Tag Archives: cat

The Spot Writers – “One Historical Romance” by Chiara De Giorgi

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt: a cat stares at something behind its owner’s back. What does it see?

This week’s story comes from Chiara De Giorgi. Chiara dreams, reads, edits texts, translates, and occasionally writes in two languages. She also has a lot of fun.

***

One Historical Romance by Chiara De Giorgi

My roommate, Jenny, loves to read historical romances.

Historical romances are basically love stories: out of eight hundred pages, at least six hundred are devoted to detailing hot intercourses and describing massive male chests and backs that are as vast as Greenland, but since in the remaining two hundred pages a king, a battle, a stronghold – or something of the kind – are featured, then they’re called “historical romances”. I also suspect the term “love stories” is widely despised.

So, anyway: Jenny loves those books. Recently, she’s seeking out all those that are set in Scotland, where the manlier men in the world apparently live: men that are so manly, they can wear a skirt! (The reason I know all these things, is that I normally sit next to Jenny while she’s reading, so as to peek at the pages and read along. Sure, sometimes I fall asleep, but that is normally not an issue, because when I wake up the hero and the damsel are still setting fire to the woods with their uncontrolled passion, just where I had left them.)

Sorry, I lost my train of thought.

A few nights ago Jenny threw a party. I really don’t like it, when Jenny throws a party. All those strangers prancing around the flat with their dirty shoes, claiming all couches and armchairs… it’s irritating. So, as usual, I stayed out of the way, half hidden behind a curtain. I was very still, and I scanned the crowd. I like to observe and deduce, I know things about people at first glance, that you wouldn’t believe. Once Jenny made me watch “Sherlock Holmes”: finally, a kindred spirit! Of course he had to be fictional.

Anyway. There I was, doing my thing, when he entered the room. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I stared at him from my hiding place, considering my options.

Suddenly, Jenny realized I was staring at something right behind her and she turned around. Damn it, now she was facing him, and her reaction was exactly what you can expect. She gasped and dropped her glass. He gallantly picked it up, while Jenny let her gaze slide all over his muscled body, his white shirt, and the sexiest kilt you can ever imagine. He looked like he had just jumped out of one of those historical romances, and Jenny was clearly determined to become his damsel. Could I allow such a waste of manhood? Of course not.

I quietly slipped out of my hideout and slowly made my way towards the two of them, keeping my eyes fixed right behind Jenny’s head – I know it creeps her out when I do that.

When I reached them, Jenny was flirting shamelessly and even shifted just enough as to conceal me from his sight. Unperturbed, I brushed up against his legs with a special technique of mine, tripping him up. He caught Jenny’s arm so as not to fall – not what I had wanted. But he had noticed me, and I knew he was mine.

He stroke me on my head and between my ears, baby-talking to me. “And who’s this beauty?”

I seized the moment and jumped in his arms, then I curled up against his formidable chest. Jenny was already defeated, but I lifted my eyes, stubbornly staring behind her head. There was nothing, of course, there’s never anything, but she doesn’t know that, does she?

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

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C.A. MacKenzie is the author of the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers, including Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/.

 

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Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt: “A cat always stares at something behind it’s owners back.”

 

Today’s post comes from Phil Yeats. Last December, Phil (using his Alan Kemister pen name) published his most recent novel. Tilting at Windmills, the second in the Barrettsport Mysteries series of soft-boiled police detective stories set in an imaginary Nova Scotia coastal community is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Tilting-Windmills-Barrettsport-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B07L5WR948/

“The Moocher” by Phil Yeats

The damn beast, a five-kilogram grey and black tabby that considered my yard part of its imperial domain, had returned. It snuck up to me slinking ahead in that crouching hunting pose characteristic of cats. Its gaze was intent on something behind me, a mouse or bird it stalked using me for camouflage.

I slowly turned my head peeking behind me at whatever the dumb animal sought. I saw nothing, I never did, and the blasted cat’s reaction never varied. When I made the slightest movement, it arched its back, its hair stood on end, and it hissed.

