I smell an open window. Cricket song tells me it’s the living room window. Mr. and Mrs. Human marvel at my ability to silently lunge--so feline--through the vertical blinds and softly land on the window sill. There--a four-point landing, as always!
The Humans call me Guardian because I appear to keep watch out the window all day and into the evening. I sit, stare and smell the day. You can only imagine, unless you are a cat, how my bones ache to follow the scents to their sources. I salivate. A hatchling chirps just outside the window, and I can’t do a damn thing about it. My spine tenses, my teeth chatter, and my skin prickles under my fur.
Excuse me, that cricket has just crawled in under the door. Black and shiny with spindly yet sturdy legs, he’ll leap behind Mr. Human’s chair once he catches a glimpse of me. But it’ll be too late. We’ll run, jump and weave across the living room carpet, and the Humans will squeal and put their feet up on the coffee table. The cricket and I will dive out of sight behind the couch.
The next time the Humans see the cricket, he’ll be dashing across Mrs. Human’s oak credenza, still agile in spite of the loss of half a leg. Each time we race across the floor, the cricket will be missing another leg segment—maybe an antenna--as I suck pieces of shell from between my teeth. The Humans have never gotten used to this.
Excuse me. If I don’t hide this leftover leg, Grandma Human will sweep it up and throw it in the trash before I have a chance to snack on it later. Do you have a cat? Take it from Guardian: do not look under your refrigerator.
Submitted to Fiction Friday 4th Edition on The Domestic Fringe