A while back I contributed a story about Misty the Cat as part of Chris Killen’s “The Cat Boat” series. Go here to find the complete index for the cat boat. I am listed as having written a story about the cat Misty. You may wish to read about the cat boat first so that certain things make sense. Any comments can be made right here on this post. I am posting the story bellow as well.
Misty sat alone at the starboard side of The Cat Boat. She stared blankly out at sea and wondered if the journey would ever end. She tried to block out the sound of Tunnel of Love that had been playing on repeat and of Charles Dickens’ hacking up yet another fur ball. She didn’t belong on this cat boat; she wasn’t like the other cats. Misty had a happy home with loving humans she controlled with an iron fist. Not unlike communist Russia. She should have seen it coming, but never in her wildest naps did she suspect her fall from grace.
It all started the day that new cat arrived. Black as night and slick as grease. The new cat was trouble. She weed everywhere until one day the humans couldn’t take it anymore and made the wrong decision to get ride of both her and the new cat. But even being waken from her cat nap and whisked away towards the building with cages, Misty knew she had to do something to escape what was sure to be her undoing.
Known for her vicious attacks, Misty carried out her most deadly of assaults on the human that carried her. With a great thrust she bit into his arm until her sharp teeth were in as far as they could go. As his grip loosened at the shock of it all, Misty sent forth a second round of attacks. This time with her perfectly manicured claws. All those hours of sharpening them up on those humans’ cane table had come in handy. Misty swung out repeatedly in precise motions. Blood spurted out from the gashes. She released her teeth from their death grip and the human swung out in pain and agony. Misty twisted her body into a perfect spin landing on the pavement below. Without a second to loose she ran, never once looking back.
The Boat rocked uncomfortably. Misty broke her stare to see what had caused the unsettling motion. Herds of cats ran haphazardly towards the arts and crafts table on deck. They began creating furiously what looked, from her position at least, to be representations of the Tunnel of Love. Misty almost puked. “Silly pussies,” she said to herself and resumed her stare out at sea.
The minute she arrived at the dock where The Cat Boat was set to sail from she knew she wouldn’t fit in. The other cats noticed it, too. They whispered and pointed at her. Some snickered and some gasped. But Misty was strong. She didn’t let this bother her. And besides, there was nowhere else she could go. When it was time to board the boat, her true disabilities began to show. She had to be helped on board by two other cats: The beautiful ‘Her Majesty’ and Jackie-O. They took pity on her, the odd one, the one that couldn’t make the leap on board the ship, the one without a tail.
But it wasn’t true, Misty was always quick to defend. She did have a tail, it was just very short. She was born with a stump and abandoned by her mother. Her humans took pity on her and loved her despite of her in ability to jump great lengths or balance on the end of furniture. That was long before the day. Long before the cat boat set sail.
Misty caught her reflection in the rolling pacific. She wasn’t an attractive cat at all as she once thought. Something else to be worried about on the cat boat. They were all cute and cuddly. Big balls of fluff full of color and grace, agility and stature. Not Misty. Ugly and grey and fierce. She was the one the other cats watched out for, avoided if they could. The outsider without a proper tail. She didn’t mind, she liked it this way. Misty preferred to be left to herself, quietly watching the ocean. But personal space didn’t come freely on the cat boat and sometimes one of the younger cats would have an accident and wee on the deck instead of the litter filled hull of the boat causing a horrific stench.
Occasionally while she was watching the sea a fish would come by and she would make attempts at catching it, but her lack of balance always caused her to stumble and miss. There were times she feared she would fall overboard and wondered in any of the other cats would save her.
As brave as she was and pretended to be, there were times Misty needed the other cats. She was terrified of thunder. Each roar would send her jumping. She hated it. It was those times she would seek comfort with Jackie-O or ‘Her Majesty’. The only cats she could call friends on the boat. They helped Misty a lot when needed. She had trouble doing her chores and either cat would pitch in despite having to do their own set. She was thankful for this. She was also thankful that they helped her carry the Christmas Pudding when it was her turn. She couldn’t do it alone. She was worse at it than Childleg—if that could be believed.
Still, she survived. As she knew she would. That was her life now. Drifting aimlessly, hoping one day the cat boat would reach its unknown destination and she, Misty, would find a place she could once again call home.