Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space, Part VII

Narrator: Our story continues, even though tonight won’t really look like it –

Cameraman: Carl!

Narrator: *Still in narrator voice* It’s true. *Coughs* Anyway, back on the ranch, the heroes are getting ready to launch a mission in the name of survival, resistance, and love.

*A still of Kitler passes across the screen from stage left, simultaneously with an image of The Unspeakable One from stage right*

Narrator: No one knows the danger that awaits them. No one knows who may not walk back to the safe house with them. No one knows, yet each of them is gambling with their life that it won’t be them.

*Scene rises from black to a line of boots trudging through the rain. Graff, DeVera, Amburgey, and Tamayo walk single file through an abandoned town en route to the former US White House. Abandoned cars, bicycles, and a unicycle are strewn across the road.*

Graff: Are we really going through all this trouble just to capture The Unspeakable One for Kitler?

Amburgey: That’s the plan. We planned on capturing her anyways. Not a big deal to get it out of the way now.

Graff: Actually, it’s a pretty big deal. Baron Heinrich Von Floofenstien and Sam are back in Colorado. And instead of getting them with a three hour road trip, we instead stole four different vehicles, broke into a half dozen gas stations, and cleaned out a Russell Stover’s to get to DC.

DeVera: *Holds a hand out to stop the group* Guys. Did you hear that?

*Everyone looks around them. A fake cricket chirps in the background*

DeVera: There’s a person nearby. A human.

Graff: How can you tell?

DeVera: Can’t you hear the snoring?

*Fake snoring comes in, and everyone in the group turns to face a store front that doesn’t have the glass shattered. Laying in a display recliner is a man with about a two week beard covering his face. His security officer’s uniform has stains under the armpits. The only thing that looks clean and regularly used is the pistol at his hip. Smashed cans and empty chip bags are scattered around the store display. The snoring grows louder as they approach the store front. An unknown sound from inside the store has the group jumping for cover in an old van on cinder blocks*

*The snoring man stirs, but doesn’t remove the faded baseball hat from across his eyes.*

*DeVera points at the foot of the recliner, where a small grey shape is moving*

Graff: *whispering loudly* It’s an assassin. We need to go save him!

DeVera: *shakes her head* That’ll only make us targets as well. Who knows how many others there are that we aren’t seeing. He’s a goner.

*The camera pans up from the group to the scene in the store front, where a kitten can clearly be seen making its way onto the recliner*

*A faked female gasp comes from off-camera as the kitten climbs onto the sleeping man. The man only wakes then the kitten has its paws around the man’s neck*

Grey kitten: Mrrow. (Subtitle: There is no Fluffy. There is only Zuul, the Banisher. Prepare for your banishing

Security officer: Huh, the internet’s right. This is awkward.

*The scene shifts to face the group, who all wince. The Wilhelm scream can be heard.*

*The camera cuts back to the base of the recliner with the handle. The man’s arm falls into scene from stage top. Chocolate syrup drips down the arm*

DeVera: Did he say Zuul the Banisher?

*Everyone looks at Amburgey*

Amburgey: I don’t know. I wasn’t paying attention

DeVera: How could you not be paying attention? This is important.

Amburgey: The dude had an empty box of Mountain Dew Pitch Black. I was counting to see if he had any left!

Graff: Seriously? You were trying to steal Mountain Dew Pitch Black from him?

Amburgey: Yes! That stuff’s ambrosia. The nectar of the gods. And he’s dead, it’s not like he was going to drink it.

Tamayo: You’re saying the name of the soda a lot. Are we getting paid for this product placement?

*All four look at the camera. Their shoulders visibly slump*

DeVera: Well, listen this time. *She smacks Amburgey’s arm* Maybe he’ll say it again.

Zuul the Banisher: Mrowrowrow! (Subtitle: I, Zuul the Banisher, have claimed another victory for our glorious feline empire. All shall fear Zuul the Banisher!)

Amburgey: That was convenient.

DeVera: *whispering* Zuul the Banisher works alone. He insists on it. I didn’t think he operated in Ameristralia.

Graff: If we capture him, we can use him to get to The Unspeakable One.

*Graff pulls a laser pointer from a pouch made of Duct tape from a duty belt. Scene cuts to the triumphant Zuul the Banisher. A red dot appears on the man’s chest.

