Fiction: A Cat Named Gretchen

April 9, 2018 Fiction , POETRY / FICTION

pixabay photo

 

By

David Smith

 

 

 

Prologue: Tonight we have for your entertainment, a plain, common, ordinary, Siamese housecat. She’s not quite a year old, and in many ways she’s still a kitten. She’s mischievous and playful with or about everything she sees. Her name is Gretchen, possibly an odd name for a cat, but then again; Siamese are odd cats. Gretchen is about to go on a life altering journey into another world. Another world where felines are treated like royalty, which very well may be some cats fantasies. Gretchen will need to decide which world is reality and which world she wants to leave behind in the TWILIGHT ZONE…

 

 

One day, when a cat named Gretchen was being her mischievous self, she noticed the kitchen cabinet door was slightly ajar. Gretchen wasn’t quite a year old, and she still had a lot of kitten in her, which made her very curious. She pulled the door open wider with her grey and white paw. She pokes her face inside the door and her blue eyes see something at the back of the cabinet.

Pushing her way inside and moving various plastic bottles, boxes and other things around, she makes her way to the back of the cabinet. She’s not sure what it is, but she needs to investigate it further. Once she gets to what she sees, there’s nothing there, but there is something. She tests it with her paw and her paw goes through the wall, she panics and pulls her paw back. Although she realizes it didn’t hurt her. Slowly she puts her paw back inside the wall and it keeps going. She keeps reaching till her nose is at the edge of whatever it is. She hesitates for a few seconds, and then pushes her head in so that she can see.

It seems to be another room, but a very large room. As far as she can see all around her, there are cats, humans and toys to play with. She also sees metal robots, somehow she knows what they are. The robots are petting some of the cats.

The robots have hands, but with only 3 fingers. This makes them look more like the claws of a bird. Some of the cats are being scratched under their chins, their backs, several of them are lying on their backs and having their stomachs rubbed.

The cats look very happy and contented; Gretchen knows they must be purring.

Suddenly there is a flash of light; she isn’t sure where it came from, it happened so fast. No one else seems to notice anything, there’s no hesitation or pause with any of the events going on around her and she continues looking around.

One of the cats, a female, walks up to her and asks “Who are you?” Gretchen is dumbfounded; the cat spoke to her in the human language of English.

Even more amazing is that she understands every word, she knows its human English because it’s what the humans she lives with speak. Now she felt like she could too and asked, “What is this place?”

“This is a cat’s paradise. All of the cats are worshipped here,” she says.

“They call me 1043, what’s your name?”

“Gretchen,” she tells her.

The other cat laughs, “What kind of name is that?”

“I like it fine,” Gretchen tells her. Suddenly there’s another flash. Gretchen is startled, but this time she thinks she sees something, but it’s so fast that she’s not sure what it is.

“What is all that flashing?” she asks 1043.

“Walk with me and I’ll explain,” she tells Gretchen.

1043 leads Gretchen away from the portal, Gretchen doesn’t really pay attention to where, she just walks and looks at all the cats, humans and everything going on in this world she’s entered.

The humans were playing with the cats and kittens, they had happy looks on their faces the way Gretchen’s human owners did. The humans are both male and female, but only middle aged people, no children, young adults or older humans.

The cats are all different ages, sizes and colors, except that there are no older cats.

The room is enormous, and now Gretchen can see doors leading to what look like more rooms with more cats. The height of the room seems to be quite a bit higher than where she was used to. There were miniature buildings, but they had no fronts at all. There were plenty of different rooms, which were also different sizes and colors. There were stairs, ladders, tunnels and some slides too.

A lot of the things were for the cats to play on. As she looked at the slide, a cat was sliding down. The buildings are like apartment buildings, they have holes very much like windows. There were different sized rooms in each small building.

There were roofs on top of the buildings and several cats were lying on some of them observing the events below them. Some of the rooms held families of kittens with their mothers. Others were smaller for individuals. Most of them were beds.

“Where are you taking me?” Gretchen asks.

“We need to get a chip in you, and then you can begin your new life here,”

1043 explains. “You’re not asked to do anything here. The humans invented the robots, but the robots took control. The robots are fascinated by us and worship us. They’ve put a chip in the humans which allow them to cater to our needs. But they’re not allowed to touch us. If they do they disappear. The robots know exactly how to take care of us individually once you get a chip they’ve designed inside you. They know each of our individual needs. The room is large enough to hold 200 cats, this is one of the larger rooms.”

Gretchen is still looking around in amazement, there’s so much going on.

She begins watching the humans more closely; some are playing with the cats, and some are feeding them, while others are picking up their droppings. She sees a male human reach for one of the cats, as soon as he touches the cat, there’s a flash of light and he disappears.