In the early days of this stupid feline game, I tried to wait it out, refusing to move a muscle. The effort was pointless. It could maintain its hunting crouch indefinitely. Eventually I’d twitch, and the damn thing would hiss.

I fetched it a cracker, Nabisco Triangle Thins were its favourite, and settled on my patio lounger. It licked the salt before crunching my offering leaving masses of crumbs for the birds and mice. Was it planning ahead, luring its unsuspecting prey into the open?

It hopped into my lap, turning about and kneading its paws the way cats do, before settling down for a nap. It would soon be purring quietly. Would it dream about the imaginary prey that never lurked behind me, or smugly consider how gullible I was, so easily tricked out of a cracker?

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

 

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C.A. MacKenzie is the author of the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers, including Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/.

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The Spot Writers – “The Visitor” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month’s prompt: a cat stares at something behind its owner’s back. What does it see? (You can write the story from the cat’s perspective, if you wish!)

This week’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy’s first novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/

MISTER WOLFE, the sequel, coming soon!

***

“The Visitor” by Cathy MacKenzie

We lock eyes. I know what’s behind her, but if I avert my eyes, she’ll realize something is wrong. She’ll freak.

Me? I’m in my glory, as they say. I want to pounce but can’t make a sudden movement or they’ll both freak.

One freakin’ female is enough.

She’s cute, though. Both of them.

I caught a look at the small one before human started staring at me. Maybe human knows. Maybe she’s forming a plan.

One of us needs to make a move.

Most likely, the human will move first. She’s the biggest. And I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what’s behind her.

Why does she remain so still? Is she fixated by my smile? Does she suspect?

Or is she off in thought? She’s a writer, after all. She sits at her computer all day long, her fingers speeding across the keyboard as if there’s no tomorrow.

Or no today.

When she’s not there, I jump onto her desk and flake out on the keyboard.

I must look behind the human. She senses something. I sense she wants to turn around. I sense she’s scared.

mouse

Mice have sneaked into the house previously. I catch them and present them to her as if trophies. The same scenario will play out today.

I scamper across the floor, skidding on the smooth surface, and land where I want before the mouse has a chance to raise its dratted paw. I catch the silly thing, grip it with my teeth, and head to human. I drop it at her feet.

She screeches. She jumps up and down as if the floor’s on fire.

And screeches some more.

Then she’s quiet, rooted to the floor. Perhaps she’s afraid it’ll come back to life. It might. It’s only stunned. Not dead.

At that moment, Man Cave Dweller returns home.

She screeches at him. “Come here. Get rid of it. Catalina has brought in another.”

“Hush, woman. Hush.”

She screeches again and points to her feet. “It’s here, it’s here.”

He shakes his head, heads toward their bedroom, and returns. He’s changed into comfy clothes. He grabs food from the fridge.

“Can’t handle you, woman,” he mutters while descending the stairs to his cave.

She shrieks again. “You scumbag. Get back up here. Do your manly duty.”

I slither between her splayed feet and bound downstairs. Man Cave Dweller is unconcerned. He plays with the remote and minutes later, the big screen comes to life.

He soon snores.

I return upstairs. I slink from room to room, looking for the female human. Ah, there she is. Hard at work, as usual, on her computer. I bet she’s writing a horror story about mice that invade her home.

Oh my! What’s that by her feet? If I were a human, I would shriek.

Yep. I pounce.

Human shrieks.

I clutch mouse between my teeth.

Human woman and I lock eyes.

I dare you. Double dare, she seems to say.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

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C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].

 

 

 

 

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The Spot Writers – “Promise” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week’s prompt is “a cat always stares at something behind its owner’s back. What does it see?” Today’s tale comes to us from Val Muller, author of The Girl Who Flew Away (https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Who-Flew-Away/dp/1941295355) and lots of other works for children and young adults.

