A little genderqueer slice of life for you.
by M D Flyn
“There’s something wrong with Booger,” I stared at my tiny gray tabby, willing her to move. She sat there in a furry ball, slowly blinking in her sunny spot.
“What’s wrong with her? She’s just sitting there. That’s what cats do.” Casey pulled their long legs from where they had draped themselves across my lap.
“She’s lethargic. Even more so than kitty usual. But she’s not sleeping.”
Booger closed her eyes but I could tell by the way she held her ears she was still awake.
“What do you mean she’s not sleeping? Isn’t that a cat’s favorite activity?”
I nodded and smoothed my braid over my shoulder. “Normal cats do. But my cat is a special snowflake. Maybe she has kitty insomnia.”
“What? Is that even a thing?”
“It is now. Just ask her.”
Casey stretched out on the floor, their color-of-the-week blue hair lit up by the sunlight from the window. They poked the cat with one finger. “Booger, do you have kitty insomnia?”
Booger twitched an ear and opened one eye, but otherwise did not move.
“See? She’s too tired to budge.” I heaved my legs up next to me on the futon.
“Isn’t she normally super mellow?”
“Yes, but this is different.”
“How do you know?”
“Moms just know.”
Casey poked her again, “Do you think we need to take her to the vet? That would be tons of dollars.”
“Hopefully not, she’s not getting sick or anything. In people a life change will mess with your system and sometimes cause insomnia. Maybe she’s got kitty stress.”
“Well moving in with my Boo-cat is the best thing that ever happened to her. She needs to chill.”
“We can try to make her so exhausted she’ll konk out.” I got up and shuffled my monkey-slippered feet to a pile of boxes in the corner. The one labeled “cat scat” had her stuff in it. I hauled out her scratching post and her catnip mat.
“Most likely we can find trash to throw at her and she’ll have more fun with that than any toys you find. We are talking about a cat here.” Casey dug a tiny piece of paper out from under the couch and bounced it off Booger’s head.
Booger didn’t even close here eyes.
I glared at Casey as I scooped Booger up, “Poor kitty witty, I’ll save you from mean old Casey. Casey-friend should be nice to poor stressy kitty.”
Booger snuggled in a ball as Casey stood up to hug us both. “Now, now. Don’t get your knickers in a twitch. I have her best interests at heart.”
I leaned on Casey. “Can you imagine an insomniac cat? Insomniac people are like normal cats.”
Casey petted my frizzy head with one hand and scratched Booger’s furry head with the other. “Well let’s give her quality time and see if she feels better.”
I pulled out her favorite feathered toy and tried to get her to chase it, but she didn’t seem to have the energy.
Casey rubbed my back, “Honey, are you sure she’s eating?”
“I think so. I fed her in the bedroom and locked her in to make sure Boo-kitty didn’t take hers. Half of it was gone.”
“Well that’s good. It’s a bad sign if they’re not eating. If we stuff her silly she might get sleepy. I sometimes give Boo-kitty a little vanilla ice cream for a special treat. Do you want to try that?”
“Ooh yes, she might like that.” I followed Casey into the kitchen. They fetched their ice cream out of the olive green fridge.
“I hope you appreciate that I’m sacrificing my vanilla bean for the health and well-being of your insomnicat.” They waved a spoon at me before dipping out a scoop.
“I appreciate your contribution to the cause,” I saluted Casey as I balanced Booger on my chest.
“Here kitty baby, try this,” they held the spoon under Booger’s nose. Booger didn’t move or sniff it, she sat like a lump in my arms.
“Poo. That didn’t work. If she was human we could give her chocolate. Not so much for cats. Have you seen her try to play with Boo-kitty?”
“No, she just watches him. It’s creepy.”
“Has Boo-kitty been different?”
“He seems confused by the new roommate thing, but he’s sleeping. Only crazy cats don’t sleep.”
“Thanks. Don’t listen to them, Booger.” I rubbed my chin on her soft head.
“So what do we do?” Casey jumped up on the counter.
“What are you, four, you can’t sit in a chair?”
“Ok, well maybe we should sit on the couch and snuggle her until the overabundance of love wears her out.”
“Hmm is that plan best for you or her?”
“Yes.” I turned back into the living room. I grabbed the catnip mat on my way to the couch. Then settled on the futon with the cat on my lap. I placed the mat over her head. She didn’t even twitch so possibly she was soaking in the ambiance.
Casey popped popcorn, grabbed a couple sodas, and joined me on the couch. They snuggled in to our happy pile.
“What should we watch? Sleepwalkers?”
“Nooo no creepy movies to scare my cat.”
“Oooh I know.” They clicked the remote and settled in to our cuddle.
The Adventures of Milo and Otis came on and I stretched out with Booger on my chest. She began to purr.
“See, she likes it.” Casey scritched her chin.
I murmured in agreement as the move caught up with me, making my eyes heavy. I drifted into a nap.
“Psst.” Somebody poked me in the side. “Look.”
I cracked my eyes open and saw that Booger was still curled up on me. But this time her chest moved in the slow breathing of sleep, her eyes closed in a kitty smile.
“Awww she likes you.” I reached out and held Casey’s hand as the movie played on.
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