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The Cat's Meow
He sat staring out the window, and I sat watching him. “You’ve got the worst luck in the world, you know.” I whispered into his ear. “The worst luck in the world.” I watched him slowly absorb the fact that the voice was coming from outside his head. He turned, and searched the room. His eyes slowly came to rest on me.
“But that’s not possible…” he said. “You can’t talk…..” I turned and licked my fur in response. I could see the wheels turning in his head. I knew several things about him. He had had a rough childhood: an abusive father, no friends, bad town to grow up in, and more pitiful information like that. The final thing I knew about him was that he believed he had the worst luck in the world. Using this belief, I had vowed to work my way into his head.
My motives? I didn’t have any motives. It’s not as if he treated me badly, abused me, or neglected me. No, he was always a fairly decent owner. I just wanted to drive him crazy. I felt it was my goal in life. So there I sat, watching him try to understand how his cat had just talked to him.
I assumed he was nervous. They always were when something unexpected happened. As soon as humans realized that their world wasn’t how they thought it was, they freaked out. They’re not very adaptable, if you ask me. But no one ever does ask me. No one realizes that cats have brains too, and very good ones at that.
I suppose that would be my motive, showing the world that my species is smarter than they think. I leapt off the desk where I was perched and sauntered out of the room to plan how I would drive this unfortunate man insane.
My first act of business was to make sure things went horribly wrong for his date tonight. I heard my owner and his tentative girlfriend talking on the phone. The time for their dinner was at 7:00, on the dot. I knew that my owner wasn’t a bad looking guy (I’m a fairly good judge of human appeal), but I also realized that our neighbor was a real ladies’ man. If I could lure him over here at the right time, my owner’s date would be star-struck and abandon their night out in the blink of an eye. It was now 6:45. The window was open, and I used it to escape the house. I crossed over the yards, and then I saw him in the window. Even from a far distance, I knew he was a definite catch.
Soon after my first sighting, he disappeared from view. I jumped onto the doorstep and used my best acting skills to bring the man to the door. It was now 6:55. I heard a car pull into our driveway, and knew that I must act fast. I meowed pitifully and convinced the man that I was a lost cat; humans claim that they are the smartest species, but I would like to object to that. They fall for any display of widened eyes and pathetic whimpering. The man, oblivious that he was part of a malicious scheme, picked me up and stroked my fur. He headed over to my house to return the “lost cat” just as my owner’s date was walking up to the front porch. The woman turned.
“Oh! What a cute cat! And you are…?” the woman asked as he walked up to her.
“Dylan,” he answered, just as taken by her appearance as she was with his. He dropped me rather unceremoniously.
She said, “Kelly,” at the same moment my owner opened the door. He saw his neighbor and his date talking, looking at each other with awe, and his eyes widened. The two did not realize that they had an onlooker, so my owner ended up witnessing an invitation to dinner, some small talk, and a kiss.
“I’ll see you at 8?” Kelly asked.
“8 it is,” Dylan answered. They walked off to their respective cars, both forgetting their original purpose of coming here, and I grinned as I watched my owner’s face.
Later that night, after I finished hearing waterworks, curses, and moans, I located his boss’s phone number. Not to waste my breath on such an insignificant human, I repeatedly dialed and redialed his phone number with my cumbersome paws the entire night, without leaving a message. Over, and over, and over, I heard his boss become furious. I believe the final straw for him was my call at 2:30 in the morning, so when his boss called back, I just let the phone ring. Eventually, my owner got up out of bed and picked up the phone.
It must have been a rather shocking way to wake up when he answered the phone to hear screaming and yelling. When the boss finally finished throwing his tantrum, I heard my owner put down the phone in shock. I knew I had accomplished my job. The unfortunate man was now fired.
The next stage of my plan would be the easiest. It would be easier than bringing out my (unfortunately) un-used acting skills, or dialing numbers with awkwardly heavy paws, at least. All I had to do was forge a doctor’s note. I spent the rest of the night rooting through his papers to find a doctor’s note, so I could copy the handwriting. Through my diligent work I heard him groaning during his dreams. I caught a phrase once that made me chuckle. “Why are there talking cats?” I heard him murmur. These humans, they think the know everything. In truth, they are the most oblivious species ever created.
By the time he woke up, I had a suitably forged note that read:
I, Dr. William Bard, diagnose my patient with a fatal form of cancer. The treatment for this will cost $65,000, and without the treatment, my patient will surely die. Please send this money to 56 Harvard Road without delay. Sincerely, Dr. William Bard
I admired my handiwork for a while, and brought it out to leave in the mailbox for my owner to discover. I then initiated the next step to driving him insane. This part of the plan would take several months, I knew, but it would be worth it. I could start now. While I was still at the mailbox, I took out his mortgage account statement. I ripped it up with my claws. This was the same procedure I would use every time he received a bill for his house for the next five months.
During those five months, I watched as he unsuccessfully tried to get his job back, waste $65,000 sending it to a false address, and, most comically, try to get Kelly back. His attempts had me rolling on the floor in hysteria. I tell you, it was better than any catnip. His bad dreams about talking cats eventually subsided, but the same recurring phrase could be found in every bout of sleep-talking: “the worst luck in the world…”
His five months to pay the mortgage were up. We eventually received a letter that stated Tuesday December 24 was the day his house would be foreclosed. That was tomorrow. This letter I left, and watched him call up the bank screaming. The bank only repeated the same statement, that he had received numerous letters warning him of the foreclosure. He raged for hours.
I found him in the same room, looking out the window. I stepped up from behind him, looked him straight in the eye, and purred, “You’ve got the worst luck in the world…”
It finally dawned on him. He turned in fury. “It’s you! You‘ve been causing all this damage to my life! I don‘t know how you can write or even think for that matter, but you created this mess!” he screamed. I just stared at him. “I have nothing to live for! You took away my girlfriend, my job, my money, and my house! Nothing to live for! Because of a cat!” He picked me up, and tried to throw me out the window. Every attempt he made was more maniacal than the last, and each just resulted in more humiliation for him. I always leaped out of his arms at the last second.
“Fine! If you won’t die, and I have nothing to live for, then I guess I’ll just have to…” He trailed off. He maneuvered himself around so that he was standing on the window sill. He glanced back at me.
“You have the worst luck in the world…” I purred again, and then he jumped.