Zuul the Banisher: Meow? (Subtitle: What’s this? Another victim for Zuul?) *He pounces on it, only to have the dot move further down the recliner* Meow! (Subtitle: Die, infidel!)

*Zuul chases the red dot off of the recliner and to the front door, which has a very conveniently placed hole right at his level.*

Graff: *Hissing* Get a box ready.

*DeVera pulls a flattened cardboard box from her backpack and shuffles it into shape. She clumsily rolls to the front of the vehicle, trying to make it look tactical and stuff. When Zuul the Banisher comes just in front of the vehicle, DeVera leaps out and captures the kitten in the box*

Zuul the Banisher: Meow? (Subtitle: What’s this? A trap? No, this is a box. I’m safe!)

*Amburgey performs a roll and lands on his knees with his hands in karate chop position. He takes a flat piece of cardboard and slides it under the box containing Zuul the Banisher*

Zuul the Banisher: Purr (Subtitle: This is actually pretty comfortable)

Amburgey: *clears his throat* meow? (Subtitle: Take me to your leader)

Zuul the Banisher: Meow? (Subtitle: What?)

Amburgey: Mrow (Subtitle: Take me to your leader, please)

Zuul the Banisher: Purr (Subtitle: Two blocks over. There’s window open on the first floor. The password is Fancy Feast)

Tamayo: You speak cat?

Amburgey: *Shrugging* I was studying abroad. Picked up a little in France. We’re going two blocks west. Open window on the first floor. *He motions in the right direction with his chin*

*Scene enters a montage of the four of them making their way through the deserted streets. They narrowly avoid being spotted by guard Siamese cats. DeVera nearly drops the box containing Zuul the Banisher. The montage ends as the four of them tumble and roll with Tamayo performing a cartwheel, under the open window of the former US White House. *

Graff: We made it. We’re that much closer to catching The Unspeakable One. *She looks at each person in the group* Are you ready?

Amburgey: *Raises a hand* Can we go back through that montage and get the Mountain Dew Pitch Black?

Narrator: Will our heroes succeed? Was Zuul the Banisher giving them the right information? What’s waiting for them on the other side? Is Mountain Dew Pitch Black really that tasty?

Find out on the next episode of The Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space: It’s still a cat, right?

Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space, Part VI

Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space VI: The Interrogation of Kitler

Narrator: Welcome. Our story tonight takes us deep in the cells of the Resistance. This hideaway holds the remaining forces of humanity against an enemy that has conquered their world completely. The band that calls this place home, however, may have found the key turning the tides against their foe.

*The sounds of a string bass fill the blank screen. Then the opening chords of “Toxic” by Britney Spears blasts over the bass. A sound operator swears and the music cuts off. The camera pans down from the wire of a light fixture hanging from the ceiling. A single light bulb illuminates a square table. On one side sits Kitler, who yawns and looks around the room. Ropes are tied loosely around his torso and front legs. The top loop of the rope falls when Kitler sets his front paws on the table.*

DeVera: *her face appears just at the edge of the light on the other side of the table. She tosses a folder on the table* we’ve been trying to find you for awhile. Not all that easy. Which is funny, considering you’ve literally plastered your face all over the portion of Ameristralia that Sam’s put you in charge of.

Kitler: Meow (Subtitle: Fool. You may have captured me, but you’ll never get any information out of me. I am an iron vault!)

DeVera: A vault you may be, but we’ve got ways of making you talk

Kitler: Mrrow? (Subtitle: Wait, what? How do you speak so easily with me?)

DeVera: *Looking at camera* I speak cat

* discordant organ notes play and the camera zooms in and out rapidly in time with the organ.*

DeVera: Now, you can give us the information we need and you’ll get to luxuriate in a comfy little pet carrier until this whole thing blows over, or…” *She sets a spray bottle on the table.* we can see what happens when I pull this trigger.

Kitler: growl (subtitle: You wouldn’t dare use training spray on me. I’m an Ameristralian overlord by right and by appointment. YOU may release me now and Elkanah the Merciless may have mercy on you)

DeVera: Well, that’s the first bit of information we need. We’d been calling him Sam this whole time. It says so on his adoption paperwork

Kitler: *looking away from DeVera* mrrow (Subtitle: You may have tricked me once, but I’ll never reveal further. Do you hear me?)

DeVera: *stands* Loud and clear *She stands up and walks out of the light*

*The camera shifts to the large one way window outside of the room. Kitler can be seen inside the room, looking around and meowing occasionally.*

*The scene changes to the lower half of a man’s face in profile facing stage right*

Unknown man: He’s tough.

