Chapter 11:

A Kat's (GOD AWFUL!!!) Blessing (11)

A Kat's (GOD AWFUL!!!) Blessing

For the next several days, Kat refused to come out of her bedroom except to use the bathroom. When she did, she made sure nobody was around; not even her mom. After Mr. Keensley saw her as a catgirl, she knew there was no way Mrs. Keensley wouldn’t find out about it. Once she knew about it, everyone else would know it minutes later.

Kat did not want to deal with the jeers and sneers she figured she would get from her community. As much as she loved them, she knew they weren’t the most accepting of certain “new” trends that would be more accepted elsewhere, to put it politely. She could already think of nasty things said about her newfound identity.

She decided that she was going to live as a shut-in for the rest of her life and sever all contact with the outside world. She would be the legendary monster that lives above the tailor. Kids will tell each other scary stories about her around the campfire while eating smores.

On the fourth day of her having become a shut-in, she was laying on her bed with a cardboard box over her head. A small hole was made on the top of the box so that she could see her phone screen, which was placed carefully over it. By doing so, it would free her from having to constantly hold her phone to watch videos while also being allowed to lay down in bed.

Resting on her stomach was a large slice of the wedding cake her mom had brought home the other night. She’d carefully bring her fork into a small gap in the neck hole inside the box, then try and get the cake into her mouth without looking. Numerous failed attempts were made before she got the hang of it.

“I don’t believe it,” Ludwig said, laying down at the end of the bed as he watched Kat. “To think I thought of myself as the laziest person in this house, but here you go and craft this insane contraption just so you could eat and stare at your phone while laying down. Color me impressed.”

“Oh yeah?” Kat said, chewing on the cake. “I’ve seen what you’re capable of. How many times have I tried to vacuum the rug, only for you to refuse to get up? I wind up having to push you around just to finish cleaning!”

Ludwig scratched behind his ear with his hind leg. “Yeah, well, I do that because I like the feel of the rug rubbing against me. Not out of laziness.”

“You can’t see it, but I’m raising an eyebrow at you,” Kat said while pointing her fork at empty air, missing Ludwig’s general direction by about a foot.

“Noted,” Ludwig replied.

Just then, Kat’s mom knocked on the door and entered the room. “How’re you doing, honey?”

“Other than being banished from society due to having been transformed into a giant cat and now must live in solitude for the rest of my existence within the confines of this tiny shop? Eh, could be worse. Thank God for the internet or I’d have gone crazy by now,” she replied.

“You’re eating cake with a cardboard box over your head.”

“Hey! It gives the illusion of being in a movie theater! Sorta. I think? At least that’s what this video I watched said. But hey! At least I can watch stuff while laying down now without fear of my arms getting tired!”

“Anyway,” her mom continued, “Maria’s come to visit.”

Maria entered the room. “Hi, Kat.”

“Maria! Is that you? Oh! It’s been decades since I last heard your voice!” Kat mimicked an elderly woman’s voice.

“It’s been less than a week.”

“Might as well been a lifetime ago.”

Maria and Kat’s mom looked at each other, with her leaving Maria and Kat alone together.

“I hear you haven’t left your room these past few days,” Maria said, sitting down next to Ludwig and scratching his back.

Ludwig stretched his front paws. “Aw, yeah! That’s the spot!”

“Technically I’ve walked to the bathroom, but more or less, yeah,” Kat said while shoving another bite of cake into the gap of the cardboard box.

“Don’t you think you’re taking this a tad too extreme?” Maria asked.

“Mrs. Keensley must’ve told everyone about me by now.”

“And how do you know that for a fact?”

“Because Mr. Keensley saw me! Therefore, Mrs. Keensley knows! And therefore, everyone knows! It’s basic math!”

“Have you actually tried interacting with anyone since then?”

“How can I interact with anyone with a face like this?” Kat took off the cardboard box, revealing her furry face, covered in bits of icing and cake. “Do you know what people would say if they saw me like this?”

“That you looked like you dived headfirst into a cake,” Maria said.

Kat wiped her face with the back of her hand. Noticing the icing, she licked it off, appearing like a cat that was cleaning itself.

