Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Paranoid Cat

The Paranoid Cat

by Louis B. Shalako


All Rights Reserved

“Come on people, get with the program,” called Bootsy, impatiently to say the least.
Bootsy clawed at the screen door, hoping against hope that it wasn’t too late to save them. The blue glare and the raucous noise of the television set assaulted his senses. It wasn’t usually turned up this loud. Perhaps Jane was right in the middle of looking for the dancing show and the phone had rang. Maybe that was it. Perhaps she was in the bedroom. Bootsy couldn’t hear the usual creaks and clunks of footsteps moving through the interior, but then that TV was loud.
From where he stood on hind paws, peering through the screen and around the corner and through the gap…he couldn’t see if Mark was in his easy chair or not. Dropping back down on all fours, Bootsy quickly shoulder-checked, but there was no one about except the Williams boy down the street with his dratted radio-control truck.
“Mark? Mark?” called Bootsy plaintively; urgently. “Jane? Jane? Jane, can your hear me?”
There was no reply. Hopefully Mark hadn’t taken one of the ‘little brown houses,’ which in combination with a few brewskis, made him go all rubbery-legged and sleepy-eyed. Stupid enough at the best of times, Mark was practically unmanageable at that point. Trying to get Mark to put some food down when he was in that state was hopeless. One was better off not to be stuck inside when Mark went down for the night.
“Jane? Jane?” he called again. “Are you guys in there? Where is everybody?”
Of course they were in there, and he had no time…there was no time left at all.
“Guys?” he called again in some forlorn hope that they could get it through their thick heads that this was an emergency…
What if Mark had taken one of the little blue pills? Bootsy’s heart sank, and he quickly dropped off of the porch and ran around the side of the house and up the driveway to the back yard. Skipping over the rhododendrons, and through the narcissus vines, rank with Butch’s piss-markers, Bootsy hovered under the bedroom window for a moment. His ears were cocked for any hint of the disaster which he was sure had befallen them all…but no.
Thank God, but no.
No whispers, no giggles, no heavy breathing, or gasping. No screams and slaps. No uproarious laughter from Jane, like the time they came home from the Hallowe’en party at Susan’s place, and Mark was dressed up like Mickey Mouse.
What the hell was going on in there?
With all his heart, Bootsy prayed that it wasn’t already too late.
As far as he could reckon, the pods in the garden might snap open at any time, although he hoped it wouldn’t be for another day or two.
But honestly, it was time to get the hell out of here.

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