Perhaps it was a dream, she thought. Perhaps if she pinched herself, she would wake up- but she didn’t want to wake up. She wanted to stay in this dream world where she could roam the apartment free on four fur-covered paws and feel the wind brush from the window between her long and pointy ears. For once in her life the fantasy of being Snuggles, her cat, had come true. But not all was as wonderful being Snuggles as she had originally thought.
The real Snuggles, she had now come to know, had in all of his twelve months of infinite kitten energy dreamed a similar dream. He had dreamed of the outside world where the tall paraplegic cats went. She had known Snuggles to spend entire days looking out the window seeking bugs, birds, and the glory of the hunt, but it wasn’t until now that the truth came out about his real ambitions- his deep seeded desires to plug away hours of his life over this week’s numbers in an effort to maximize his 401K(ittens) and retire to Felinida, purridise of the south. This would have been wholly lost to her had she not become one with Snuggles in her dream, had she not sat still at that very windowsill and wondered, hoped, wished for the life that she had always taken for granted, the life that brought one to drink too much at office Christmas parties and make out with your manager’s secretary, the life of the paraplegic cats.
But I am a cat now! she thought, remembering that as a cat she had more important tasks to complete. She sprinted off, late for the thing that she had to accomplish, and then stopping suddenly, ran for the door. In her galloping she lifted off in a lunge for the handle, from which she fell, as a whole new world suddenly opened. The paraplegic cats left the wall unlocked! she thought as she fell, feet first, on the grass below.
Mud seeped in between her toes. “Awe rats damnit!” she said to herself as she looked at her feet, “Now my paws are all muddy.”
She was in a park, in her favorite summer dress, the one with the pink flowers. She was waiting for someone, she was five, she was happy. “Hey beautiful!” When the voice came from behind her, she turned with a smile instead of a start, “Grandpa!” She screamed in delight as the old beard picked her up with a deep laugh like she was a feather. “Look at you!” he said with the whitest teeth and the greenest eyes, “You’ve gotten so big!” He hugged her close then.
She was five and twenty again, and he was gone as he had been for years.
She was alone in the longest hallway ever created. I don’t like this dream anymore, it’s time to get up, she thought. For a moment she stood in the long black hallway, her heart pumped blood through with rigor, her body prepared to save itself from what was coming. The grating sound of metal was now not so far behind her, and the footsteps inched closer, and closer, and closer. RUN it whispered with a yell, RUN, it hissed, stepping faster and scraping metal louder, RUN LITTLE MISSY! I’M COMING FOR YOU! its voice echoed for years.
She bolted, her feet slammed against the ground with each petrified step, Snuggles in her arms, for the life of her she must protect Snuggles! Ceiling light after ceiling light passed overhead as the quick footsteps raced her to the end, to her death, but Snuggles, Snuggles at least will be okay, so long as the dangling ball of legs and tails stopped mewing.
“HUSH” She pleaded to the cat, who understood little of human speech but desired so much of human life, “Please, he’ll hear us, PLEASE be quiet!” the meows were louder from the cat, and her sides ached with fire as the footsteps came behind her harder and louder. Her heart slammed in her chest, the footsteps stopped from directly above her. She looked up and a great cackling pulled fourth from the creature’s mouth as it reached out for the kill.
The shrill sound was overcome by a loud meow as Snuggle’s paw hit her nose, and as the cat sat upon her chest his eyes asked for breakfast.