A short, chilling story from Poppy, the video shop cat

Ed’s note: Obviously Poppy can’t type, or speak English. As such, this blog post comes from a ghost writer.

It was ‘Good’ Friday and one of the humans would arrive soon. I didn’t know which one would turn up – I never know, they don’t have an identifiable routine. I think they do it deliberately to keep us in the dark, on our toes, always just slightly on edge. I don’t know how to be sure of exactly when they’ll arrive, either, but I do know I’m always very hungry when they do. And wherever they go at night – they leave every day a little after dark – it keeps them for different stretches of time; sometimes one night, sometimes many…

There wasn’t anything ‘Good’ about that Friday; it was soured by the coagulated, bloody stench of death. I wanted to walk out the door, find a nearby human to scoop me up and keep me safe. But my brother – he hissed at me – and besides, I was hungry, so even the headless corpse on the rug couldn’t stop me waiting for the human to arrive. The human would still feed me, even after they’d discovered the body, right?

It was difficult to reassure myself as more and more time passed – I don’t know how long. So I was decided to keep myself busy, cleaning. I just kept cleaning my paws. Maybe, just maybe, I thought, if I can get my paws clean, everything will be alright. But my nerves were shot and each time a DVD flew through the letterbox in the door, thwacking onto the hard, cold, concrete floor, I drew in a short, sharp breath. These moments must have been quick but time seemed to have slowed down. All I knew was that I wanted it to be over; I really wanted my paw to be clean.

A familiar jangle caught my attention, and then the door creaked ajar, stopped in its tracks by the now large pile of DVDs on the shop floor. The human slid through the opening and bent down to pick up the loud, nerve-wracking culprits. As she did – it was the female human today – she chirruped sweetly, “Morning Kitts! How are my darling kitties, today?” I know I should have faced her and said something, explained it wasn’t me, but the female human never listens, she just chirrups back at me, no matter what I say, no matter how urgent or unpleasant something is. I was frightened, I don’t mind to admit it.

I ran. I stole one last glimpse of my brother out of the corner of my eye, and then I ran.

By now I was sat atop the warm white thing in the kitchen – I think the humans call it a fridge and sometimes they manage to pry it apart, producing food we’re not allowed to eat. Neither my brother nor I have learned how to get it open but I’m confident that one day we will. Anyway, back to today – today, the human was approaching the kitchen, ready to start her cycle of strange behaviours; first she makes my litter tray smell weird, then she makes the rest of the place smell weird and it isn’t until after the strange smell changes everything that she finally gives us our food. Well, not food like it used to be, but a puzzle ball that has our food inside. We have to concentrate and follow it around, you see. Then, if we keep our focus well enough, the food comes out of the ball. It wasn’t always like this but the female human, especially, seems to enjoy making us concentrate on the puzzle balls.

It was clear she hadn’t noticed the body, yet. She went about her routine, turning on lights, one bright spell after another, until finally, she saw it. Headless, motionless, and forever staining her brand new carpet, there it lay, dead upon the floor.

To be continued…


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