A Kat's (GOD AWFUL!!!) Blessing
After getting over the fact that the family cat had called her grotesque looking, Kat was astounded by her newfound ability to talk to cats. And to her convenience, she could speak regularly and they seemed to understand. There was no need to try mimicking meows or the like. But at the same time, this meant people around her would see her having one-sided conversations with cats.
Kat picked up a now worried Ludwig and brought him to her bedroom.
“Look, kid! I’m sorry!” he apologized, having learned of the true identity of this giant monster cat that appeared inside his house. He put his back against the wall, scared that Kat was going to bring about retribution for the insult.
“I don’t care about that!” Kat said, getting down on all fours while still in her dress as to be eye level with him. “And don’t call me kid! I’m way older than you! I remember when you were a kitten!”
“I get that, but now that you’re a cat, you look like some teenager to me instead of some slow aging human I’m accustomed to. You gotta remember I’m middle-aged. I mean, look at this belly I got going. My metabolism sure isn’t what it used to be,” he said, patting his large stomach.
Ludwig’s voice sounded like an overweight uncle you’d see a few times a year, making inappropriate jokes in the middle of thanksgiving dinner and still finding fart jokes amusing.
“I’ll forgive your insult earlier if you answer a few questions,” Kat said.
“Shoot,” Ludwig said. “Can't say I know all that much, but I’ll try to answer whatever I can.”
“What do you know about the cat god?”
“The who what now?”
Kat slammed her forehead into the floor. “The cat god!” she yelled.
Ludwig moved his head back as bits of spit flew into his face. He wiped his face with his paw. “You don’t have to be so loud, or act like a sprinkler.”
“Sorry,” Kat apologized. “But how do you not know who the cat god is?”
“Am I supposed to know?” he asked.
“I figured that since you were a cat, you would. He’s your deity, right?”
Ludwig shrugged. “Got me. I’m just finding out a cat god even exists. If I were supposed to be worshipping and offering tithes all this time, then I hope he doesn’t come to collect any time soon.”
Kat sighed in frustration. “Guess I’m back to square one.”
“So what’s the deal with this ‘cat god’ guy? Why do you want to know about ‘im?” Ludwig asked as he went about cleaning himself.
Kat explained the events from last night, which resulted in her current cat form.“Geez. Sounds like a real jerk,” Ludwig said. “Sorry I can’t be of more help, but I’m mostly an indoor house cat. I don’t get out much and socialize. Not that I would want to, either. Those cats next door are a stuck up bunch. They call me names too, like Fatso, or Tubby, or Chubwig.” He chuckled. “Actually, I kinda like that last one. Chubwig. Heh.”
Kat stood up. “This isn’t getting me anywhere,” she said as she straightened out her dress. “Do you think other cats might know?”
“I dunno,” Ludwig said as he cleaned himself. “Your best bet is probably a stray cat. They’ve got their paws on the pulse on what’s up in the community.”
“Great. I’ll go find one and ask,” Kat said as she placed the paper bag over her head and walked out of her bedroom.
“Oh hey!” Ludwig said, running to the staircase as Kat made her way to the back door. “If you happen to run into a black cat named Amadeus, can you tell him I’m still waiting on that sardine he owes me for—”
Kat walked out the door.
“Eh, I’m sure she heard me,” Ludwig said before going to the kitchen to eat breakfast.
Kat snuck out from behind the shop and out of town to be away from as many people as possible. Within minutes she started to sweat as the bright summer sun heated up her overdressed body. The paper bag over her head did little to help matters either.
“Okay. Time to find me some strays,” she said, making her way down a small dirt road.
Kat walked all around the outskirts of town, looking high and low for any cats she could ask about the cat god. But no matter where she went, there were none to be found. From the edges of farm fields to along the forest, all the cats had seemed to up and vanish from existence. Strange, considering she recalls seeing cats all the time before. Were they hiding from her, or was there some secret cat meeting going on that neither she nor Ludwig were aware of?
She eventually risked walking into town, where the townsfolk would stare at her odd attire. Despite her best attempts to ignore them, their pointing and hushed tones as they whispered to one another was becoming too much for her. It wasn’t that she was nervous in front of people. She’d talked in front of her class plenty of times without issue. And she knew everyone already.
But something about them keeping their distance troubled her. It was like none wanted to deal with her. She knew they were talking about her, but she couldn’t tell what. The constant sweat dripping into her eyes made it difficult to get a clear look at their expressions. She’d try to wipe them away through the bag, but it was a futile effort.
Her heart started racing, and with each beat it grew tighter. And tighter. And tighter. She gripped her chest, worried that her heart might burst out at any moment. Her stomach twisted and churned.
When someone finally approached her to ask if she was alright, she quickly made an exit back out to the dirt roads away from town. Her secret risked getting out if they were to remove the paper bag to check on her. After taking a few minutes to regather her strength by leaning against a tree, she got back to searching for stray cats.
Hours went by with no luck. By that point, Kat was absolutely exhausted. Her paper bag had become soggy from sweat.
