A Kat's (GOD AWFUL!!!) Blessing
It was early Sunday morning as the bright summer sunshine forced its way through the blinds of Elli’s bedroom window. She was sprawled out across her bed, with half her comforter on the verge of falling to the floor. Her light snores mixed with the small table fan atop her dresser, acting as a source of white noise. Without it, she’d never been able to get to sleep due to her tinnitus.
When the sunlight reached her face she turned her head, mumbling about not remembering the history exam for a class she had seemingly forgotten to go to all semester long. The dream evaporated as her eyes opened to the familiar sight of her bedroom.
“Why do I still dream about being in school when it's been almost two decades since I last sat in a classroom?” she said, pulling up her comforter to get another few minutes of sleep.
After her effort failed, Elli forced herself out of her soft, cozy bed to start her day. She opened the blinds, squinting as the blinding sun filled the room with light.
“Looks like it's gonna be a hot one,” she said.
Slipping into her robe, she walked past her daughter’s room, whom she could hear snoring loudly as ever. In the kitchen, she found Ludwig curled up atop the kitchen table. His ears twitched, hearing Elli’s footsteps across the creaky floorboard.
“Morning, Ludwig,” she said, scratching the top of his head.
Ludwig looked up, then hopped down from the table and approached his food bowl. If Elli could understand cats, she would’ve heard Ludwig’s cheer. “Alright! Breakfast!”
Elli opened the kitchen cabinet and grabbed the bag of dry cat food, then proceeded to pour some into Ludwig’s bowl.
Ludwig started feasting before Elli had finished pouring, causing some of the pellets to bounce off his head and onto the floor.
“Geez, Ludwig. You act like you haven’t eaten in days,” Elli commented.
She picked up the pellets, brushing off the cat fur that was stuck to them. That’s when she noticed that there was a large amount of cat fur scattered about the kitchen floor. It was like nobody had swept up Ludwig’s loose fur in months.
But she had just swept the whole house last week. How could there have been that much fur accumulated in such a short time?
Upon further inspection, the kitchen wasn’t the only place seemingly carpet-bombed by fur. It was all over the place. Fur could be found on the couch, the rug, bunched against the corner of the walls, even on the shelving and countertops.
She took a lint roller and rolled it across a pillow from the couch, then took a closer look at the fur.
“...Kat,” she sighed.
It had been less than a week since her only daughter transformed into a giant catgirl. In doing so, her entire body had become covered in the softest fur that Elli had ever felt. So the idea of her shedding fur wasn’t out of the realm of reality. When you factor in Kat’s size, the amount of fur she had was comparable to several cats.
Elli ran the lint roller across the rest of the couch, using up several sheets.
“I’ll worry about the rest of the house later,” she said, returning to the kitchen to make coffee.
Kat yawned loudly as she entered the kitchen later that morning, wearing an oversized t-shirt. Her eyes still closed shut as she walked.
“Morning,” Elli said, taking a sip of coffee as she checked the news on her phone.
“Nnnnnghmorninnin,” Kat responded, opening the kitchen cabinet and feeling around for the box of cereal.
She opened her eyes to make sure she had grabbed her favorite fruity children’s cereal and not the boring granola cereal Elli likes. Breakfast made, she placed it on the table and pulled out her chair to sit down.
Curled up on the seat was Ludwig.
“Ludwiiiiig! Get ooooff!” Kat whined.
“How come? I was here first!” he countered.
“But this is my chair,” Kat complained.
“I don’t see your name written on it.”
“But I sit here every morning…” Her half-asleep brain took a moment before she could realize the obvious. “You wouldn’t even be able to read it even if I had!”
“You don’t know that! Perhaps I can read human language perfectly, but haven’t been able to express this knowledge to you until now!”
“Can you?” she asked sincerely.
“Nah. I can’t. I was just messin’,” he chuckled.
Kat furrowed her brow, annoyed by her pets' dumb antics so early in the morning. She tipped the chair over so that Ludwig slid off to the floor.
“Whoa whoa! Hey!” he cried out, falling to the floor with a plop. “Can’t you take a joke?”
“Not until after I had my cereal,” Kat grumbled as she sat down and began chomping down her breakfast.
Elli watched the entire exchange unfold before her, though the only thing she heard come out of Ludwig were a series of meows. She was slightly jealous of her daughter’s ability, wishing she too could chat with Ludwig. Especially during those slow days in the shop when it was just her and Ludwig.
“Got any plans for today?” Elli asked.
“Not really. Gonna bum around today.”
“No searching for that cat god?”
Kat shook her head. “All I did the past two days was that. I’ve probably walked the equivalent of two marathons. I need break.”
“Well, it’s a good idea to take a rest every now and then,” Elli said. “It’s gonna be a hot one today, so best to stay indoors.”
