I knew this day would come. At the outset of Longer Thoughts, I pledged for my own betterment to write at least 250 words a day. And now as I sit on my couch, ill of mood and brooding, I have absolutely nothing positive of interest to say.
Yes, I did write over 250 words on a post for paulandstorm.com that will go live at midnight. But it doesn’t count: it’s not the kind of thing I’d post here. Entertaining as it may be, it’s really a pure promotional piece for a song release, and not an over-thought observation about something trivial, a story of any sort, or even bad advice. Even if it was, since it doesn’t go online until midnight, it could at best be counted as Tuesday’s post.
Only 129 words? Really? Okay; time to freeball a story…
The sensation of suffocation is unmistakeable, as is the scent of a cat’s ass. Individually either would wake even the heaviest sleeper. In combination their effect is more powerful than smelling salts. In the case of Thurman McGrumpus, who hadn’t been sleeping well of late, it was overkill.
“Dammit, Shredder!” he shouted, sending a white and orange cat bounding as he shook his head out from between two pillows which until recently had been compacted by the weight of said feline.
“Whrz? Hrm?” murmured Mrs. McGrumus, whose last name was in fact McLovely, and who was less prone to being woken by nocturnal shenanigans.
“That little fucker woke me up again,” said Thurman.
“Don’t call him that!” protested Mrs. McGrumpus, who evidently was easily taken from sleep by curmudgeonly husbands hurling epithets at their pets. “He just wants to be close to you.”
Thurman McGrupus knew better than to argue. At the foot of the bed he could see two glowing eyes, patiently waiting.
“You know it’s past midnight, don’t you?” said Mrs. McGrumpus.
“Damn right it is,” said Thurman, glancing at his alarm clock. “It’s three a.m.!”
“Which means it’s the eleventh anniversary of when we adopted Shredder and Pete,” explained Mrs. McG, replanting herself into her pillow. “Just go back to sleep.”
Thurman looked back down the bed at Shredder. Did he have any idea about the anniversary? Not likely. Was he even aware of how he and his brother had completely hit the jackpot when Mrs. McG’s heart had gone out to them, and they went from living in a 9×9 room to having an entire home as their realm, complete with a lifetime of scritchin’s? Nope. All taken for granted.
“You have no clue, do you?” said Thurman. Shredder took the statement as an “all clear”, padded back up the bed, and nestled into the crook of the man’s arm. Thurman felt Shredder’s purr before he heard it, steady and low.
“Oh, you think that makes us all square?” said the man, reaching his other hand over to scratch behind Shredder’s ears. The purr grew to a jackhammer thrum. Loud as it was, Thurman found himself listening to its steady rhythm, gently rising and falling, an audible, liquid smile. Gentle fingers of the dream he’d been having before waking up traced softly across his brow.
“…you think you can just…furry butt…purring…pillow…snrzzzzzzz…”
Thurman slept through until morning. And if Shredder chose to park his derrière on the man’s face again that night, he must have done so discretely.
But it was more likely that he’d already made his point.