Tuesday, June 18, 2013

"Goodbye, Kitten"

I have to resist the urge now to tell you all of the background on this story, even though I really want to, because I promised to save that for my patrons. :} It's so hard! Despite being introverted, once I open up, I do tend to over-share. At any rate, as promised, here is a story. I'm not putting it on Blurb; I figure that I will collect several of my short stories about cats (amongst other things) and put them into one small book of short stories on Blurb that can be purchased upon completion, with illustrations I will do myself. I am also considering composing instrumental music for the stories I write which I can then read to on YouTube. Let me know in the comments if you think that's a good idea! If not, say that too. :) I want honest opinions. I will say that I wrote this short story in 1999, so it is quite old. I make no claims to be a great wielder of words like Peter S. Beagle, but a mere sharer of dreams and feelings.

Before you read, I also want to mention that if you like it, please tell your friends about what I do or subscribe to my blog . . . and then make your friends subscribe too. ;) It has an RSS feed, so you can just add it to yours if you have one. Love RSS feeds. Since Google's Reader is going away, I highly recommend FeedDemon, which is free.

Or, if you really like it and want to help me to create more, please consider becoming a Patron on my Patreon account here: http://www.patreon.com/dreamsenshi . I don't create as much as many others on Patreon do, but I plan to do more. Plus, you can get bonus content! =^..^= And, even the tiniest offering helps. Right now, I'm desperately trying to save up money for a music production computer and am facing the fact that my current computer may have had too much corruption due to overheating and may need a replacement soon as well. D: I'll keep working my butt off toward these ends regardless and keep posting stories for free on my blog as well as other art and music as I go along. And, if money isn't an option for you (I totally get that! I am in the same boat!), then support in the comments is also a huge help because it shows me what you like or don't like and will make for good positive reinforcement in my efforts to share what I have to give with you. =^--^= Hooray for classical conditioning!

Alright! Enough blah blah blah! Here it goes! This story is PG, if you're wondering.

"Goodbye Kitten"

(A story for Penelope)

By: Jessica P. Jones / DreamSenshi

I'm going to die, Mimi thought as she dragged her offering across the floor toward Synthia's bed. The dove hung limply in her jaws with only a few feathers plucked away. So soon. Why so soon? She took a short leap up to the bed and put the bird to rest on a pillow. Carefully, she reached out a paw to fix the placement of the corpse. This is for you, Synthia. Maybe you can forgive me. She curled up on the foot of the bed, legs too wobbly and tired from jumping up to go back down. Her tail swung to wrap around her frail, grey furry body and she placed one paw gracefully over one eye, perhaps in her last pose this life.

As Mimi's soul became distant from the world, all her memories started to come back to her . . .

*                                       *                                       *

Synthia was a girl of about six years when she first met Mimi. Two boys from down the street traded the bright little kitten in a box for two classic baseball cards.The little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl had never been so full of smiles. She ran home with her box to show her parents.

Despite all the past arguments of having a new kitten in the home while Synthia still had her aged cat, they instantly fell in love with the big green eyes and bold personality Mimi had to offer. The kitten strutted around her new home, not interested in a personal life with anyone else. She admired herself in mirrors whenever she had the chance and enjoyed being brushed by the mother of the household.

But no matter what Synthia tried to do to impress her, Mimi was not interested in her.

"Cmon, Mimi! Play in the nice building I made for you! It's your own little house. D'you like it?" Synthia waited eagerly to see her new kitten's reaction.

"Mew?" Mimi barely gave it a sniff. What a waste of my time. I have better things to do than play with this filthy child. She will only muss my fur.

Certain that the kitten would enjoy the cozy, cat-nip-filled cardboard box with cut-out windows, the girl reached for the small, grey fluff ball. "Please come here, Mimi."

But the kitten was too insulted by the child's efforts. She swatted at Synthia with her claws, folding her ears back and hissing before running off to hide inside her scratching post tower.

*                                       *                                       *

Why did I treat her that way? I should have played with her. All that time I wasted, thinking only of myself, when she was always thinking of me. Mimi opened her eyes again when she heard the door to the bedroom open. Synthia, now twenty, walked in with her purse swinging at her side and her boyfriend close behind her.

At first, Synthia did not notice the cat on the end of her bed. When she saw the dead bird resting on her favorite pillow, she gasped and dropped her stack of books. Her boyfriend raised an eyebrow and made a disgusted noise.

"Oh! What is this? Some kind of sign? Did Mimi do this? She never left these around for anyone else to find. She always kept them to herself," Synthia commented as she drew closer to the bed.