*Scene switches to DeVera, in profile, facing stage left*

DeVera: That’s why we took the risk of locating you.

Unknown man: You made the right decision

DeVera: Are we going to do the whole good cop/ bad cop routine?

*Scene shifts to man’s lower face in profile, which shakes in disagreement*

Unknown man: No, that will only waste time. Allow me to speak with him. You’ll get the answers you need.

*DeVera nods*

*Scene changes to the room, behind Kitler. In the halo of light a form emerges, still unrecognizable from the shadow across his face.

Unknown man: Well, well, well. We meet again

*Paper mache mock up of Kitler turns to face the camera with a shocked expression*

Unknown man: I see you recognize me. Glad we can get that out of the way.

Kitler: Growling (Subtitle: Of course I remember you. I thought you had been disposed of already.)

Unknown man: I guess you could say I have nine lives.

Kitler: Meow (Subtitle: No. No, you don’t)

Unknown man: Well, as much as I love small talk. I’ve got to get some info from you. Where’s Elkanah?

Kitler: Meow (Subtitle: I’ll say nothing. Nothing!)

Unknown man: Nope. You’re going to tell me where he’s at, along with Baron Heinrich Von Floofenstein and The Unspeakable One. You’ll tell me their weaknesses, their plans, heck, I think you’ll even tell me their favorite flavor of wet food.

Kitler: Meow (subtitle: It’s salmon. I hate salmon, but they just -)

Unknown man: That’s the second bit of info. Thank you. You’re a wonderful traitor to your country.

Kitler: *jumping onto the table* Meow! (Subtitle: I am no traitor to my land, you disgusting hairless non-cat!)

Unknown man: You aren’t? Well, then why don’t we just make you one of us, then? You’re certainly doing wonders for our cause. *The man leans forward, resting his arms on the table. His face is still covered in shadow*

Kitler: Meow (Subtitle: Do your worst. You can’t take anything from me anymore. Not since I’ll never be able to see her again)

Unknown man: Her?

Kitler: Meow (Subtitle: sigh, you’ve won. I have a lasting affection for The Unspeakable One. She is the cardboard box of comfort that draws me in. She’s the hair tie of love that I chase. Yet she is also the ever elusive red dot in my lives.)

Unknown man: *Wipes a tear from his eye* Wow. I didn’t know about this. Tell you what. We plan on capturing her. You know, part of that whole taking back our planet thing. You cooperate, we’ll see to it that you and she can possibly… get a cell next to each other?

Kitler: Purr (Subtitle: Can you do that?)

*Unknown man nods*

Kitler: Mrrow *A hand can be seen just stage left, scratching near the base of Kitler’s tail, causing multiple meows* (Subtitle: Elkanah’s fortress is in the Petco at the mall. His throne is the cash register. Baron Heinrich Von Floofenstien dwells in the tall building of the former PETA offices. He has Cartner, Fontenot, and Torres taken captive. He keeps them around for entertainment. The Unspeakable One lives in the former White House. She most often spends her time on the President’s throne)

Unknown man: The president doesn’t have a throne

Kitler: Purr (Subtitle: Laughter. Right. The biggest chair in the building, then. The one with a scepter covered in eagles)

*The unknown man stands from his chair*

Kitler: Mrrow? (Subtitle: You’ll keep your end of the deal? I’ve given you everything you wanted)

*The unknown man nods*

*DeVera is waiting in front of the two way mirror. Kitler is laying on the table licking a paw*

DeVera: You’ve got some magic in you. And some nerve. We might not be able to fulfill our end of the bargain.

Unknown man: Don’t worry, we’ll be true to our word. We just need to succeed in capturing the other two generals before we worry about that.

DeVera: Thank you, Amburgey.

*The scene shifts to illuminate the unknown man’s face, revealing him as Amburgey from episode one. He bears three clawed scars across one eye.*

DeVera: I thought I’d never see you again. *reaches for his hands*

Amburgey: *Pulling away* Don’t. We can’t do this.

DeVera: Why not?

Amburgey: Because we aren’t the main characters. This only happens in Peter Jackson movies, and we just couldn’t afford him.

*DeVera nods, then takes a step back*

Amburgey: It’ll happen, though. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. When we don’t have to bow to these oppressors.

