FictionThe Kid and the Cat

The Kid and the Cat


He had read an article about it once. Guy’s alone at his parent’s place with the family cat while they go shopping. Thinks what the hell and sees for himself why they call it pussy. Family comes home to find the cat with a wrecked asshole and…end of story. Good for a couple laughs, maybe freaking out some of the girls on the playground.
But it stuck in his mind.
The kid did like pussy. He knew this, or, at least, he was convinced of it. He had found an art book in the school library and, underneath the dugouts around the baseball diamond, he had rubbed his penis against The Birth of Venus and Die Nackte Maja. He didn’t think anyone had seen him. He wouldn’t have been embarrassed if they had seen the act. But if they saw he couldn’t cum, then they’d know he wasn’t a real man.
That was a year ago, though it lingered in the kid’s mind. Just like the article. For a year, the major philosophical query of the kid’s life was How bad could it really have been?
Every few weeks Tink would go into heat and start screaming for a cat to fuck her. She was normally a total bitch, but when she was in heat, her and the kid were best friends.
How bad could it really have been?
Mom was overworked that evening. The office was doing inventory and she had gotten home late, paid the babysitter, and thrown some chicken burgers in the oven when the phone rang. Dad was supposed to pick up Liz from fencing class but the new car wouldn’t start. Cursing the mechanic that swindled ‘em, Mom drove off to pick them up. She’d be back in twenty minutes, make sure to watch the oven.
He was alone in the house.
How bad could it really have been?
Sitting at the table in the dining room, he looked across at Tink on the couch in the next room. She had been howling at him since he woke up that morning. While he was eating breakfast she had jumped up on the table and rubbed her cheeks against his face, getting cat hair all over his eggs.
She was in heat again.
How bad could it really have been?
The kid walked across the room and stroked the cat’s fur. Startled, Tink jumped to all fours and dashed off the couch.
“Shh, I’m sorry, Tink,” the kid said in hushed tones.
Tink slowed in her tracks, stopped, and turned around. Something in her eyes lit up and she strode over to the kid and rubbed against his leg. The kid reached down and stroked the cat’s fur again.
Tink meowed one of those pitiful sounds that she only made when she was in heat. She nuzzled up against the kid’s hand.
How bad could it really have been… ?
It was worse than the kid could have ever imagined.
Tink lay across the couch. Her intestines dangled to the floor where a puddle of red was spreading.
She was making pathetic noises, below a whimper or a whisper. It struggled to claw its way across the couch and away from the kid. Each pitiful movement caused more of its intestinal tract to fall out.
It was smearing blood all across the couch.
The kid grabbed Tink and placed her on the ground. She looked him in the eyes and he could hear that awful cry that had pierced the air only moments before. He hugged her close and whispered in her ear.
“Thank you.”
She pushed at him to let her go and he did.
He was still there in the living room, looking at the cat and trying to figure out what to do when he heard it:
Mom’s car.
She wasn’t supposed to be home for another ten or fifteen minutes and, knowing the way that she drives, it should have been safe to guess twenty or even thirty minutes.
He dashed to the dining room window in time to see Mom close the car door. She was alone. She must have forgotten something. He spun around and looked at where he had left Tink. Instead of a cat, there was a pool of blood and a trail of intestines leading to under the couch.
She must have crawled under there to die he thought as he rushed back into the living room. The kid had played with Excalibur a couple years back, a big fat cat and a total asshole. The kid had saved up his allowance and bought a laser pointer and was playing with the stupid fatass when Dad ran over him. The back left tire of the tiny Toyota jumped at least three feet as it crushed the bones in his back. Mom and Dad left Excalibur in the porch to die. They found his corpse tucked behind the deep freeze.
Dad told him that cats like to die in dark places.
They buried him the next day and that was that.
The door to the outside porch opened and he could hear Mom putting the key into the lock of the inner door that led into the kitchen. Tink was still whimpering but it had grown louder since he had put her down.
