THE GODS AMONG US

Weekly Writers Week 4 prompt: Cats, Cats, Cats.

In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this, nor will they settle for anything less than abject adoration from their two-legged housemates.

As the sleek predator stalked the night, quieter than a shadow, visions of humans genuflecting at her feet coursed through the cinema behind those luminescent green eyes.  Here and there she would pause to listen as her eyes scanned the darkness, her ears rotated like tiny satellite dishes atop her gray head, and her whiskers twitched in response to vibrations in the air.  Satisfied that her realm remained undisturbed, she carried on with her diligent patrol of the downstairs.

She liked the carpeting.  It softened her every footstep and was fun to shred during her active periods during the night.  A scrap of paper beneath the easy chair -- perhaps a discarded gum wrapper -- caught her attention and she froze.  She flattened her body into the rug, much as her ancestors did when engaging in the hunt on the Serengeti.  Her eyes were just above the shag, scanning, waiting; also like her ancestors peering through the grass at their prey.  She tried to press herself into the floor as deeply as she could, until she was sure the gum wrapper didn't see her, then curiously waggled her tail high into the air like a warning flag to the wrapper that death was coming.  Cats are, after all, nature's most perfectly designed killing machine; any cat will tell you.

The powerful surge of adrenaline made her twitchy, and she nearly false-started on a couple of occasions, but she forced herself to wait until she was sure the gum wrapper was properly distracted before launching herself into the air with her claws unsheathed.  She landed on the intended target but she was sure the gum wrapper must have made some kind of defensive maneuver, some mad dash for survival, and she panicked and spun around with all four of her legs spread wide as her head simultaneously swiveled in search of her prey.  She found it, still beneath her, and she batted it to make sure it was still alive.  It skittered a few feet, which made her killer instinct surge, and she went airborne again.  She scrambled into the dining room after the wrapper, and the polished Walnut flooring proved tricky to navigate at full speed in the dead of night.  She and the gum wrapper both careened into the table legs, whereupon she got scared and ran away from it but stopped along the edge of the wall to perform an impromptu grooming session in the dim moonlight.

She continued with this charade for a bit, pretending she was unaware of the gum wrapper, until she was sure it had forgotten about her, then she sprang into action again.  She caught the wrapper off-guard, and it quickly succumbed to her devastating series of bunny kicks.

After the worst of the carnage was over, she looked at the carcass below her and contemplated her next move.  Normally she would bite the head from the body of her kill and dump it by the foot of the bed upstairs.  She thought it was funny.  But this gum wrapper had no head.  She batted at it halfheartedly with one paw but it was dead all right.  She paused briefly to catch her breath and to push paper out her mouth with her tongue, then she realized she was thirsty.  The humans would have to dispose of the kill in the morning, right then she had to rehydrate herself.  She swung by the bathroom but the toilet lid was down, so she carried on to the kitchen, where her two-legged caretakers had recently filled her bowl with water.  She thought about them as she daintily lapped the fluid into her mouth: they were decently trained, her slaves, but their reverence to her as a deity often seemed too lax for her liking.

Still... they kept her food dish full and sometimes would give her wet food on top of the dry stuff she loved so much.  Maybe they were okay.

She skipped her dry food and made her leisurely way to the cat box in the den.  She jumped in and circled the grainy stuff a half-dozen times before finally finding the perfect place to relieve herself.  Gods don't take defecation lightly, after all.  She took ten minutes to scratch and conceal her stink, until her front legs were covered with tiny grains of litter, nearly up to her shoulder.

Then she made her way to the bedroom, where the humans wasted away the night by sleeping.  She knew they were asleep by the horrendous noises which escaped their mouths.  She jumped up to the bed top and rolled in the tangle of sheets until all the cat litter was brushed from her fur, then walked up to one of the slumbering slaves and sat on its chest.  Humans might be about the lowest point on the food chain, in her estimation, but she liked it when they kept her warm.

She curled up, wrapped her tail over her face, and purred loudly as dreams of the ancient ones played in her head.

The End

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