“Gotta find a cat…” she mumbled. “Stupid cat god…”
The once steady pace she had in her search slowed to a crawl. Her efforts to hide her feline features grew sloppier, with her tail poking out from underneath the dress and dragging across the ground. When the stuffiness of the paper bag became too unbearable, she’d raise it up so that her mouth was out in the open for fresh air. But doing so made it so she couldn’t see. The eye holes wound up being forced up to her ears. She’d listen carefully to her surroundings. If it sounded like someone was nearby, she’d force the paper bag back over her head and adjust it so she could see. Once they were out of sight, she’d move it back up.
After wandering for hours, Kat collapsed under a large oak tree away from the road to escape the heat. She folded up the soaked paper bag and shoved it in a hidden pocket within the dress. The skirt of the dress was raised up to her hips so that her legs could breath, despite being clad in stockings. Her poofy tail swayed side to side between her legs, sweeping over the grass. Nobody’s gonna come this far off the beaten path, she thought, so it should be fine.
She curled up into a ball and rested her head on her arms, wrapping her tail around her. Maybe I’ll take a quick catnap to regain my strength, she thought as she went in and out of consciousness.
Her eyes would squint open when she thought she heard movement, but would quickly close again when the danger had passed. At one point she thought someone patted her head, but brushed it off as being nothing more than a dream.
When the sound of a voice approached, her eyes snapped open. She quickly jumped to her feet, fixing her dress while fumbling to pull the paper bag out of her hidden pocket. “Oh crap oh crap oh crap!”
The voice walked closer to Kat’s location. Her nervousness caused her hands to shake, making it even more difficult to get the paper bag out. A corner was snagging the pocket and wouldn’t budge, and her gloved hands made it difficult to get it unstuck.
“Aha!” she cheered, as she finally managed to free the bag.
But it was too late. The owner of the voice walked out from behind a small bush.
Kat was caught, fully exposed as a catgirl to the two individuals.
“What the…?!” said one of the voices, aghast by the bizarre sight before them.
“Huh?!” Kat said, confused when she saw a cat.
The voice didn’t belong to a human, but a cat.
“Hey!” Kat shouted.
Not wanting to stay a second longer near the giant, bipedal cat monster, the stray booked it out of there as it shrieked in terror.
“No, wait!” Kat yelled.
Kat chased the cat into the forest. Branches and twigs would snag and get caught in her dress, tearing it up in places, but she ignored it. What happened to the dress was an afterthought. All that mattered was she had to get that cat. Nothing was going to stop her.
The cat continued to shriek in absolute terror as it fled in terror from the devil chasing it.
“Stop running!” Kat shouted. Try as she could, the cat was much more seasoned than her in running through the brush of the forest. “You’re not getting away from me!” she screamed. She dropped down to all fours, giving her a boost in speed.
She continued to closely follow the fleeing cat, slowly gaining ground. It didn’t matter what sort of trick the cat used to try to escape its hunter, Kat managed to stay on its heel.
The cat dashed toward the creek, where the water had receded from the lack of rain in recent weeks. Loose rocks that made up the creek bed were exposed to the elements. When Kat dashed out onto the rocks, she lost her footing. A foot snagged the bottom of her dress, tripping her. She tumbled over the rocks as the cat escaped.
“Darnit!!!” Kat yelled. “Get back here! I need to ask you something!” She grabbed a rock and threw it into the shallow creek in frustration.
The rock skipped across the surface, where it reached the other side and bumped into the foot of a large, muscular, elderly man. A fishing lure-covered hat sat on his head while a puffy white beard that put Santa Claus’ to shame clung to his face. The man sat on an old beat up cooler with a can of beer placed between some rocks as a makeshift can holder. Gripped in his hand was a fishing pole; its line dangled in a portion of the creek that still had enough water for fish to swim about.
The man was Mr. Keensley, the husband of Mrs. Keensley.
He was staring directly at Kat.
“Eep!” she yelped. She froze in place like a deer caught in headlights. Her brain went into overdrive trying to think what to do next. This didn’t leave enough resources for her brain to tell her body to run away.
Mr. Keensley opened up the cooler and pulled something out. He then slowly crossed the shallow creek in his rubber boots, being careful not to slip on the slick rocks.
Standing before her, he was over a foot taller than she was. His eyes stared directly into hers; his stern face unflinching. Kat always found him intimidating ever since she mistook him for Santa as a toddler, only for him to look at her with that same expression and scare the pants off her. For the next several Christmases she’d stay awake with a plastic baseball bat, ready to fight off Santa in case he’d try to force his way into their house.
“Here,” his gruff voice said. He placed a small juice box into Kat’s hands. “It’s gonna be another hot one. Make sure you stay hydrated, Kat.”
“Yessir,” Kat squeaked automatically.
Her body moved on its own, opening the juice box and drinking its contents. When she finished, Mr. Keensley took the empty box and walked back to his cooler. He then silently resumed fishing.
When Kat’s brain finally started working again, she put her paper bag over her head and ran back home, crying. “He saw meeeee!!!” she screamed.
Once home, she shut herself up in her room.
“My life’s over!” she cried, holding a pillow over her face.