“I’m sorry,” he said again as he grabbed a hold of her innards. He yanked on the squishy rope and the cat came sliding out from under the couch with a yelp. The kid grabbed the first thing he could off the coffee table, a copy of the King James Bible, and brought it down on the cat’s head until it stopped making noise.
The sound of Tink’s skull cracking open was so loud that the kid didn’t hear his mother in the kitchen. She must have called out to him already because she was shouting his name louder than usual.
He gathered up Tink’s intestines and shoved the mess under the couch just as Mom entered the dining room.
“Didn’t you hear me?” she asked, her attention on her cellphone.
The kid rushed across the two rooms, took her arm in one of his blood drenched hands, and pushed her back into the kitchen.
“Just what in the hell do you think you’re…,“ she trailed off as she noticed the red muck all over her arm. “Hunny, are you okay?
He had to think fast so he did what he always did.
 He lied.
“I’m sorry I got paint over you, Mommy,” he said in his best Ernest Scared Stupid impression. “I don’t want you to get mad at me…”
He let go of her.
“Hunny, I’m not mad! You just scared me, that’s all.”
She walked over to the sink and began to wash her arm. It left a reddish-brown stain that she couldn’t remove. As she cleaned, he stuck his head out into the dinning room and looked over at the couch.
When he looked back, he caught Mom sniffing her arm. She made an awful face and coughed until the smell was no longer assaulting her.
 “Hunny,” she said as she looked him over, “are you okay? You didn’t, you know, have another accident, did you?”
The kid’s face went red. He’d practiced blushing on command since he wanted to be an actor. He thought he was good at acting.
“No…Mommy,” he stammered, “promise. I just spilled some paint. But I don’t want you to see it. I promise I’ll have it all cleaned up by the time you get back. You don’t have to worry about a thing.”
He could see the gears in her head turning. She thought he had shit himself just because he sometimes peed the bed. He thought he should have been embarrassed about that, but it just seemed like useful information. He could use that later.
“Did you flip the chicken burgers?” she asked, as she scrubbed at her arm a little more.
“No, Mommy.”
“Alright, well wash your hands and flip them. I just forgot my cell and you know how Dad always gets lost.”
She rubbed his hair and locked the door behind her. He watched as her car backed out of the driveway and then drove away.
He was alone again and Tink was tucked under the living room couch dripping blood and shit.
The first thing he did was get a plastic bag and a pair of scissors from the pantry art supply. Then he gathered up the remains like loose cabling and stuffed it into the bag. He left the bag in the upstairs bath with the water running over it and went to his room and changed out of his blood stained shirt. Somehow his pants had made it through the ordeal untouched, but he changed them anyway to confirm his mother’s suspicions.
Something didn’t feel right as he was peeling off his pants. He looked over his pants but, sure enough, they were clean. Tentatively, he pulled at his briefs to look inside.
He smiled his first smile as a man.
Freshly clothed in a pair of black dress pants and a Paw Patrol t-shirt, he went back into the kitchen. Under the sink he found some bleach, lemon cleaner and a half dozen wash rags.
It took him longer than he expected to soak up the mess and scrub the stain out of the living room floor. It didn’t look too bad. Dad would still be mad but he’d just sand it out while complaining about how his back felt.
The kid threw the bloody rags into a black garbage bag and hid it under the porch to dispose of later.
He returned to the upstairs bathroom and began cutting Tink’s intestines into small pieces with the scissors. He flushed them down the toilet two at a time. He liked to watch as they circled the hole at the bottom of the bowl, how they would sometimes poke back up after like they were sad to be going.
He had barely even started when he heard the car pull into the driveway.
He reached inside Tink as far as he could to cut at the root. The scissors sliced through the intestine like butter, once, twice, and suddenly it was no longer connected to the cat. Instead it sat like unwound thread on the bathroom floor.
The kid grabbed one end of the cord and fed it into the toilet as he pulled the handle. The toilet began to suck the rope down into its throat as the kid let gravity help him dispose of the evidence.