Having finished her coffee, Elli stood up from the table and rinsed out her mug. She then went to her bedroom and changed out of her pajamas, tossing them onto the tower of dirty laundry that rose out from her hamper.
The added weight of her pajamas caused the tower to fall over, tipping the hamper and dumping out her laundry.
“Man,” she sighed, picking it all up and stacking it in the hamper.
Again, the pile fell over.
“Guess it’s laundry day,” she sighed. “Kat! I’m doing laundry today! Bring your clothes down to the washer!”
“‘Kaaay!” Kat yelled from the kitchen.
The washer and dryer were stacked atop one another in a closet downstairs by the staircase. As there was little room in the tiny hallway to the inside of the shop, there wasn’t anywhere for a table to sort the clothes. Instead, Elli would do it on the floor, making separate piles for colors, whites, and delicates.
Kat, having changed into a sports bra and athletic shorts, came down with her hamper. “Here you go,” she said, dropping it next to Elli.
“Thanks,” Elli replied.
When she finished sorting her clothes, she turned her attention to her daughters to begin separating them.
She held up the oversized t-shirt that Kat had been wearing. There was a large amount of loose fur stuck to the inside. If she were to ignore it and toss it into the wash, there was risk of the pipes getting clogged with fur. That was the last thing she’d want, as the only mechanic in town was a man named Joe. Joe was a decent plumber, but he had a habit of breaking personal boundaries and letting his eyes wander freely. She didn’t want him coming into her house if she could help it.
She set it aside and picked up the next article of clothing. It too was covered in loose fur.
And the next.
And the next.
Every single article of clothing was in dire need of having a lint roller going over it.
“Greeeaaaaat,” she sighed heavily.
She went up the stairs, thinking about how annoying it was going to be to use the lint roller on all of Kat’s clothes. Worse yet, this was potentially something she’ll have to do every laundry day as long as Kat was a catgirl.
“But I’ll do it because I love her,” she kept telling herself as she went to the living room to retrieve the lint roller after having used it to clean the sofa.
Sprawled out on the couch watching TV was Kat. The very couch Elli had spent that morning de-furring.
“...Kat?” she asked.
Kat looked up. “Hm?”
“Could you get up from the couch for a moment?”
Confused by the request, Kat hopped off the couch.
Just as Elli had feared, there was loose fur on the cushions.
“Kat. I love you very much, and I understand that you've gone through a lot of mental stress about your transformation.”
“Uh…” Kat said, worried about where Elli was taking the direction.
Elli rolled the lint roller over where Kat had just been laying down, picking up the fur. “You’re shedding, honey.”
Kat sighed in relief. “Oh, that? Yeah, I noticed that the other day. I thought maybe it meant I was getting better, but no matter how much I shed it never seems to thin out,” she said while grabbing at the fur on her arm and pulling out a fistful of loose fur.
She then tossed it onto the floor without care, shaking her hand clean.
“Kat! What’re you doing?!”
“What?” Kat asked.
“Why did you just pull out a handful of fur only to toss it on the floor?!”
“It’s just a tiny bit of fur. It’s not that big of a deal, right?”
Elli pointed at Kat, ready to speak her mind, but she bit her lip. Instead, she went to the closet, pulled out a broom and dustpan, a dust rag and cleaner, and the lint roller. “We’re cleaning the whole house today. Sweep, dust, mop, laundry, the works.”
“Aw, what?” Kat complained.
“Do you realize how much you’re shedding? Your fur is everywhere! That tiny bit of fur adds up! I want you to see just how much there is so you’ll think twice about yanking it out and tossing it on the floor.”
“That’s gonna take all day!”
“You already said you didn’t have plans for the day, so it shouldn’t be a problem now, should it?”
“But I’m still exhausted from running around all day yesterday!”
“You don’t think I haven’t been in your shoes? There are some days where I feel like I’m on the verge of collapse, yet I still try to keep things tidy so you have a clean house to live in.” She handed Kat the lint roller. “First, I want you to sweep up the entire house. After that, take the lint roller to your dirty laundry and get all the loose fur out. Too much fur can cause the pipes to clog.”
With a pout, Kat took the broom and began sweeping the living room. As she did, Elli began dusting. She started with her room, which didn’t take too long as there weren't many surfaces to dust in there. Once done, she moved to Kat’s room and started dusting in there.
“How the heck does this much fur get all the way up here?” she asked herself, wiping down the top of her daughter’s bookshelf.
Unlike her room, Kat’s room was particularly dusty. Some areas appeared to not have seen a dust rag in years, despite instructing Kat to dust her room once every few weeks.
“Someone’s not doing a very good job,” Elli said to herself.
She stepped onto Kat’s bed to reach a small shelf that was attached to the wall above the headboard. As she dusted the shelf, she started to have a suspicion about the comforter she was standing on.
Her suspicions were correct. The inside of Kat’s bed was a mess with cat fur.
“Better clean this too,” she said, removing Kat’s comforter and bed sheets from her mattress.