“Why do the humans try to touch the cats,” Gretchen asks, “when they know they’ll disappear?”

“Humans have chips in them also,” 1043 answered. “It’s a trait in humans the robots couldn’t control,” “They tried several experiments with the chips but they can’t get rid of all of the human instincts, it was easier to put something in the chip which just eliminates them when their skin touches us. The robots think the humans touch makes us dirty. At one time, they made the robots look like humans, but the robots think humans are ugly and changed them back to metal. They also decided five fingers weren’t necessary, they only need three to do all of their functions.”

“Another benefit to having the chip, is you’ll never need a vaccination again,” 1043 says. “You’ll also never feel a flea or a tick crawling on you”.

“Only the robots touch us,” 1043 continues. “Anything you think of is brought to you. Any kind of food or anything you want to drink. If we want to chase a string, climb up a tree, ladder or anything else you can think of they’ll take care of it”

“Once you get your chip in you, you won’t want to leave. Although there are several entrances the same as the one you came through. Most of the population here have been abused by humans in some way, in the other world.”

Not want to leave? Why wouldn’t she want to leave? Gretchen asks herself. Gretchen sees the metallic fingers of the robots touching the cats. She watches a robot scratching a cat under the chin and the cat is enjoying it. It reminds her of her human owner holding and scratching her chin.

“The robots are different sizes to accommodate whatever we need. The tall ones can go as high as the ceiling,” 1043 continues explaining. “The short ones take care of everything else.”

“Does everyone get along here all the time?” Gretchen asks.

“Yes, it’s a very pampered life style we have here,” 1043 tell her. “You’ll love it. If anyone has an unhappy moment, the robots are there immediately to solve any issue they might have. Sometimes the chip misses something. Some of us have been mistreated by humans and bring different things with us.”

Gretchen wants to see more. As they approach a set of stairs, she dashes up them. There are more things going on here than she’s ever seen before. She wants to see how far she can see and follows the stairs to the top and she stands on the roof. They take her up 12 feet off of the ground. She begins to watch the human’s.

Some of them have a variety of toys. One of the cats finishes going to the bathroom in a huge sand box and a human cleans it up immediately. There are plenty of sand boxes for the cats to play in and use as a rest room. Each time a cat uses it as a rest room, a human is right there to clean it up. Robots were also scattered in between rooms, stairs and tunnels, they were interacting with the cats and catering to whatever it takes to make the cat comfortable. From where she is,

Gretchen can see most of the room.

Although the cats look very happy and comfortable, she can’t help but think of the human family she lives with. The robots don’t hold any of the cats, they just pet them. She liked how her own family picked her up and held her, rubbing their faces on hers. She liked how it felt being in their arms. This didn’t look the same at all.

“How big is this place?” Gretchen asks.

“It’s very big, there are several rooms similar to this one,” 1043 continued.

“One of the rooms is just for the older cats. It’s quieter for them, since they’re playing days are over and they sleep most of the time.”

“How do you know this?” Gretchen asked.

“Once you have the chip in you,” 1043 went on. “You’ll understand everything. Come along, you’ll have plenty of time to lay here and gaze at everything.”

Gretchen’s attention is pulled away in the direction of the portal, she can see it beckoning her in the distance; she knows that’s the way out. Gretchen notices a robot coming towards her, it’s getting close. Again she thinks of the human family she lives with. She looks around once more, then looks towards the direction the portal is again and makes a run for it.

“Stop”, 1043 shouts. “Stop her, stop that cat.”  A few of the robots move to grab her, but she easily evades them.

“Don’t worry about her,” one of the robots tells 1043, “maybe she has nice humans to live with who take good care of her. She knows how she got here, she can always come back if she needs to.”

This time Gretchen doesn’t hesitate for a second, she leaps through the portal and right into her human’s arms.

“Where have you been?” the man asks. “It seemed like you disappeared.

Gretchen snuggles up against him and purrs. She’s glad to feel the warmth of his love.

 

 

EPILOGUE: A common ordinary housecat…next time you look at your cat lying next to you or in your lap purring or sleeping. You might wonder what he or she knows that we don’t. After all, he or she might have visited the TWILIGHT ZONE.

 

 

 

 

 

David Smith

Writes poems, lyrics, short stories, songs; 29 videos on You Tube – Search: Dave49erman; plays guitar and has 2 songs in a music publishing company; attended some college courses (Music, various writing, CA History).

Published: 1991 – 2 poems – Expensive Tastes, In This World; 2014 – story – El Pencilero; 2014 – 2 poems – The Ol’ Cowboy, In This World; 2015 – poem – Sacrifice.

Editor review

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.