“I understand that you’re very self-conscious about this,” Maria said, “but do you really want to spend every day holed up in your bedroom like this, doing nothing but watching internet videos on your phone?”

Kat grew depressed at the thought, prompting her to eat another bite of cake to cheer up. It didn’t work.

Maria placed her hand on Kat’s shoulder. “What happened to going all out this summer? Didn’t you say that you wanted to get a part-time job to save up money so you could travel?”

“Plans changed,” Kat frowned, shoving another bite of cake into her mouth.

“I think you’re taking this whole situation a tad extreme.”

“Look at me, Maria! I’m a literal cat! Kat the cat! Do you know what it’s like to be different? To look nothing like those around you? Feeling like you’re from some completely different world and don’t belong?”

“I’m Latina in a community made up of over 95% white people and walk around wearing lolita dresses every day,” Maria answered.

Kat shook her head while taking another bite of cake. “It’s not the same, Maria. It’s…” Kat couldn’t think of anything good to counter Maria’s statement, so she diverted. “A-anyway, I’ve long since decided that I’m never going to interact with society again for as long as I live.”

Kat’s mom walked by, putting her phone inside her purse. “How’s it going?”

“I’m officially withdrawing from society,” Kat announced.

“Oh, nice! Anyway, I need you to watch the store. I fixed up your dress so you can cover up your fur and stuff.”

“Didn’t you just hear what I said?!” Kat hissed. “I’m not talking to anyone ever again! Ever!” She grabbed her pillow and covered her face with it.

“I gotta go and help out Luanne again. Apparently, she had a dream the other night where her bridesmaids wore a different dress, and wants me to help her remember what it looked like and throw out all the work I had done the other day. It’ll only be for a few hours, and Maria even offered to help you so you wouldn’t have to do it alone!”

Kat glared at Maria. “So you came here with an ulterior motive, after all!”

“I really want to help you try and get out of this depressed state, Kat. My siblings are taking over my chores this afternoon so that I could be with you. This way you can ease back into society without having to do it alone.”

“That’s right,” Kat’s mom said. “We’re both really worried about you. I know things have been tough since becoming a cat, but you can’t continue living like this.”

“I can live like this forever and there’s nothing you two can do about it!” Kat said.


Twenty minutes later, Kat found herself standing behind the counter of her mom’s shop, wearing the get-up from the other day to hide her feline features. Maria had procured a new paper bag for her to wear, as the old one was thrown away.

“You’ll be fine!” Kat’s mom said from inside her car, parked out front of the store. “Be good and I’ll treat you to pizza tonight! How’s that sound?”

Kat didn’t respond.

“Okay! I love you! You two take care!” And then she drove off.

“See? It wasn’t so hard coming down here,” Maria said.

“I hate you.”

“Come again?” Maria asked, gripping her parasol.

Kat looked away with a whistle, but her cat lips were unable to produce a sound. Instead, she wound up spitting inside the bag.

For the next half-hour, Kat would shrink behind the counter whenever someone walked by the store. She feared someone would come in and she’d be forced to interact with them. Whenever someone looked in from outside, Kat would start pretending to do something to make it look like she wasn’t paying attention to them.

However, deep in the back of her mind, all she could think was that people were looking at her. Staring at her. Talking about her.

“Look! There’s Kat!” one would say.

“I hear she’s turned into an actual cat!” another would comment.

“What a freak!

“A weirdo!

“I can’t stand her!”

“She’s disgusting!”

“Why’s she still in this town?”

“She should get out of here!”

Kat’s leg bounced from anxiety, her claws poking through her gloves as they scratched at the wooden countertop. Her heart raced as more and more of these thoughts swirled in her head. She started hyperventilating.

Maria, having finished sweeping up the shop, put the broom and dust pale away. “I’m going to use the bathroom real quick,” she said, passing by the counter to get to the stairwell to the second floor.

Kat snatched Maria’s hand. “Don’t leave me,” she said.

“All I’m doing is going to the bathroom.”

Kat wrapped her arms around Maria’s arms, refusing to let go.