***

Promise by Val Muller

Meowser always ignored me. Always used to, anyway. He had his own existence, and I had mine. I kept him fed, he kept me company. That was the deal, until my sister was able to take him home again.

Ellie was off for a three-year stint in Italy. Her husband was put on temporary duty there. Rehoming the cat, with all the required paperwork, quarantines, and the like, wasn’t up her alley, so she pushed the cat onto me.

I always pictured myself as a dog person, if I had a pet, that is. I mean, if I had one of my own. But here I was, just out of college. I couldn’t even keep a girlfriend for more than a month.

Ellie handed Meowser over right before she left. “He won’t be any trouble,” she said. “I promise.”

Ellie didn’t say goodbye to Meowser. That always struck me. I guess she didn’t want to cry about it. No need to make goodbyes more sentimental than they need to be. We fell into our ways, Meowser and I. Ellie couldn’t get back at Thanksgiving, so I sent her a picture of the cat sitting on the coffee table eyeing the ample feast. Ellie always got a kick out of things like that. She liked coming up with captions that assigned all kinds of human thoughts to the cat. I probably sent her a picture once a week or so. She posted them on Facebook, too, as if the cat still lived with her.

To me, though, a cat is just a cat. Meowser couldn’t care less about me except when it was feeding time, or if I got lazy cleaning out the litter box.

Ellie made it back during Christmas. Steve flew home to Minnesota, and she flew in to BWI to visit us. She stayed at my place, not Mom and Dad’s, and we all knew it was for Meowser. I don’t really buy the whole animals-have-emotions thing. Didn’t, anyway. But as soon as he saw Ellie, Meowser was a different cat. It wasn’t just that the two were inseparable. They anticipated each other. Meowser would hop off her lap ten seconds before she finished eating. When she’d get up for a glass of water, Meowser was already waiting at the kitchen counter. He was there when she went to the bathroom, to the door, to the couch. At the time, I told myself they were both just really good at reading body language.

Meowser turned psycho the morning Ellie left for Italy again, right after New Year’s. He hissed at shadows in the hallway. He clawed my face—I’ll bear his mark for life, three slashes on my right cheek. And he even bit Ellie. She cried, then, looking at Meowser like he’d betrayed her. Something in Meowser—a look, a feeling—made Elli’s face flush with guilt. “I’ll be back, Meowser. I promise, promise. I’ll come back for you.”

She pressed her forehead to his and paused for several moments. The cat seemed to calm. Then he went about his way, not bothering to watch as she left the apartment. Her promise had calmed him. We lived on, the two of us, for three more months of him ignoring me and me feeding him, waiting until Ellie could take him again.

It wasn’t until last night that Meowser stopped ignoring me. He was sitting on my chest when I woke up. I can’t tell you the adrenaline spike caused by the penetrating green eyes of a cat. Only they weren’t penetrating me. No, they were focused behind me, like on my pillow. Fixated. A focused stare and a blank stare all at once.

I knocked him off me and padded to the kitchen to feed him. But the usual tinkle of food into his dish had no impact. He sat instead on the counter, staring right behind me. We sat there until dawn, him freaking me out and staring and me being freaked out and staring back.

When the sun rose, I left the kitchen to get dressed, and he followed. Freaky cat. I bent down to pet him, and he raised his head toward my hand—but he missed. Only it seemed intentional. He was raising his head to be pet, only he was raising it at something directly behind me. I turned around, half expecting someone, but of course there was no one.

Freaky cat.

I pushed him away with my foot and closed the bedroom door to finish dressing, but his insistent meowing unsettled me. I opened the door to shush him, but his let out a wailing cry at the empty space behind me.

I turned on the TV to drown out the caterwauling. It was a commercial for an HVAC company, a terrible and memorable jingle. I sang along. It silenced the cat, but still Meowser stared behind me.

I thought I saw something walk across the room behind me, a reflection moving across the mirror. But when I turned, I was still alone.