Her boyfriend blinked. "Mimi? Who's Mimi?"

"My, um, my father's cat. I had to leave her here after I started college. But she never has done anything like this. At the same time, it's hard to believe a dove got in here and just died on my bed."

A smile crossed his face. "Really? I could have never been without my cat. She's such a sweetie.She always leaves mice in the closet. Some people say it's a cat's way of showing affection to its owner."

Synthia blinked. "Sign of affection? How silly. Cats don't love people."

You're wrong, Synthia! You're so wrong. But, it's my fault. I made you think it works that way. You don't really believe that, do you? I tried so hard to change your mind. Mimi lifted her head slightly, but found it too heavy and lied back down as another memory overwhelmed her thoughts.

 *                                       *                                       *

"Miaow! Mrrrrow!" Mimi was full grown now, and Synthia was fifteen. After Synthia's brother moved out and the girl's mother was forced to leave because of the divorce and the father of the house was always at work, the feline found herself lonely. She twined and danced between Synthia's legs while the teen worked at the computer, attempting to lure her with a dulcet purr.

The teen reached to gently push Mimi away. "I'm busy now, Mimi. I have to finish this report."


Synthia rolled her eyes and turned from her work. "Look, you didn't want my attention before. Why d'you want it now? Are you hungry again? I just fed you five minutes ago. I've changed your box three times today. You don't care if we spend quality time together because you're just a cat. You didn't even care when my other cat died. You know, she took care of you." Swirling around in her chair, she went back to work without another thought.

Mimi's ears folded back and she mewed silently again. Is that what you think of me? That I don't care? Hmph. Of course I care! "Mew?" Synthia? Please talk to me. I made a mistake. "MROW!" Synthia!

"Shh! I've got to finish this. Go torture someone else, Mimi."

  *                                       *                                       *

A soft mew broke the silence and Synthia turned to see the weak shadow of a feisty creature she used to know. Her blue eyes widened and she sat on the edge of the bed. "Mimi? You asleep?" She reached out a shaking hand to touch the soft, unkempt fur. Please don't be dead, kitty. Please.

The boyfriend stood back, watching silently. 

As the gentle fingers caressed Mimi's slowly rising stomach, the cat opened her eyes and peeked out of under her paw to look up at her girl. "Mew." Synthia! It's so good to see you now. She gently bumped her forehead against Synthia's hand.

Synthia sighed in relief. "Mimi! You had me scared there. You don't look very good. Maybe I should call Papa in to take a look at you. This isn't like you at all."

The feline's burning green eyes looked toward the pillow in a suggestive way. The dove is for you. I heard humans say a dove is a symbol for love. She purred softly, then closed her eyes again, resting her head on her girl's hand.

Grinning, Synthia reached out to stroke Mimi's back with her free hand. "So, you did do this for me? You really musn't be well."

Her boyfriend stepped up, hands in his pockets. "Not to be insulting, but your cat looks like she's near death."


"Look at her. She must be very, very old. This uncommon behavior is surely a sign of affection, but it is also a sign of change. Didn't your old cat do something along the same lines before she died?"

Synthia bit her lower lip, leaning closer to her cat. "Mimi, you're not leaving us, right? There's so much I have to show you now, if you care to see."

No response. The purring had stopped.

"Mimi?" The woman's face went pale. The feline was barely breathing. "You are, aren't you?"

I'm sorry . . .

"I'm sorry . . . I'll be right outside?" As she nodded to him, he quickly stepped out, leaving the two alone.

Taking paw in hand, Synthia lied down on the bed to be closer to her friend. "I'm sorry I left you behind. You should be angry with me. I held that stupid grudge. Isn't this silly, Mimi? Look how sentimental I'm getting. You're just a cat." She had to stop and think. "Right?"

Mimi was pleased. She knew she was not just a cat anymore. Finally content, she could die. Goodbye, Synthia. Maybe we'll meet again in another life. Don't let the mice take over after I'm gone. She nuzzled the hand one more time before striking her final pose with her head resting gently on Synthia's knee.

Slowly, tears began to come like the beginning of an awful storm; slow at first, then flooding. "Mimi, I love you. I know you know what I feel. That's something special about cats that human relationships never have. We can trust our emotions together." She had to pause to catch her breath. "I'll never forget you."

After a moment of silence, the rising and falling of the grey fur stopped and Mimi became very still.

Synthia sobbed, then leaned close to whisper into the pointed ears. "Goodbye, Kitten."


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