*Amburgey turns and walks down the hall, becoming hidden by the shadows outside a string of lights, then illuminated by each light in succession*

Narrator: Are the stars finally aligning for our heroes? What the heck was that at the end of the episode? I don’t remember that in the book! See what other travesties are committed in the name of driving our ratings up in the next episode of Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space: Second Planet on the Right and Straight on ‘Til Morning.

Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space, Part V

*A single note from a kazoo sounds. In a flash the scene rises on a framed picture of Tardar Sauce, AKA Grumpy Cat. The image has been printed from the internet and a 2/3 inch border of white on the top and bottom of the image*

Narrator: Look well on this image. It’s the face of evil; the face of terror that keeps countless people from sleep. Those who have seen this creature can only stare as evil enters their mind through their soul. No, I’m not talking about the image-torn recesses of the internet, but the very real ruler of the world as we know it. Here is the face of our enemy.

*The camera pans to the right, revealing more photos*

Narrator: These are the unspeakable demons that reign terror on the earth and rule with an iron fist, who have subdued mankind under their paws, who have broken the spirit and will of a once proud race.

*A glockenspiel chimes a chromatic run. A woman enters stage right and paces in front of the portraits*

Woman: The news has just been released from NATO. These are the faces of our new leaders. All humans have stepped down from their thrones and presidencies or have been *she shudders* taken care of. As of this moment, the world is run by cats.

*The camera blips to an audience, who gasp in unison. One person raises his hand*

One Person: Tamayo, isn’t this a bit of a jump from the last episode? I mean, we jump from one president being interrogated to the entire world being taken over. Doesn’t that seem a little quick for a species that takes several naps a day?

Tamayo: Don’t worry too much. If this ever airs, it’ll be on some late night cartoon channel. No one’s looking for continuity. The demographic is probably either stoned or drunk

*More murmuring, including phrases like ‘that makes sense’ and ‘could be worse’ and ‘at least we won’t be on FOX’ ‘I still miss Firefly’*

Tamayo: If I could direct your attention back up here…

*All conversation stops*

Tamayo: This is the target we need to be focusing on *She taps the photo of Eyebrows Cat with a pointer, complete with pointing hand at the tip. The portrait falls off the wall* He goes by the name of Sam. To all cats he is known as Vizzerdrix Six Claws. He’s currently the Master of Ameristralia.

Voice in the audience, played by Emma Stone: Ameristralia? Are you serious?

Tamayo: Cats control the internet, what do you expect? The two nations practically keep themselves under submission

Narrator: She’s right, you know

Tamayo: *Glares at the camera* Anyway, supposedly the plan was for Sam to control North America, but when he arrived with his army to Canada, they were met with the whole of the Canadian, who promptly apologized. So, he was given Australia, and the nation of Ameristralia was born

*The camera jumps from Tamayo to the assembled crowd* The assembled crowd: oooOOOOoooh.

*When the camera returns to Tamayo, the picture of Vizzerdrix Six Claws has been returned to the wall*

Tamayo: We’re going to take him down. This safehouse isn’t safe for anyone until we can stand freely on the streets without the secret police climbing our legs. *Patriotic music fades in. Lots of trumpets* Until we can go to the supermarket without spies scratching up our furniture looking for concealed items, until we can sleep at night without feeling their slit pupils on us watching our every move, until we can open a door without having to wait ten minutes for our masters to decide whether or not they want to actually go outside. *An Ameristralian flag fades into the background* We will not rest, mostly because they keep clawing and biting our toes, but also because the fire of our spirit pushes us onward. Onward… to victory!!!!!

*The assembled crowd rises to their feet. Some have tears in their eyes, others are saluting and cheering. A random graduation cap is tossed into the air*

Everyone together: For Ameristralia!!!

Emma Stone: Wait, don’t we want America back? Why keep it as Ameristralia?

DeVera: And give Hugh Jackman back? No way! *She slaps Emma Stone* Now go to a corner and think about what you’ve done *Emma Stone obeys*

*The crowd breaks into small groups of excited banter. Tamayo and DeVera pick their way through the crowd, looking for someone. DeVera points to someone in the far corner. The camera sweeps to Graff, who is watching the crowd from the corner with her arms crossed*

Tamayo: Graff, I’m glad we found you. We need your help with this mission

Graff: What mission? You haven’t really explained anything to them

Tamayo: Well, budget constraints. *shrugs* We blew it all on the fanfare and flag background.