A quarter of the way through, it stopped. The toilet began to fill back up with water.
Downstairs, someone screamed.
He pushed the handle again and again, begging for it to flush again.
His father shouted his name as the toilet finally kicked back to life.
The kid looped the intestine over itself, careful not to get any on his clothes, and fed two ends down the toilet at once. There was only the smallest of pieces left sticking out.
The kid flushed again. He could hear his father’s steps on the stairs.
The toilet came back clear.
The kid waited for the water to fill back up as his father ascended the stairs, calling out his name. Halfway up, the whirring sound that means it still won’t flush stopped. The kid reached into the bag and pulled out Tink.
She was so limp in his hands.
She felt heavy, though, and the kid realized that her body was full of water. He quickly drained her out over the tub, noticing the way that she looked so deflated. Nothing at all like Excalibur. 
He wanted to take a photo but he had left his phone in the bedroom.
The kid crossed his fingers as he stuffed what was left of Tink into the toilet bowl and flushed.
Outside, he could hear Dad at the top of the stairs.
Tink spun in circles as she sank deeper and deeper into the bowl. First her tail disappeared down the drain. Next her back legs. She looked so thin in the bowl without her insides, the kid no longer had any doubt that the corpse would flush.
Then it got stuck.
A heavy knock at the door.
“Bud, tell me you’re in there!” Dad yelled as he tried the locked doorknob.
“Dad?” he said, trying to sound as weak as possible.
“Oh thank god,” Dad sighed. Then, “Goddamnit, do you know how fucking worried you made your mother and me?”
The kid stared into the broken face of the cat.
“I…Dad, I don’t know what you mean,” and then, “I think I’m sick.”
He flushed the toilet but it wouldn’t move.
“Do you need help?”
“I’m okay, Dad. I’m sorry,” he said as he reached for the handle again.
“It’s okay, Bud. When you’re able to join us, we need to have a family talk about fire safety, understood?”
Before the kid could answer, Tink’s head darted forward and she sank her teeth into the kid’s arm. The cat bit down with enough force to tear out a chunk so deep that the kid could hear her jaw break as it met with his bone.
The kid screamed and smashed his other arm against the cat’s head. She died with a final act of rebellion.
Dad yelled his name and put his shoulder into the door.
The kid pried the dead cat’s jaw out of his arm and slammed the toilet seat down with all his might. Tink’s head caught between the layers of porcelain and made a wet popping sound.
Behind him the kid could hear the doorframe splinter as his dad slammed against it.
The kid lifted the toilet lid and pushed the cat’s head into the bowl. With his other arm he grabbed one of the towels off the wall and let himself fall to the ground.
Dad burst into the room, tendrils of smoke trailing after him.
“Owwww,” the kid whimpered.
The tension in Dad’s face softened.
“Buddy, why didn’t you answer me?”
“Owww,” he said again. He tucked his head into himself and under the towel so he could poke himself in the eyes. “It hurts.”
Dad looked back into the hallway and cursed.
“You okay, big guy?” he asked. “You know your Mom, can’t do anything without a hand. You should see it down there, looks like a war zone.”
“I’m okay, Dad,” he said as he stood up. He kept the towel over his arm and hoped it wouldn’t stain through. He’d just stuff it and Tink into the bag and hide it in his room until he could get rid of it. He could bury her in the woods. 
Maybe even give her a proper goodbye since he wasn’t so good the first time.
“Like Mustard gas,” Dad said. He was hardly paying the kid any attention, his focus on the smoke drifting up from the kitchen.
“I’m good, Dad. You go take care of the war zone, I’ll finish up here.” The kid faked a laugh.
“Awesome, high fives?” 
High fives was Dad’s way of ‘bonding’ with him. As if a handshake was the same thing as affection.
Dad’s hand shot up and, as usual, the kid did what the ritual demanded of him and missed the first time.
Dad smiled and held his hand up again.
The kid smiled back.
And the toilet meowed.

Next articleThe Swing

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