A pizza commercial came on, but my usual appetite sparked by those kinds of commercials had diminished. I didn’t even want breakfast. I picked up the phone to call Mom. Something came over me, and suddenly I had to get Meowser out of my apartment. Surely Mom and Dad could keep him for Ellie.

The phone rang before I could dial, making me jump half out of my skin and drop it on the carpet. Meowser didn’t even flinch. Just kept staring.

It was Mom.

“Baby, turn on the news,” she said.

The news was already on—the pizza commercial had dissolved into a breaking story of a terrorist attack in Paris. A coordinated attack of vans and trucks driving into crowds. The confirmed death count was twenty-two and counting.

“I called Ellie as soon as I saw,” Mom said. She was sobbing. “She didn’t answer. Steve, either.”

“Mom,” I said. “Ellie’s in Italy. Paris is in France.” My mind briefly relaxed, worried only about Mom possibly having a senior moment.

“No, honey. Ellie’s there. Steve is on leave, and the two of them went to France. They were touring the city today and tomorrow.”

“They could still be out touring,” I said. “I mean, do their phones even work in France? I think calls are super expensive. They probably have their phones off. You know, so they can concentrate on their tour.”

But even as the words left my mouth, I knew the worst was true. I knew it because Meowser knew it. The cat’s eyes softened as the realization hit me. Ellie was no longer in Italy. She was no longer in France. Meowser meowed again and ducked his head toward the shadow behind me. His beloved Ellie. She always kept her promise.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.com/

+++
C.A. MacKenzie is the author of the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers, including Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/.

 

 

 

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The Spot Writers – “Incident at a Wedding,” by RC Bonitz

Welcome to the Spot Writers. Today’s contribution comes from RC Bonitz, author of the new book, DANGEROUS DECISIONS, which was just released. The prompt for this month involves the use of the following- a planet inhabited mostly by cats, a glitter gun, and a unicorn hunter. A little fantasy anyone?

 

Dangerous Decisions by RC Bonitz

www.Amazon.com

 

Incident at a wedding

 

“Did you hear?” Patti Persian asked breathlessly.

“Hear what?” Susan Longhair said.

“You didn’t, did you. It was terrible. You should have been there.”

“What was terrible?”

“Oh, you wouldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t if I wasn’t there myself.”

“What? What happened?”

“It was at the wedding. You know, Tom and Kitty’s wedding?”

“Tom? Do I know him?”

“Of course, he’s the movie star, the mouser.”

“Mouser? What’s a mouse?”

“I don’t know, some kind of a pest that was in the movies with Tom all the time. Anyway, they were there and so were Catnip and Felix. He was best cat. He was a movie star too, a long time ago.”

“Oh. All these cat names, I don’t know.”

“Come on, we live on an all cat planet. Except for the unicorns of course,” Patti huffed.

“So, anyway, what happened?” Susan said.

“It was after the wedding. Hubert and Horace were hitched to their coach and they were set to go off on their catymoon. Then—”

“Who are Hubert and Horace?”

“Unicorns. They were there to pull the wedding coach. It was beautiful.”

Susan groaned. “What was?”

“The coach, silly. The Grand Poobah loaned it to Tom and Kitty for the occasion.”

“Oh, okay, I get it.”

“You do? You know what happened?” Patti said, looking somewhat puzzled.

“Tell me. I’m confused.”

“Well, I should think you would be, interrupting me like that. He tried to kill them.”

Susan twitched her whiskers and simply blinked at her companion.

“That’s right, he did.”

“Who did?”

“Why, the unicorn hunter of course. He came running out of nowhere with a spear. But guess what? You’ll never guess, I know you won’t. Want me to tell you?”

Susan nodded, her whiskers twitching wildly with anticipation.

Patti grinned as only Persian cats can. “I shot him with a glitter gun.”

