The Cat’s Pajamas by Robert Vaughan

I was drawn to his checkerboard hair: half-leopard/ half-Mohair. Surly, cheeky, sarcasm oozed from his lips. He’d call me Farrah to get a rise. I pretended I didn’t like it, but any attention was better than none.

When he called me a pussy, I punched him. So hard it hurt my hand.

How I ended up in his bed seemed an entire life in one smooshed week. His two cats, Rat Boy and Martha were clueless, too.

His skull was nearly perfect, like a newborn, the way his ears parenthesized his face perfectly. Utter dome-dom.

It all started when he bought my leopard nightie.

After he’d score the occasional night shift, I’d pace, roll across the rug, clawing air.

I’d spit at Rat Boy and Martha. They’d cower, growling under the sofa.

I’d lick my entire body, starting with my hands, then head to toe, following their lead.

Eventually I became one, slept all day, twitching by night. Between naps, I’d sit at the picture window, track flights of birds.

Lure them to our feeders. Fatten them up.

.

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21 Comments

Filed under Robert Vaughan

21 responses to “The Cat’s Pajamas by Robert Vaughan

  1. guy

    Male human? Female human? Cat? Something else? Nice use of ambiguity. I love the ending.

  2. Completely insane in the best way a story can be. Love the transformation or was it there all along?

  3. Robert, what a lark. I don’t think that I could vomit nearly as much as my cats do though. Thank you for sharing this gem.

  4. Funny! And thought-provoking under the layers… Thanks!

  5. good one! it seems there’s something new happening these last couple of pieces or perhaps i only notice it now, in your writing. it’s very engaging and i love the flow.

  6. Tina Barry

    Love this.

  7. Thanks for the comments everyone! I appreciate it!

  8. Theo

    I have a feeling I know who the checkerboard hair reference is in this one. But I also know how annoying that is for writers, too. Suffice to say this is over-the-top fantastic.

  9. Cynthia

    This story is edgy and strange in the best sense of the scene created here. Just a great walk into some wacky world, and for that, a ton of thanks!

  10. Wallace

    I read this at Fictionaut first and loved it there. What a great fit for the theme this week at 52/250.

  11. The ambiguity works nicely in this one!

  12. Surrealism rocks everytime. Love it. great work.

    And ‘Rat Boy’ got a laugh. Exactly the kind of name I’d love to give a cat.

  13. Quirky and surreal stuff. Love the metamorphosis/transmogrification. The last line is killer. Peace…

  14. i agree with marcus. your writing is getting more complex and intricate and i like it.

  15. John Riley

    This is funny and a little ominous at the same time. What a title. I really love that title and how the story literally creeps up on you. It pulls you back to reread. Well done.

  16. carol wobig

    Way to go, Robert. How do you come up with this quirky, wonderful
    flash?

  17. Nicolette Wong

    Sweet, subtle little piece.

  18. Catherine Davis

    CAT PEOPLE redux in a flash, and much more fun. Love hissing at Rat Boy (yes, great name!) & Martha. ‘The way his ears parenthesized his face perfectly’ – what a terrific observation. The move in the second half of the this piece has me completely captive. Capturing and captivity being key operatives here. So, just perfect: ‘Lure them to our feeders. Fatten them up.’ Yes, yes.

  19. Claudia Nash

    This is really fantastic, the word choices and the way it flies into unexpected turf around the time the nightie comes into the story. What an imagination!

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

  21. Robert — you really captured that elusive annoyed aloofness particular to felines…not all, but some..this one for sure. The identity ambiguity reinforces it all perfectly.

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