Writer, Editor, Stand-Up Comedian

fff#28–The strange tale of the pants cat

Posted: October 10th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: FFF | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

I too-rarely participate in my friend elisha’s flash fiction fridays, a kind of writing exercise where you have to write a short piece of fiction using a trigger that she provides. The trigger can be an opening sentence, a closing sentence or a list of words you have to include in the piece. This week she posted an inclusion trigger. Here’s my attempt. It’s not actually fiction, but fmf (flash memoir fridays) doesn’t have the same ring, somehow.

fff#28 (inclusion) trigger:rebellion, fox, strange, mirror, pleasure.

True story: Fennec came to us in pants.

He wasn’t wearing pants. He was in the pants. Brian walked up to me while I was sitting on a wooden bench in the waiting room of the free dental clinic with Najja sitting next to me waiting to take out a baby tooth that was making a rider. Brian had a strange look on his face. “Look at this,” he said, holding open the pocket of his baggy jeans. Two sleepy kitten eyes stared out from the pocket and the barely furry face opened its mouth in a noiseless mew. I jumped off the bench, yelling,ย “What the hell?!?” A good moment for an interrobang right there.

We called him Fennec after the fox with the huge ears. His ears were ginormous, bigger than his head, nearly bigger than his body, truth be told. He was frail and dirty with scant hair covering his pink skin. His mother had had a litter of 16 kittens but most cats have between six and eight nipples. Not very strange that he was in bad shape.

Brian took the pants off and went home in his boxers with the sleepy kitten still in the pocket of his jeans. Regular feedings of milk-soaked bread gave him fortitude and within a couple of days the creature was toddling around like an actual kitten, peering into the mirror at himself with puzzlement and interest, batting at his reflection and running away with an awkward, teetering gait. Soon he didn’t want bread and milk anymore and was screaming in hunger at the merest whiff of meat.

Countless fleas lurked under Fennec’s dingy white fur, especially in its archipelago of brownish-gray spots running up his back to his tail. After Googling kittens and fleas we learned that although he was probably a little too young for a proper flea treatment we could wage a war of attrition against them with twice-weekly baths in mild soap followed by blow-drying him on low heat. It’s strange to suggest bathing a cat–it never sounded like a good idea–and Fennec, unsurprisingly, wasn’t a fan. A warm bath and chocolate-scented body wash, which was the mildest thing we had around the house, was punishment to him.ย His rebellion against this inhumane treatment took the form of vicious slashes with his razor-sharp claws and the occasional bite. He really didn’t want to be bathed. Ever. Again. But we did it religiously twice a week for about a month. He still has fleas but far fewer; a side effect of the regular baths was that his fur grew in properly and he was no longer hairless, even if his mammoth ears are still too big for his increasingly rotund body.

The nicest part about bathing Fennec was that afterwards someone would have to put him under their shirt to get him warm because he was shivering so much. He’d curl up around your tummy and subside into sleep, purring in pleasure. Maybe he was remembering how he came to us, snug in the pocket of a pair of pants.

7 Comments on “fff#28–The strange tale of the pants cat”

  1. 1 sharon millar said at 2:08 pm on October 10th, 2010:

    I love this! You are now officially a cat person.
    Liked the memoir aspect. Save it – it will become part of the family lore.
    I have a mad, mad one that tries to bathe with me. Crazy! Thanks for sharing this. XX

  2. 2 bertrand said at 3:01 pm on October 10th, 2010:

    Hey Lisa this is the best cat story i ever heard i likes kitty kitty .,.

  3. 3 ishara legreat said at 3:08 pm on October 10th, 2010:

    that made me very happy mama <3

  4. 4 Cheryl Wright said at 5:31 pm on October 10th, 2010:

    My Immi-Poppit doesn’t like to bathe either but she loves water – goes outside to get drizzled by the ran and then runs inside for me to dry her with her little fluffy towel. When the days are hot, she sleeps in the bathroom. While I am having a shower, she is waiting outside to jump in when I am finished. She runs up and down when I am wetting my plants and when I am finished, she finds a puddle and sprawls out in delight.

  5. 5 Nneka said at 8:03 am on October 14th, 2010:

    Lovely story Lisa.. I have two cats i got as kittens..i adore them. they have such different personalities and even though cats do their own thing (their independence is one of their main attractions) ..they are really comforting to have around. Fennec is adorable-clearly you did a good job bringing him back to life ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. 6 sweet trini said at 2:46 pm on October 14th, 2010:

    sorry i was slow, can never read fffs until i finish write mine.
    love this one and love that it true…precious but not too…
    new trigger tomorrow! walk good biglove

  7. 7 lise said at 4:32 pm on October 18th, 2010:

    ๐Ÿ™‚ aww thnx nneka

Leave a Reply