Humor Fiction posted January 19, 2022

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A woman is reincarnated as a cat

Unsweetened Revenge

by Ramona Scarborough

It was a dark and stormy night when I died and came back as a cat. How ironic. I never believed in reincarnation nor cared much for cats.

I vaguely remember dying. I just thought I had a bad stomach bug. I do not recall a funeral, burial, or any other inconvenient details. I seemed to exist on some other spiritual plane for a short while. Then my metamorphosis was decided without my permission. Imagine instantly changing from a pleasingly plump forty-four-year-old woman into a mouser. I shook myself and bit my paw. Unfortunately, it wasn't a dream. I comforted myself. At least I was still alive in some form. According to something I read once about transmigration of souls, I could have come back as an insect.

My questionably cosmic appearance with four legs, a tail and a fluffy fur coat landed me smack in front of the house where Harold and I had lived for twenty-two years. Would he be called my ex-husband or what?

Harold loved his cat Beano, a fat male who considered me his personal maid. Beano wanted in, he wanted out. He wanted his food bowls filled; his treats dispensed on his schedule. He left wads of dark hair on my beige couch and carpet. Scooping out his stinky cat box made me nauseated. He brought in fleas from outside which had Harold running to Petco to get some $60.00 flea killer to squirt on his neck. Was feline rebirth a divine intervention to teach me to be more tolerant?

I ran full speed toward the back of the house to get out of the wind and cold. I slipped through the cat door Harold had installed. What an opportunity to see what Harold was up to after my demise. He had relied on me for so much. He probably was bumbling about the house wondering where his socks were and burning most of his meals.

I looked around the warm formerly spring green kitchen which now had changed to shades of black, white, and gray. To my left, was Beano's cat dish heaped full of fish flavored Meow Mix, which smelled surprisingly good. I daintily stepped up for a nibble and was ambushed from behind. Harold had insisted that we not de-claw Beano even though his pet used everything but the scratching post for sharpening his nails. I felt his sharp talons piercing my back. I yowled and turned on him. Beano jumped to one side, a bully with no cat courage. I ran at him, hissing and spitting. Holding my ground, I heard a woman's voice. I knew that voice, Lola Hayrick of short-shorts fame from across the street.

"Harry, what is that awful racket?" Lola came around the corner and peered at us, her overly made-up eyes widening.

Harold came running into the kitchen. I was temporarily distracted, putting one and one together. Beano seized this opening to pounce on me. Fur flew and then a stench billowed out around us. I backed off.

"Aak, your cat is disgusting." Lola pinched her nostrils together and waved her manicured hand in front of her.

"Well uh ... Sandy and I didn't name him Beano for nothing," Harold said. "Go outside, Beano, old boy." Beano rushed out on command, something he never did for me.

"Do you know whose cat this other one is?" Lola asked, still holding her nose. "I don't see a collar. This kitty sure is pretty, such big green eyes, and all that gold and ivory fur mixed together.
I felt my back arching and a rumbly purr noise started involuntarily. Wait a minute! Lola was over here in my house and Harold did not seem to be grieving one bit.

"I've always wanted a cat, Honey," Lola said, her voice as artificially sweet as the saccharin I used to put in my coffee. She bent over and petted me while "Harry Honey" scoped out her derriere in spray-on jeans. "Do you think I could just take her home with me?"

"Well, I guess you could." Harold rubbed his chin in a hedging gesture I knew so well. "Maybe you could put an ad in the newspaper. If no one claims the cat, then your conscience would be clear."

"Conscience," I thought, "this woman has no conscience." Even though I was sort of dead, Harry and Lola were way too comfortable to have become bosom buddies in the short week since I had been gone.

She picked me up and I hooked my claws into her tight t-shirt and kneaded until it was thoroughly snagged.

"Oh look, she likes me already." The woman didn't have a clue. Ruining one item of cheap clothing was just a small preview of the mayhem to come. I'd learned all the catty chicanery from Beano, hopefully minus the unladylike gas attacks. She put me down and I had the cat food all to myself. However, I just about choked on a nugget when she reached up and planted an X-rated kiss on Harold's willing mouth.

"I'll see you a little later, lover," she said to the drooling Harold. "Got to take my new kitty home."

I decided I wouldn't bite her just yet since she wouldn't be inclined to adopt me if I did. Revenge was going to be so sweet.

At Lola's house, I ensconced myself on mounds of pillows on her couch.

"Oh, how cute, I've got to run find my camera."

I peed on the lightest pillow and then scratched the silk to ribbons. When Lola came back and saw the stain, she put her camera down and snatched me up.

"Oh, you poor baby, you're scared being taken to this new place and I haven't bought you a litter box yet. I'll drive over to the pet store and get you one. They have yummy cat food and treats, a soft bed, and catnip toys." She pressed her face against my fur. "You are so snuggly. That's what I'll call you, Snuggles."