Maria could feel Kat’s claws digging into her arm. “Kat, you’re…” She was about to bring up the fact, but stopped herself, knowing all it would do is worsen the situation. The last thing Kat needed to hear was something concerning her being a cat. Instead, she patted Kat on top of the head over the paper bag. “You did good today,” she said, regretting having forced Kat out like this. This wasn’t the way to help her. It was only going to make things worse. She’d have to think of another way to help. “Let’s go upstairs.”

But before she could move Kat upstairs to recover, the door to the shop opened. Kat flinched at the sound of the sharp ringing bell, alerting her a customer had arrived. Her heart plummeted into her stomach, where it felt like acid was dissolving it. She began to sweat all over, her hands trembling. Her ears flicked with the sound of each step as the customer approached the counter. There was nothing more that she wanted than to flee, but her feet wouldn’t move.

The customer spoke with a gruff and commanding voice. “Is your mother here?”

Kat’s head turned around like a stilted machine that hadn’t been oiled in decades.

The customer was Mr. Keensley, holding up a pair of slacks.

Kat started foaming at the mouth and collapsed to the sound of Maria yelling her name.


Kat found herself in a dark abyss, cowering in fear as she heard the laugh of the cat god echoing around her, soon followed by a chorus of boos and insults. A crowd of featureless figures raised their hands at her. She’d run away, only to be chased by them. No matter which way she turned, she found herself corned by the mob. Her eyes closed shut as she feared the worst.

But then, she felt engulfed by a warm embrace. The darkness gave way to a glowing light that surrounded her. She felt calm and relaxed. A gentle hand stroked her hair, making her feel safe. Her head rested on the person’s lap as they continued to gently pet her. A soft purr escaped her lips.

Kat’s eyes opened slowly. She had somehow made it to the upstairs living room. The gentle hand that was petting her in her dream had continued to do so. “Huh?” she wondered softly.

Maria entered from the kitchen with a washcloth soaked with warm water. “Kat!” she cried out, seeing her awake.

“What happened?” Kat asked, looking around the room. She realized that her head was resting on someone’s lap. Looking up, her face was met with a bushy white beard.

She was lying on the lap of Mr. Keensley.

“Ah!” she screamed, falling off the couch and backing away. She touched her face, noticing her paper bag was missing from her face. Not only that, but she was no longer wearing her dress, but the t-shirt and shorts she had on earlier.

“W-w-what happened?!” she cried, backing into a wall. “Why’re my clothes changed?! What’s Mr. Keensley doing in my house?! Why was I laying on his lap?!”

“You passed out in the shop,” Maria said. “Mr. Keensley carried you back up here, where I changed you out of that dress and into something cooler.”

Mr. Keensley nodded.

Kat started to calm down a bit, only for her chest to start pounding again. “Wait! Right now he—”

“It’s fine, Kat,” Mr. Keensley said.


“Maria told me the whole story about why you’re the way you are now. That you were transformed into some kind of giant humanoid cat by a mischievous cat god.”

Again, Kat began to calm down. “Oh…”

“I’ve also heard that you recently started staying inside your room all day, refusing to leave because you’re worried about everyone finding out.”

Kat pulled her legs up to her chest, resting her head on her knee. She nodded.

“Well, you can rest easy,” Mr. Keensley said. “Everyone already knows.”

Kat got to her feet. “I knew it! See?! Maria?! I told you! I told you Mrs. Keensley told everyone about me! There was no way she wouldn’t have!”

“Calm down,” Mr. Keensley said, holding up his hands. “I understand my wife has a bit of a reputation of being a gossip.”

More like a massive reputation, Kat thought.

“But I promise you, that wasn’t how everyone found out,” he continued.

Kat tilted her head in confusion. “It wasn’t?” She wondered who it could’ve been. Was it someone from Maria’s family? Or was it her own mom? Maybe it was Mr. Keenlsey after all! I knew it! Of course, it was him! He’s probably as much a gossip as Mrs. Keensley! “Who was it?!” Kat demanded, holding up a fist. “Who was it that told everyone?!”

Mr. Keensley pointed a finger at Kat.

She appeared confused. “Huh?”

“The other day when you were walking around town, you kept poking your tail out from underneath your dress and kept taking that paper bag on and off repeatedly due to the heat. Almost everyone saw you.”

