Hello. Here’s one of my stories from the wayback machine. I hope you enjoy it.


Abomination. She glared at the unblinking, painted eyes, the frozen mouth, wondering what horrid thing she had done that prompted them to bring this into her world. That was the only logical reason for the installation of the creature. Ears flattening, she gave it an experimental tap with her left front paw. An arm wobbled, then settled back into its original position. Curious. It seemed to have no movement of its own accord. And the face, if it could be called a face, never changed. Even when she slunk her body close to the twinkling tree and the sparkly things that dangled from it. Not a peep. For sure, that was its purpose. A watchdog, of sorts, to attempt to keep her in line. As if. Spiking with fury, she snapped a claw across its eye.


She jumped back with a hiss, hair along her spine standing on end.

But the thing merely continued to stare. When no more noise came from the too-red mouth, she inched closer and nosed it.

“Take a picture, it’ll last longer!”

She cocked her head. “You’re…a living thing?”

“You bet I am. And I don’t like the way you’re looking at me.”

“And I”—she sniffed—“don’t like the way you’re in my home. State your purpose and I might not murder you.”

“I make the children behave.”

“Please. That is my job.” She extended a claw. “With the help of Lefty, here.”

She swore the thing laughed. “You’ve gone soft,” it said. “You sleep in front of the fire half the day. And when was the last time you caught a mouse? You’re hardly earning your keep around here.”

“And you are? An idiotically grinning bit of plastic and fluff?”

“I don’t require feeding. Or veterinary bills. Or litter box changes. I’m what the humans call ‘cost-effective.’”

“Hmpf.” She licked a paw and swiped it over her ear. “I am self-cleaning, unlike you. You could use a good dusting. Here. Let me help you.” She pulled back and whacked him so hard he flew off the shelf and into the tree. It made a louder noise than she’d anticipated, a kind of crash-tinkle-jingle-thump, and she shrieked and scuttled under the handiest piece of furniture. But not before the humans’ door swung open.

“Cat!” the male one yelled. “Crissakes. What are you up to out here? Oh. That. Good,” he grumbled, dropping his voice. “I hate that thing. It gives me the creeps.”

The female one shuffled out after him. That human was less angry, but the tone still spelled trouble. Last time she hurt the tree they put her outside, and the night noises were scary and she ate a bug that didn’t taste good. She wanted to stay inside, where she had crunchies and a clean litter box and a fireplace to sleep next to.

And the thing said, “Outside. Outside.”

“Probably a good idea,” the male one said, scooping her up and walking for the door. Her heart beat faster. “Tomorrow, we should get one of those things from the home improvement store. I saw in on Facebook. You attach the tree to the ceiling…”

As she landed four paws down on the front stoop, she swore she heard the dog snickering. And out of the corner of her eye, she saw him sliding a book titled “Ventrilo-something” underneath the sofa.