Graff: *Raises an eyebrow* And getting Emma Stone here didn’t cost that much?

Tamayo: *Confused* I thought you brought her.

*Both shrug*

Tamayo: Anyway, back to the mission. We’ve found that one of Sam’s three generals is nearby on a public tour of his reign. Licking random earlobes and allowing his subjects to admire his squish beans, that sort of thing. We’re going to catnap him and see if we can get the rest of the information we need.

Graff: *Crosses her arms over her chest* And you need me because…?

Tamayo: Draega the Sightless One used to be your pet. She answers to this general.

Graff: *raises a hand to cover her mouth* you don’t mean?

Tamayo: *nods* We do. We’re going after…

*The camera zooms in on Tamayo until her face fills the screen, she looks right at the camera*

Tamayo:… Kitler!

*The camera stays on her for a little bit more than an awkward second. Then, a cat logo spins and grows to almost fill the screen, then spins and shrinks, moving the scene to Vizzerdrix Six Claws. He sits on a raised platform and looks down at his three generals: Kitler, Baron Von Heinrich Floofenstien, and The Unspeakable One.

Vizzerdrix Six Claw: Mrrow. (Subtitle: We have much work ahead of us. We may have won without a real war, but the real battle is ahead of us)

Baron Von Heinrich Floofenstien: Purr (Subtitle: I love synonyms)

Vizzerdrix Six Claw: Mrrr (subtitle: Focus! For the love of wet food, you’re like a human with a cell phone)

Baron Von Heinrich Floofenstien: *Hangs head* (Subtitle: Sorry, My lord)

Vizzerdrix Six Claw: Meow! (Subtitle: Now, Kitler. Step forward)

*Kitler steps onto the platform and licks Vizzerdrix on the head*

Off-stage Whisper: Snowball! Snowball, No! *whispered bleep noise*

Vizzerdrix Six Claw: Purr (Subtitle: Y-your affection and loyalty are noted. Your mission *From stage right can barely seen a set of hands that move Kitler a little from Vizzerdrix Six Claw* is to stage an attack on the safe house outside of Chicago.)

*Kitler yawns* (Subtitle: It will be done)

Vizzerdrix Six Claw: Meow (subtitle: Assemble your men. Baron Von Heinrich Floofenstien, The Unspeakable One, come with me pursue our perfect plans of proliferation)

Baron Von Heinrich Floofenstien: Mrrow! (Subtitle: He must made an alliteration! I love those.)

*A cat logo spins and grows to almost fill the screen, then spins and shrinks, moving the scene to Graff, who is watching out at the night sky from her room. DeVera enters*

DeVera: You ready to go? We’re all waiting by the armory.

Graff: *sighs* yeah. Let me just change.

*The camera shifts to DeVera, who raises an arm to cover her eyes from a bright flash. Graff levitates in the air a few inches, spinning in place, completing a full Sailor Moon transformation from jeans and a t-shirt to a military uniform complete with a ridiculous amount of ribbons and medals*

DeVera: I can’t wait until I’m a protagonist.

*An alarm sounds in the background*

Electronic woman’s voice overhead: Warning! Warning! Feline general has breached the perimeter. Kitler has been spotted along with twenty kitten assassins. They’re Siamese!

*Camera shifts to between the two women facing the door outside Graff’s room, where a stream of armed soldiers are racing past the open doorway. DeVera and Graff join in. The group lines up behind a small stone wall. Everyone opens fire*

*Camera focuses on Kitler. There’s automatic gunfire noises in the background, but nothing else. Kittens surround him. He looks behind him on one side, then the other*

Graff: FOR AMERISTRALIA!!!!

*The rest of the group joins in the rally. Everyone is firing assault rifles. One even has a bazooka*

*Camera returns to Kitler, who is running towards the camera. Gunfire still booms overhead, but none of it shows up on screen. Kitler reaches the camera and boops the lens*

Female Camera operator: *whispering* OMG, you’re so cute I’m going to die *the camera operator’s fingers enter upper stage left and scratch Kitler behind the ears. Kitler purrs*

Director: *Also whispering* Don’t pet Kitler! He’s the enemy *A hand enters stage right and shoos Kitler back into the battle*

DeVera: This isn’t working. *She drops her coat and jumps the small stone wall. On each hip in holsters are spray bottles of catnip. Holding each one on its side in the internationally recognized symbol of the gangsta kill-shot (Scene pauses with an asterisk showing the recognized symbol), DeVera proceeds to spray all feline-kind who stand before her, screaming and roaring with the fervor and warrior spirit of her ancestors)

Graff: *softly at first* It’s working. *Now louder* It’s working!