Kat collapsed to the ground in defeat. “To think… I fell onto my own blade…” Her ears perked up. “But wait! If everyone saw, then why didn’t anyone say anything?”

“You were quite delirious at the time, which I imagine was caused by exhaustion from wearing such heavy clothing during the summer on top of having a fur coat. Several people tried helping you, but you kept pushing them away, saying they couldn’t look at you while looking like a cat, fearing they’d find you weird,” he said.

Kat lowered her head. “Oh. I see…”

“Because of that, we all decided not to say anything to you directly so you wouldn’t get even more worked up about it.” He sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. “Maybe I should’ve approached you sooner if I had known you were this troubled by it.”

After hearing all that, Kat felt ashamed. All this time the townsfolk were worried sick about her, yet she projected this idea that they were all against her without even bothering to try speaking to any of them first. She drove herself into a panic because of it. I’m such an idiot, she thought.

“Everyone truly cares about you, Kat,” Maria said.

“We’re a small community,” Mr. Keensley said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you look like. And sure, sometimes we may get on each other’s nerves over silly things. But at the end of the day, this town is one giant family.”

Tears formed in the corner of Kat’s eyes. “I’m sorry,” she said, gripping her hands. “I’m sorry for making you all worry about me.”

Maria walked over to Kat and gripped her in her arms. Kat placed her head into her chest, trying desperately to hold back her tears.

Thinking Kat could use some alone time, Mr. Keensley got up the couch and started making his way to the staircase. He figured he could come back tomorrow to see Kat’s mom about patching his slacks.

“Mr. Keensley,” Kat called out.

He stopped.

“Could you help me with something? I’m… a bit scared.”

He smiled and nodded. “I’m happy to help, Kat.”

Kat went downstairs with Maria and Mr. Keensley. She walked to the front door to step out onto Mainstreet, where dozens of people were walking about that late afternoon. After a minute of watching people pass by, she turned around. “Would it be alright if I hold your guys’ hands while I walk down the street?”

Maria grabbed a hand. “Of course,” she said.

Mr. Keensley grabbed the other and opened the door, leading the group.

Outside, Maria opened up her parasol and held it over Kat to give her shade.

Kat took a moment to prepare herself as she stood on the front porch of the store. By that point, people noticed her. “Okay,” she said, taking a few deep breaths. “Let’s go.”

The three of them made their way down the block. At first, Kat walked slowly in a cautious manner. When those first heads turned to look at her, she felt nervous. She wanted to go back.

Despite her fears, she pushed onward.

“Hey, Kat!” said a neighbor, waving her hello.

Kat’s voice cracked with a “hi.”

“Good afternoon,” said another.

Kat nodded with a smile.

“Whoa! You’re looking great!”

“What a nice coat of fur!”

“You look so adorable!”

“Just look at your tail! I just want to squeeze it in my arms!”

“I love the pattern on your fur!”

“May I pet you?”

Each and every person reacted to Kat positively. The more people they passed, the more Kat picked up her speed. Soon she was walking confidently, a smile on her face. It wasn’t long until the old bubbly Kat was skipping along, waving hi to everyone around her.

Despite what had happened, despite how she looked, the town still loved her.

No, it was because the town loved her that it didn’t matter what happened to her.

When they made it to the edge of town, Kat turned and gave Mr. Keensley a big hug as Maria clapped, celebrating the accomplishment.

“Thank you,” she told him.

Mr. Keensley patted her on the head. “Any time. Just don’t go chasing me with a plastic baseball bat anymore.”

Kat blushed, pouting her lips. “I haven’t done that in years!” she argued.

All three of them laughed.


When Kat’s mom returned home, she was happy to find Kat having abandoned her disguise as she watched the front of the shop. To celebrate Kat no longer being a recluse, they ordered a bunch of pizza and threw a small party. Kat made sure to bring over a pizza for Mr. and Mrs. Keensley.

From that day on, she didn’t let her being a giant, furry catgirl bother her anymore. Sure, she still wanted to find the cat god and force him to change her back. But she wasn’t going to let her unfortunate circumstance control her anymore. She was going to resume her day-to-day life just as it had been.

Besides, it was still the beginning of summer! There was still so much more fun to be had! No way was she going to let anything else get in her way of going all out on this final summer vacation!