Downstairs, Kat was dumping the dirt and fur that she had swept up outside. She then started smacking the broom against the wall to knock off any remnants that clung to it, creating a dust cloud. A summer breeze sent the cloud into Kat’s face, causing her to sneeze.
“Kat! Get the door for me!” Elli yelled from inside.
“Oka-a-achoo!” she replied.
Doing as told, Kat held open the door.
“Do I have to clean my blanket, too?” Kat asked.
“You tell me,” Elli said, unrolling the comforter atop her car, exposing the fur-coated underside to the late morning sunlight. “It looks like you were smothered to death in this thing!”
Kat was shocked by the amount of fur. “I didn’t think it looked that nasty.”
“So what you’re saying is you knew there was a bunch of fur?”
“And you willingly slept in it instead of cleaning it?”
“Because I figured you’d make me clean it.”
Elli handed her the lint roller. “You figured correctly!”
She walked back inside as Kat let out a loud groan, not wanting to be the one to remove all the fur.
It took hours for Elli and Kat to finish removing all the loose fur from inside the house. By the time Elli could start doing the laundry, it was late afternoon.
“Finally!” she said, turning on the washing machine and returning upstairs to the kitchen.
Kat laid her head atop the table as her arms hung down to her side. “That took forever,” she said.
“But don’t you feel good now knowing the house is all clean?”
“Not really. It’s only going to get messy again in a few days with how much I shed, apparently.” Kat swung her tail up to the table so she could see it before swinging it back down to the floor with a sigh.
As she moped on the table, she felt a metal brush comb through her hair. Her eyes squinted as a soft purr escaped her, enjoying the feeling of the brush sifting through her thick fur.
Wait a sec, she thought.
Kat quickly sat up. Next to her was Elli, holding the metal grooming brush normally used for Ludwig. It had removed a wad of loose fur from Kat’s coat. “Why’re you using Ludwig’s grooming brush on me?!” she yelled.
“It’s a good grooming brush,” she replied.
“But that’s for Ludwig! At least use a different brush on me!”
“Sorry, sorry,” Elli said, pulling out the wad of fur. “But you gotta admit, it does a heck of a good job.”
Kat looked at the fur. “...Yeah, I guess.”
“Let's use this one today and I’ll promise to buy one especially for you tomorrow. How’s that sound?”
Kat pouted, embarrassed by the notion of having to start using a grooming brush. But that brush was always really good at keeping Ludwig’s coat in check.
“...Only if you keep brushing me,” Kat responded.
Elli laughed. “How about we move to the couch, then?”
The two went into the living room, where Kat laid down on Elli’s lap.
“No wonder Ludwig enjoys getting brushed,” Kat said as Elli resumed brushing. “A little lower. Lower. Aww yeah. That’s the spot.”
“You're going to have to start doing this by yourself every day, okay? Otherwise we’re gonna have a repeat of today a heck of a lot more often.”
“Uuugh,” Kat moaned, but then began to purr again as Elli started brushing her lower back. “But you brush Ludwig every day.”
“Ludwig doesn’t have opposable thumbs.”
“Maybe he should try harder.”
Elli laughed. “How about this: I’ll brush you from time to time, but most days you're on your own. Alright?”
“Fine,” Kat purred.
Elli resumed brushing in silence. She recalled the times when she used to brush Kat’s hair when she was just a toddler. As much as she’d love to brush her daughter’s fur every day, she knew it wouldn’t be good to spoil the both of them.
Once Elli finished brushing Kat, they were left with a new problem.
“Holy cow,” Kat said, looking at the massive pile of fur that sat in front of them. It was almost as big as Kat herself.
“How do you manage to grow that much fur?” Elli asked.
“I have absolutely no clue.”
Kat grabbed a handful of the fur, squeezed it into a ball, then chucked it back onto the pile. “It’d be a waste to just throw it out. Oh! We should totally make something with it!”
“Like what?” Elli asked.
“I dunno. Clothing? You can turn cat fur into yarn, can you? Does it work the same as wool or whatever?”
“It’d be a problem if someone who had a cat allergy were to wear it and get sick.”
“Yeah,” Kat agreed. “...D’you think I would activate someone’s cat allergies?”
Elli shrugged. “Probably.”
Kat crossed her arms, thinking intently about what to do with the fur.
“You know, birds could use it to build their nests,” Elli said.
“Oh! Yeah! Let’s do that!”
Elli and Kat took the fur out into the woods, where they dumped it. In their mind, they imagined birds would notice it and pick some up to build their nests.
They weren’t wrong on that idea, either. Birds did indeed notice and took advantage of the abundance of free insulation. However, this led to clumps of Kat’s fur appearing in neighbors’ trees and yards. Some clumps would get picked up by the wind and float into nearby fields. It wasn’t long before people came knocking on the door asking them to please stop leaving her fur out for the birds.