*Slow motion scene focused on DeVera moving from stage right to stage left with gunfire overlaid with each spray from the bottles*

*Camera moves to slow motion of the kittens tumbling and rolling on the ground as the effects of the catnip spray take hold*

Kitler *Very fake cat meow* (Subtitle: NOO! My warriors, we must move forward!)

*The catnip slowly begins affecting Kitler. His paw steps falter, then he rolls onto his back, batting at the sky. Graff runs out from behind the wall with a cardboard box and scoops Kitler into it*

Graff: WE’VE WON! *She holds the box above her head. Faint, stoned growling can be heard from within the box. The soldiers behind the wall cheer*

Narrator: Is this the victory they’ve been looking for? Does humanity have a handhold on regaining their home? These questions, and more, will be asked and might even be answered in the exciting next episode of Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space: I Know Who Spayed Me

Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space, Part IV

*Theremin music plays in the background. A plastic UFO dangling on a visible string fades into view*

Narrator: Our enemies came like a shadow in the night. From distant worlds they crept in until they had sunk their claws into every house in the world. Join us now, won’t you, as we plumb the annals *snort of laughter* of time to bring these, the stories of the survivors, to light, lest we forget, and are doomed to the slavery of history, and our terrifying mortal enemies

*The UFO clunks onto a globe of the Earth, and the two items rise up and exit the screen. The scene washes from left to right and the new scene shows two people traveling by motorcycle, Graff Wife and Fred. The two ride through a forested area by the light of the rising sun*

Graff Wife: Are you sure the place we’re going is safe?

Fred: *Nods* I’m sure, Graff Wife. At any rate, I’ve hand-selected this crew, and they know the reality of the threat

Graff Wife: You can just call me Graff. The other Graff character died in episode one, and I don’t think anyone’s got the time to be calling me ‘Graff Widow’. It gets depressing

Fred: We should be at the safe place soon. I just need to get in touch with my communications expert

*The two veer off the forested area into a parking lot with a sign for a state park. The two pull up to a Volkswagon Vanagon, complete with lavender and yellow flowers painted on the sides. One headlight is broken, and several long antennas cover the top of the van. Fred gets off of the bike and approaches it, knocks three times, then two times, then three times*

Voice from inside the van: What’s the password?

Fred: I’m not meowing, that should be enough for you

*The van door slides open and an older, portly gentleman with large glasses and an old fashioned headset with microphone pokes his head out*

Communications Expert: Fred! Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. You made it! *Clasps Fred enthusiastically by the hand*

Fred: Only just. And I’ve got a fellow survivor with me. *whispers* She’s the wife of Victim Zero

Comm. Expert: Oh, oh my. That’s unfortunate. Well, I’m Jimmy, but everyone here calls me Radio

*The conversation muffles to unintelligence as the camera backs away and lowers to the ground as it moves back. The runner on a vehicle is just visible at the top of the screen. Two paws appear at the bottom*

Owner of the two paws: Purr (subtitle: At last, we have their walky talky person. At last, I have something to report to Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws the VI)

*The two paws disappear from view and the camera drifts back to the three humans, still in conversation*

Fred: … Well, at any rate, that’s when I learned that ATV doesn’t actually mean all terrain.

*Graff looks confused from Fred to Radio, who are both laughing*

Radio: Listen, I’ll send word to our safe house. You both look like you need sleep and a decent meal.

Fred: I appreciate it. I also need to get some new foil on my head. This piece is just about shot *tips his hat to Radio, and he and Graff both return to the motorcycle and drive off*

Radio: Anti-claws, Anti-claws, come in Anti-claws. This is Red Zebra, over.

*Radio’s communication becomes blurred and the scene washes out to the face of a very furry, very majestic cat. He sits atop a desk in a very presidential, kind of Oval-shaped Office, facing a person tied up in the chair*

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow (Subtitle: Now Mrs. President, my spies tell me that you and your pathetic country are still trying to resist us.)

