The menacing fluffy cat lied. Deloris wasn’t alone- she had never been more surrounded in her life. She trudged along behind William, who kept glancing over his shoulder at her. The Martian-cats strode in a little formation all around them, their tails up in the air. Oh, what she would give for the key to these handcuffs. Or a gun. She would very much like a gun.
Behind her, Fluffles the Cute pranced and meowed in the new helmet he’d been given. He had done it! Now he was on top of the world, he could get any job he wanted, he could jump all the corporate ladders. He could get his name removed from the line of the Cutes, who had been the most heinous criminals to ever set foot on Mars. He no longer had to be associated with such villains as his grandfather, who had almost brought a dog to the planet. No, not Fluffles! He had captured a pair of humans, after patiently waiting for so long.
The humans were so disgusting. Deloris looked like a rock and William smelled like poo. Fluffles had no idea what William meant when he’d told Deloris, “I kinda fancy you,” but the dreamy look on the human’s face had reminded him of the way he felt about Private Blueberry Buttons. He sure did like to watch her pretty calico tail sway. His thoughts were interrupted by William’s voice.
“Whoa, dude. Look at that castle. No, really, man, look!”
“Shut up, I can see it!” Deloris yelled back, “And just because I don’t have hair does not mean I’m a dude!”
“Sorry. You’re not a dude. You’re pretty.”
“Just shut up, William!”
From a distance, the castle looked like just one tall tower. Up closer, though, the humans could see little figures running up and down the sandy-colored walls, like the gravity didn’t affect them at all.
“What is that?” Deloris asked, her voice cracking.
“That is the palace,” Fluffles explained, bored. “The walls are made of wonderful rope-stuff so that we can climb up it. The only entrance is on the roof.”
As they approached the base of the tower, Sergeant Marmalade hissed at them to stop, and hissed again when William kept going. The humans craned their necks up at the structure.
“This is totally like the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers!”
“Except it’s a giant scratching post,” Deloris replied. She turned to Fluffles. “How on earth do you animals expect us to get up this thing?”
Fluffles extended his claws in tandem with the other Martian cats.
Sergeant Marmalade made several violent screeching noises, then a mroooowl and a pfft pfft. Fluffles turned back to the humans.
“He says you first. If you run, they will chase you and fry you with their zappy guns.”
With his claws, he unlocked both sets of handcuffs. The furry monsters stared at William and Deloris with big yellow eyes, growling in that raowl-cat sort of way. There was no other choice. Deloris used her super-long fingernails to dig into the tower and start the ascent.
She didn’t look down, but instead yelled,
“It’s not my fault you’re too fat to climb!”
“Deloris I can’t get up there and if I don’t go, I think they’ll totally kill you.”
Oh, no. She had to think about this one. Out of all the tests she had faced to get to go on his voyage, none would be as difficult as lifting fat William up the sheer face of a scratch-post tower with only her fingernails. They might as well just zap her now. But there was no way she was going to go out without a fight.
In the end, a chain of Martian-cats, Fluffles, and Deloris was made. The guard-Martian-cats at the top of the tower freaked out at the sight of Deloris, and it took the whole band of captors to sooth them and convince them to help get William.
“One, two, three, heave! Heave!”
After much pushing and shoving, William was deposited atop the tower, more sweaty and ready to complain than the others. Deloris didn’t wait for him to get up; she yanked him up by one of his very large ears.
The whole troop descended down the dark stairs.
“Hey dude Fluffles, your eyes glow in the dark!”
“William, all cats’ eyes glow,” Fluffles explained.
“Look, William. I’m sorry for the way things turned out. I know that when we get in there, Supreme Commander Otto von Kittikens is going to want to kill you. And I’m sorry that I really only used you humans to further my own standing in life. I feel like I should at least come clean here, before the end. The truth is, I’m not really your cat. I’m really a Secret Agent here on Mars.”
William’s eyes misted up, and he stumbled on the next stair.
“So you mean all those times you rubbed up against my leg, you were faking it?”
“Yes. Really, I think you’re nasty.”
From somewhere in the dark, Deloris said, annoyed,
“Oh, come on, it’s a freaking cat!”
William was on the verge of tears. To no one in particular, he whimpered,
“Nobody loves me.”
Finally, they reached a dim landing, where light shone from under a heavy wooden door. Sergeant Marmalade knocked three times, and an imposing voice said,
“Meow meow meow!”