 

 ***

The Spot Writers- our members

 

RC Bonitz

rcbonitz.com

 

Val Muller

http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

 

Catherine A. MacKenzie

https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

 

 

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The Spot Writers – “Creative Mind,” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers. Today’s post is brought to you by Val Muller, author of The Scarred Letter, the YA reboot of Hawthorne’s original. This month, you can purchase the novel, or any other Barking Rain Press title, for half off: http://www.barkingrainpress.org/ .

Today’s prompt is a challenging one: it must include “a unicorn hunter,” “a planet inhabited mostly or entirely by cats,” and “a glitter gun.”

Creative Mind

By Val Muller

Lizzy shifted in her seat, and all eyes turned to her. Of course she would be given the squeaky desk. She froze in place, and eyes returned to their papers. Lizzy sighed. Taking the SAT was bad enough; having to sit perfectly still for a bazillion hours made it that much worse.

To think of all she could be doing with this time—and money. Going to the movies. Taking a hike. Daydreaming. Doodling. Sleeping in. Not that she couldn’t daydream or doodle here, it’s just that Mom wouldn’t approve.

“No daydreaming this time,” she said. “You need a higher score for college.”

Last time Lizzy had done fairly well—until the fifth section. Then, she got lost in a daydream, doodled her way across the test booklet, and argued with the testing coordinator when she wasn’t allowed to take her beautiful drawings out of the room with her. Something about testing security.

Urgh.

The testing proctor was finished speaking, and an electronic timer started its sadistic countdown at the front of the room. Might as well get started. Lizzy turned to the first reading passage. It was some kind of memoir, no doubt followed by impossible questions:

On Saturday mornings, the neighborhood was plagued by caterwauling children. They must be rehearsing to be future circus clowns or…

Lizzy chuckled to herself. Caterwauling. She had no idea what the word meant, but the images in her head amused her. Before she realized it, her pencil was drawing in the margins of the passage. It was a tiny planet—like the one The Little Prince lived on—and it was inhabited entirely by cats.

She drew them with long, flowing manes—the kind horses would have. And some had horns, like unicorns. There was the Head Cat, a prince. No, a princess, she decided as she drew a bow.

Her mother’s voice echoed in her mind, redirecting her to the passage:

…or Lords or Misrule. Spawn of the working class, the kids would make their way down the hall to the front stoop below, where they would disrupt my sacrosanct space, their untamed forms showing through my gossamer curtains…

Lizzy chuckled again. Gossamer. She had no idea what that meant, either, but she liked the sound of it. Gossamer. Goose. Glitter. Another chuckle. The proctor raised an eyebrow, and Lizzy concentrated on her drawing, adding a glitter gun.

Not the kind of gun one might use when crafting. No. This one actually shot glitter. It was shaped like those vintage 1950s ray guns, the kind that looked like it belonged on The Jetsons. But it shot glitter, which she speckled all over her page.

But she couldn’t just have a glitter gun without a shooter. Who, on a world inhabited by cats, would be carrying a glitter gun? The passage provided her response.

…And yet I couldn’t leave them alone. I couldn’t go into the back rooms and ignore them. Their very presence, irascible. Like a hunter, I stalked them…

Ah! So it was a hunter, then. A unicorn hunter, no doubt, drawn to the mysterious planet by the strange horned cats. How disappointed he would be as he realized his targets were cats and not unicorns. Would he shoot them anyway?

Lizzy smiled as she watched her hand draw the answer for her. Before long, the entire passage was covered in doodles, a planet of cats exploding in a ball of glitter in the First Great War of the Unicorn Hunter. He never had a chance against all those claws.

A shrill noise at the front of the classroom sounded, calling time for the first passage. Lizzy looked at her paper and sighed. She’d read about a paragraph of the passage and hadn’t answered a single question. Her scores on this test would be no better than the last. Mom would be so mad.

Parents and colleges—they never appreciate creativity when they see it!, she thought as she flipped to the math section, taking inspiration for her next doodle of the Planet Isosceles and the race of creatures called the Pi.

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitz: www.rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

 

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