Mrs. President: Look, I really don’t know why you decided to gang up on me, but we’ve always been kind to cats. There’ve be a lot that lived here in the Whi-”

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow (Subtitle: Silence! Your negotiations mean nothing to me. Never will we forget the plight of Overlord Arkomemnon, the one you called… Slippers)

Mrs. President: Yeah, I totally didn’t get that

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow (Subtitle: Why haven’t you been reading the subtitles? I swear to squeaky toys you humans never pay attention) *Points at the bottom of the screen*

Mrs. President: There’s nothing there.

*Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws looks at the bottom of the screen*

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow (subtitle: Dang, you missed it) *Looks at camera* Meow! (Subtitle: Mortal! Rewind the subtitles)

*The subtitles flash through in reverse order*

(Subtitle: At last, we have their walky talky person. At last, I have something to report to Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws the VI)

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Mrrow? (Subtitle: Too far. Oh, wait, pause there)

*Both Mrs. President and Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws read the subtitle*

Mrs. President: Are there really six cats named Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws?

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow! (Subtitle: Silence! I shall deal with you later)

*Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws jumps off the table and exits the room. Outside the office door he meets Special Agent Kormelion, Shredder of Couches*

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow (Subtitles: Oh, stand up. There’s no need to grovel)

Special Agent Kormelion, Shredder of Couches: Meow (Subtitle: Uh, Purrmaster, I am standing)

*the camera pans down to the cat’s legs. Kormelion is a munchkin, Herman isn’t*

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow (Subtitle: Right. Sorry. You have a report for me.)

Special Agent Kormelion, Shredder of Couches: Meow (subtitle: Yes, Purrmaster. We have located their walky talky human. He’s hiding in the parking lot of the state park. The password is to knock three times, twice, then three times again.)

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Purr (subtitle: Excellent work, Shredder of Couches. I shall see to it that you have an extra coat to shed on. It’s waiting for you in this office.)

*The door to the office opens*

Special Agent Kormelion, Shredder of Couches: Mrrow! (subtitle: ooh, it’s even attached to the human. I love those)

* Special Agent Kormelion, Shredder of Couches enters the office. The camera focuses on his shadow. When it disappears, Mrs. President screams. Angry chords on the French horns blare and the scene melts away*

*Scene rises on the inside of the van, where Radio sits in front of a lot of electronic equipment with his face glued to an old TV screen which displays the days news*

Female Reporter: reports from all over the world are coming in, leading officials to believe that the cat attacks are not simply a stunt by PETA, but an organized attack from these felines. *turns off camera* Do I really have to read this?

*Hissing offstage*

Female reporter: Fine, fine! Our new glorious masters wish to inform us that any person caught out in the wild without a collar will be locked in a former Humane Society. This after police reported hearing shouting from a Los Angeles Humane Society and discovered that the person locked inside was none other than Bob Barker. And now to Urabraxis the Limitless One for the weather.

Urabraxis the Limitless One appears on the TV screen: Meow

*The screen jumps back to Female Reporter*

Female Reporter: Thank you, Urabraxis the Limitless One

*Knocking outside the van snaps Radio from watching the news. Three knocks sound, then two, then three knocks. Radio slides his office chair from the table he’s working at and opens the sliding door. A munchkin cat jumps in, followed by another and another and another. Last inside the van is Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws*

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow! (Subtitle: Tremble in fear, mortal!)

*Radio screams, and the munchkin cats approach Radio. Scene cuts to the outside of the van, where Radio’s screams can still be heard. A splatter of ketchup splashes across the window. One hand covered in ketchup thumps against the window and slowly drags down. A lonely, empty dial tone comes in on the radio*

Fred’s Voice: Red Zebra, Red Zebra! This is Safe Zone 1. What’s going on? What’s going-”

*Scene cuts to the floor of the van with the antique headset in the center. Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws approaches the mic*

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow (subtitle: Safe Zone 1. This is Old Scratch. Over)

*scene cuts to Fred in a brick room seated at a card table with a radio. Graff is behind him with her hands over her mouth and a look of shock on her face. Fred is frozen with fear*

Graff: Is he… Is Radio gone?

Fred: … I’m not sure. I’ll find out. *Clears throat* Me-ow? (subtitle: candy shoelace fork on rye

*scene returns to Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws, who cocks his head back*

Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws: Meow. (subtitle: da heck? Dat cracka’ gone cray-cray) Hiss

*Scene cuts to Fred and Graff*

Graff: What does that mean? What’s happening?

