Bastet on the Down-Low by Roberta Lawson


They rub her belly, tickle her ears. When she growls, they chuckle. In her head she’s roaring. “What a cute meow” they say. They smile when she rubs against their legs. “Get the fuck out of my territory” she thinks, pawing at a houseplant. Laps at a face, recollecting the tang of mouse blood, and begins to purr.


Her fleecy basket is the leafy belly of a tree. In her dreams she springs from the tree and roars. She is her panther self again, the self she always has been. Emerald eyes narrow, ears arch, and she breathes in: forest – prey – danger – existence – the hunt is all these is. Drunk on jungle-scent, she runs and smaller beings disperse in panic. Jungle is her terrain, her playground. Shaking her head back and forth she bites into captured birds with relish; paw-swipes, cruelty, hunger mingling. Shimmies trees, lunges at insects, kicks, fights, roars –-

“So cute” they say as she tosses in her basket.

She’s not cute. She’s free.


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Filed under Roberta Lawson

10 responses to “Bastet on the Down-Low by Roberta Lawson

  1. wonderful piece roberta, great inner dialogue

  2. I love the way you describe her point of view – an eye opener and … genius

  3. clever writing. great last line.

    your story is why cats scare me.

  4. I like the two different takes here, and yes, cats scare me slightly too. Your story illustrates why.

  5. I think this is my favorite story so far this week, so much left unsaid.

  6. Roberta

    Thanks Michael, Stella, Len, Robert and Ganymeder. Hehe Len and Robert: fear of cats is entirely sensible, and I’m sure they’d be proud to inspire it.

  7. Nicolette Wong

    wow, wicked writing!

  8. You can’t take the lion out of the cat. Loved this, loved the cat’s pov and her take on ‘cute’. Peace…

  9. Pingback: Week #26 – Animal behavior | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  10. Back now, I see I didn’t comment the first time. This story has stayed with me, and now I see it better, even. Love ‘tang of mouse blood,’ jungle-scent, emerald eyes, cruelty, lunging… rwaR! Cat pride, yes.

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