If I had done any grooming that day, I could have hacked up a hair ball, but these things take time. I continued to think of myself as Sandy.

On the kitchen table, I watched from the window as her car pulled away. I catapulted down, brushing the glass sugar bowl with my tail, woops ... crash. I went on a reconnaissance mission to see what sites I would target first. Lola wasn't the only home wrecker. There were curtains for climbing, rugs ready for vomiting, and China figurines to topple.
After two weeks of malicious mischief whenever Lola sneaked across the street, I was taken to the vet.

"I just don't understand, Doctor Hubert. Snuggles is such a sweetie when I'm home, but the minute I leave at night, she's positively destructive."

"How long are you usually gone?"

"Ah, all night."

"Oh, one of those graveyard workers, I suppose."

Lola ducked her head. "Um, sort of."

"Probably your new kitty is just missing you and this is her way of letting you know. I might suggest confining her to one room with a litter box when you go out."

"You do that," I thought, "and you can call that the wreck room."

I didn't like this veterinarian. First imprisonment, probably food rationing next.

During the day though, I could come and go as I pleased. Harold put a cat door in at Lola's too. I'd forgotten about the Rottweiler, Briggs, next door to her. The first time I sauntered out into my sunny back yard, his loud bark made my hair stand up at attention. He was behind a fence, but he stuck his broad nose with large nostrils through the gaps, pretty revolting.

After a while of realizing he could not chase me and I wasn't budging, he went back to lying under a shade tree. As time went along, I realized he was old and stiff with arthritis, and I even felt a bit sorry for him. Well, as much as a cat can feel sorry for those of the canine gender. He must have been quite a specimen in his day with his thick neck and massive chest. We came to a sort of truce, he did his guard dog gig, I retired to the other side of the yard, and he could lay back down in peace, his duty done.

My favorite amusements were carried out at the house where I used to live. I would harass old Beano by poking my head through the cat door and pulling back as soon as he came charging after me. The door bonked him in the head every time, but he never learned. I relieved myself repeatedly and made deposits in the bank of flowers where Harold gardened and chewed on his beloved plants. I scratched on the back and front door until there were bare spots in the paint and Beano got punished.

My life as a cat was better than I originally thought it might be. I didn't have to go to work anymore. I didn't cook or clean. I was waited upon while I perfected the one hundred and ten distinct cries indicating my needs. Briggs could only manage ten different woofs that I counted, but then most cats are superior to dogs. I say most because there are a few exceptions, like Beano the Buffoon. I slept until noon or 5:30 p.m., whatever struck my fancy. I spent some of my spare time grooming my magnificent coat or scheming about some new naughty trick to play on ludicrous Lola. She still believed I was her sweetie-pie, Snuggles.

However, the day came when I was pushed beyond the boundaries of my endurance. You might call my experience a cataclysm.

Lola had breezed back in from her nightly neighborly tryst that morning. When I heard the lid of my Fancy Feast being popped open, I ran to the kitchen. Now a connoisseur of salmon pate, I sniffed in the savory aroma, and began indulging myself.

Lola leaned on the counter and ran her hand over her rounded back side.

"Oh, that Harry, what a guy. I tell him, 'Don't get any better or I might have a heart attack."

She laughed. "Sandy would be rolling over in her grave if she knew how long Harold and I were carrying on before she died. No wonder she gained so much weight, she had such a weakness for sweets. I knew she couldn't resist eating that piece of fudge I brought for her before she keeled over."

I leaped on her, making no attempt to sheath my claws. Caterwauling, I tore at her flesh underneath her flimsy blouse.

"Snuggles," she screamed, "What has come over you?" She was reaching for pepper spray that she carries on walks. I jumped down, doing more damage to her legs on my way to the floor. She sprayed the chemical out into the air. Blindly, I ran for the door. Lola was right behind me alternately yelling and coughing. I streaked through the cat door and around the side of the house. Briggs was baying out his emergency warning bark. I sprinted into the street. I didn't see the car, cat ... splat.

I awoke slowly. I was lying in Lola's yard. I didn't recognize Brigg's bark. Briggs had added a mournful howl to his repertoire. When I looked down the length of my body, I was shocked. My resplendent coat had been replaced with ugly, coarse, gray fur. I was long and skinny. I knew then I was paying for not practicing good kitty karma. I had slid further down the life chain. I got on my feet and looked over at Briggs peering at me with sad brown eyes.

I sensed, rather than saw, another presence creeping across the yard. I turned. Beano came barreling toward me. I did what any rat would do. I ran for my life.

Someone Else writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
You (or your character) wakes up and are someone different.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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© Copyright 2022. Ramona Scarborough All rights reserved.
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