tentacles at the thing. Its eyes widened, and it sprang back, the nimble creature too quick for my strike.
“Glarg! No!” came a voice from behind. A very familiar voice. Nancy’s voice.
“It’s just a nice little kitty. She got into the house and must have gotten tangled between my legs, that’s all.”
Nice?! Tangled?! What devilry was this?! Was this creature casting mind fog over my Nancy? Surely, she couldn’t be excusing this foul thing’s attack!
She stepped over me, then reached down to pick up the cat. “I think it’s a stray,” she said, scratching its neck. “Come here, little kitty. I’m taking you home,” she said in a voice I’d never heard her use before. She took it back to the house as I followed, flabbergasted, behind.
When we arrived, she set it down and introduced the cat to me and me to the cat, giving it a name, “Delilah”, on the spot. The cat cocked its head to the side, and I reached a tentative tentacle toward its head, brushing its hair back. When Delilah reacted with a sound I now know to be called a “purr”, my heart melted. One thing led to another over the year that followed, until I proposed a romantic union that earthlings call “marriage” yesterday. Delilah accepted, and I’ve never been happier in my entire life.