Every so often I write fiction. I especially enjoy short fiction. It seems to clear my mind in ways other practices do not. I wrote this today.
They’re yelling again. They do that a lot. Sometimes two or three times a day I lift my head from a nap awakened by their screaming. They don’t like each other. I don’t think they ever have.
I think when they brought me home from the shelter they believed I would be a project they could rally around. It didn’t work. They fawned over me for a while. Bought me a bunch of toys and a cool box where I shit and piss, but they soon came to the realization I was not the cure for what ailed them. You can’t cure disinterest coupled with animosity.
Today was a particularly rough day for them. I could tell. From the moment they woke up the tone of their voices telegraphed their hate. What was once clearly dislike has elevated to outright hate over the three years I’ve been around.
Sleeping, one of my favorite pastimes, isn’t easy in this house. The raised voices. The slamming of doors. The stomping footsteps as one of them angrily marches out of the house, usually followed by another of their signature door slams.
I’ve gotten cleverer in managing the situation. Under the bed there is a nook between their clear plastic storage boxes where I can wedge myself in and barely hear anything else taking place in the house. It’s my island of tranquility in this sea of discontent household. That’s where I am now.
Ironically, they named me Harmony. I wasn’t thrilled about it. My name at the shelter was Buster. Much better name for a cat. Harmony felt odd from the start, but I don’t think they realized that until the day they started to accidentally use my shortened name, Harm. How’s that for a nickname? Ugh.
Anyway, I have to piss now, and I really don’t want to leave my place of solitude under the bed. Maybe if I sneak through the side hallway to get to my box I can avoid them. There appears to be a slight respite from the screaming. Now would be a good time.
I pop my head from underneath the bed just enough to see if the coast is clear. Seems to be. I navigate around the bicycles they store in the side hallway and make my way through one of the bathroom’s two doors and out the other to the back laundry room where my box resides.
Just as I squat a bit to piss, the screaming starts again. Really? That I am trying to calmly piss while they are verbally going for each other’s jugulars is a juxtaposition I have sadly endured before.
I guess I’m luckier than many at the shelter. Some never find a home. Some are killed because no one wants them. I count my blessings. Amid this chaos I try to find moments of peace and joy. I look out the window a lot. Birds are fascinating. The chirpy sound I make when I see a bird amuses my two caretakers. So, I keep making the sound. I figure it makes sense to bring whatever laughter I can to this otherwise rather miserable place.
Batting around my toy mouse is fun. That’s another way I pass the time amusing myself. We cats are good are creating our own entertainment. “You don’t see something there? Well I do!” Pounce! Such fun.
I finish pissing and take a few bites from my food bowl and sips from my water bowl and decide the safest place is back under the bed. The yelling is getting louder. Not a good sign. This is going to be a long drawn out battle.
Near the bed I see a small towel. I grab it with my teeth and back into underneath the bed to my private retreat, this time clumsily spreading the towel on the floor to make a little bed of my own. I lie down. Comfy! Good, because I think I’ll be here for a while today.