As she sat on her couch staring worriedly at her cat Dana had to admit, lycanthropy did have its up sides. Being virtually inexhaustible for one thing, she could run for miles longer than she could before, could push herself harder than any of her peers. She really didn’t have a handle on the whole enhanced strength or speed yet, but her reflexes were honed to a razor’s edge. Her new senses, she had eventually decided, were the most important part of her new existence. Most of the time she found they just got in the way. They would heighten at seemingly random moments, her hearing suddenly increasing so that music that was at a perfect volume before became deafening. All at once a smell that had once been simply disgusting suddenly became fascinating to her in its complexity and she found herself nose down in someone’s garbage can snuffling away like a blood hound.
All those awkward moments had suddenly become worth it when her heightened senses and new animal instincts saved Mr. Piddles’ life.
The cat mewed pathetically and half heartedly batted at Dana’s hand when she scratched him behind his ears. Mr. Piddles was probably feeling really wretched now but the medication she had ground up into his cat food should -had better- fix him right up. The Vet had told her it had been close, three or four more days lost and the kidney infection would have caused permanent and probably fatal damage. The little cat’s life had literally been saved by a matter of days. By the time Mr. Piddles had shown any obvious outward sign of the illness it would have been already to late and she might have lost him. Dana’s enhanced senses had alerted her early to the animal’s distress. Tiny alterations in his mood and behavior that only an animal understanding would have been able to detect, the most subtle variation in the cat’s vocal pitch imperceptible to normal humans, and even the smell of his urine had all set off warning bells in Dana’s head.
Yes, she had taken a second whiff of her cat’s pee, no she was not proud of it although she was now glad she did it. She couldn’t imagine life without Mr. Piddles. It was nice having someone to come home to, someone to talk about things so private she couldn’t even discuss them with Alice. It was nice having someone who listened to her without feeling the need to belt out snarky retorts.
“You do realize you’re on the fast track to becoming a crazy cat lady, right?” Alice shouted at Dana from her bathroom. Alice was there to pick up Dana, they were going to meet Shane at Tina and Bette’s house.
“Don’t listen to her Mr. Piddles. She just doesn’t understand our love.” Dana cooed to her long time companion who pivoted his head and glowered at his food and tummy scratch dispenser with a look that she read as “stop baby talking me you feeble minded little peon, it hurts whenever I take a piss”. Dana often imagined Mr. Piddles would talk like a comic book super villain with an English accent if he could talk. She didn’t know why.
“I’m just saying, you should keep a one cat limit until you get a girlfriend.” Alice said as she flushed the toilet and went about washing her hands and freshening herself up. Mr. Piddles hunched his shoulders and hissed menacingly towards the bathroom, as though furious at Alice for even suggesting that his pet Dana would ever dare bring another cat into his domain.
“Don’t worry, Mr. Piddles. You’re the only cat for me, yes…” Dana said, stroking the cat’s head. Appeased, the feline uncoiled from Dana’s lap and slipped onto the couch beside her, slinking off to burry his head into the throw pillow until the shape changers were gone and he had full run of the place, as was his right.
“Sooo…” Alice said as she emerged from the bathroom and walked up to Dana’s couch. “How you doing?” She asked as she spun on her heel and collapsed next to Dana. Mr. Piddles was not amused at the sudden vibration and leapt to the floor and scurried into Dana’s bedroom, planning on doing unspeakable things to Dana’s bed sheets in retribution once she left.
“Umm…” Dana said, eyes shifting from the left to the right. “Good?”
“That’s…good.” Alice said, but despite the air of nonchalance she put forth she couldn’t restrain herself any longer. Her plan, to segue from small talk into the larger issue crumbled in the face of her own impatience.