By Scarlette Quille
One of the many creatures residing in my home is a cat. Her name is Maple. She is an orange ball of hell fury. She was about three or four weeks old when she was “rescued” by my daughter. Maple’s mother was killed in some sort of woodpile accident, leaving behind a litter of puffy orange adorable orphans. My daughter, who can not even keep a cactus alive, decided to rescue Maple. This rescue was a questionable endeavor, as my daughter snuck the living animal into our home in her shirt. Surprise? The cat wasn’t old enough to eat food, or use a litter box, or hide quietly in a 16-year-old’s shirt. In my initial rage, I had planned on making my daughter take Maple back, but then I made the mistake of holding her and looking into her motherless eyes. And then, as you may have guessed, Maple used her devil kitten magic to put a spell on me.
Soon we were all her slaves, bottle feeding her, cleaning up tiny shits and punishing the dogs for even looking at her. Within two weeks, we would no longer need to scold the dogs for their clumsy curiosity and exuberance, as Maple quickly gained mind control over them. At the age of six weeks, Maple had the dogs trained to her specific requirements: both (a lab, and a Chihuahua) sat completely still as Maple psychotically groomed them, ate directly from their bowls and used their bodies as her personal chaise lounge. When we let the dogs out to use the facilities, she followed, did her business and forced them to play the lion game. This involves her hiding and waiting for them to pass by so she could viciously attack them.
She plays this game with us as well. Typically Maple spends the hours from 1 a.m. to 4:45 a.m. hunting humans. She will do this until one of us suffering from puncture wounds and sleep deprivation finally allows her outdoors so she can begin her morning ritual of serial-killing mice and strategically placing them in front of every exit in the house, and usually at least one next to the driver-side door of my car.
I know you are wondering why we don’t just shut our bedroom doors. Well, this tactic results in her knocking over every plant in our home, and if you EVEN consider leaving her outside for the evening, get ready for the desperate crying of a cat sitting outside of the window ALL NIGHT LONG.
We are all Maple’s bitches. She may or may not allow you to pet her on any given day, and she will expect you to visit her food bowl every time you enter the home, whether or not there is already food in it. If you leave a ball of yarn in a basket, she will shred it and lay an intricate string death trap throughout the house. She will tear through baskets and ziplocks and knock over anything that may even house a single piece of string. She has no interest in traditional cat toys — the only distraction from total destruction and world domination is my boyfriend’s beard. The beard can hold her interest for up to two minutes at a time. It is her favorite comfort item.
In an attempt to instill responsibility in my child, I had her take Maple to the vet for her shots. I did this to make sure my daughter kept her promise about being a responsible pet owner, and also because I am afraid of the consequences Maple would inflict on anyone responsible for her discomfort. I don’t know what kind of power this animal has, and I am not sure we have seen the full extent of her sorcery. What I do know is that my daughter came home with a subdued puff ball who rode to and from the vet’s office quietly in the front seat. The vet remarked that Maple was a remarkably well-behaved cat, and also extremely rare. Yes, apparently female orange barn cats are rare and exotic. Maple knew this all along, and being a rather young, orphaned ruler, she had to use unconventional methods and violence to secure her spot on the iron throne. The question that was left hanging in the air, was …
…When do we get her fixed? Do you cut off the orange bloodline of such a rare and magnificent creature? Do you allow her to fulfill her destiny as the matriarch of a pride of orange kittens? If she had kittens, would she kill them in order to maintain complete dominance? She may not be comfortable with the idea of an heir who would perhaps usurp her.
Weeks passed, months passed, and then Maple started getting fat. Apparently sometime this spring, Maple found herself a lover and became pregnant. I have never met the father, or even seen him, so for all we know it could have been divine impregnation. Nevertheless, she was slower, nicer and spent more time eating than destroying.
The recent heat coupled with the pregnancy was hard for Maple to handle. Her servants had to bring her a bowl of water so she didn’t have to get up from in front of the fan. Weeks of this and no kittens. We were beginning to think that Maple had just become depressed and obese and was faking the pregnancy to secure more food and preferential treatment.
Then on Aug. 2 at 3:45 a.m., I felt a presence in the bed next to me, Maple was licking my face. For a moment I thought she was having one of her nightly human torture sessions, but there was no claws or teeth involved. I picked her up, took her to the “nest” we had made her for her impending litter and set her down. Ten minutes later she was incessantly licking my face. Of course, my bearded companion was oblivious to the obese she-cat molesting. I shook him: “Something’s wrong with Maple. She won’t stop licking me. Maybe she’s going to have kittens.” I once again attempted to move Maple, and this time she let out a sound like a demon being purged from a human soul. The bearded man woke, the dogs began howling. The decision to move her to the floor was made without her consent.
It was there on the floor that Maple gave birth to four full orange blood kittens. She insisting that we stay with her for the entire three-hour process, which involved her lying on the bearded man while giving birth, cleaning up each kitten, returning to the beard and beginning the process again. This is truth, and it was magic.
Maple now has her pride, all orange, all magnificent. What happens next is up to the queen.
Hand of the Queen