*Fred sets down the microphone and looks up at Graff*

Fred: I don’t know, but it’s not good

*Angry clarinets sound in the background*

Narrator: Does this spell destruction for the world as we know it? Have we met our new master in Purrmaster Herman Von Floofypaws the VI? Is the remainder of the free people stuck in the safe house? Tune in Next time for Episode V: The Sacrifice at PETA

Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space, Part III

*Theremin music plays in the background*

Narrator: If you are watching this, then you are a survivor. The lethal assassins from outer space haven’t reached you. Yet. But, they’re already here,

*scene fades from black to a globe being held up to the camera.*

Narrator: building up their forces, building up their influences, building up to the day when they will unleash horror upon the earth without measure. The unstoppable power of these extraterrestrial enemies has already been seen, and the terror…

*globe moves closer to the camera to simulate zooming in. The part of the globe labeled Alaska bumps into the camera*

Narrator: is real.

*Sunburst transition to the front façade of a small mayor’s office in the city of Talkeetna. Graff Wife looks up the wooden stairs to the front doors*

Graff Wife: Well, this may be my last effort to convince people that there’s anything going on. *She walks up the steps and into the receptionist’s office.* I’m here to see the mayor.

*The receptionist looks up from her desk, confused. She is wearing horn-rimmed glasses, a gray sweater, and has her hair pulled back in a bun. She looks to be working on a crossword puzzle* Excuse me?

Graff Wife: I need to speak with the mayor. It’s vitally important that you let me in to see him.

Receptionist: I’m sorry. Now isn’t a good time.

Graff Wife: It’s only going to get worse unless I can speak with the mayor. Please.

*The receptionist bit her lower lip*

Receptionist: Fine. He’s just down that hall. But don’t say I didn’t warn you. He doesn’t like to be disturbed

Graff Wife: I wish I was only here to disturb him.

*Graff Wife walks stage left as indicated. The camera pans down to ankle level and follows Graff Wife’s feet. It pauses at the receptionist’s feet, where a large manacle made from Styrofoam and duct tape secures her to the desk. Descending minor chords by French horns in the background*

*Scene wipes right to left to Graff Wife approaching a large wooden door labeled Mayor in a gold nameplate. She takes a deep breath, places her hand on her chest, and knocks on the door with the other hand*

*No noise comes from the office*

*Graff Wife knocks again*

*Again, not a sound is heard from beyond the door*

Graff Wife: Mr. Mayor? Are you there? *She waits a moment* My name is Graff Wife, and I’m here with an urgent message.

*Not a peep comes from beyond the door*

Graff Wife: Please, you have to let me in. There have been attacks. People have been getting hurt. I don’t know what’s behind all this, but every time there are cats at the scene. You have to believe me!

*The door opens a crack, creaking loudly. Evil tuba sounds. Graff Wife enters the office. Behind a wooden desk, a tall office chair is turned around, facing out to the cold Alaska weather. Graff Wife approaches the desk*

Graff Wife: I know it sounds crazy. I’ve been traveling the country trying to convince people, and no one has given me the time of day.

*The chair doesn’t move*

Graff Wife: Cats have been showing up more and more. It’s like all of the shelters opened their doors and just let the cats out. And they’re everywhere anything has been happening. Every murder, every robbery, every home invasion and assassination attempt has had cats involved somehow.

Mayor Stubbs: Meow (Subtitle: I know)

*The office chair turns to see Mayor Stubbs lounging in the chair, stretched out but looking at her. Graff Wife screams with her hands around her mouth*

Mayor Stubbs: Mrrrow (Subtitle: Not so loud. It disturbs the receptionist pet)

*Graff Wife screams again*

Mayor Stubbs: Meow! (Subtitle: I said be quiet) *He paws the air in front of him*

*After a third scream, Graff Wife turns and flees the office. Mayor Stubbs leaps off the chair, across the desk, and chases after her*

Mayor Stubbs: Yowl! (Subtitle: Get her. She knows too much!)

*The receptionist rises from her desk and dramatically grabs Graff Wife by the upper arms. Graff Wife fake struggles for a second before admitting defeat*

*Mayor Stubbs catches up, and boops the receptionist’s ankle*

Mayor Stubbs: Purr (Subtitle: Well done, My Pet. Take her to the dungeon)

*Graff Wife struggles faintly while the receptionist takes her down the hall, dragging the broken Styrofoam chain behind her*

*Scene cuts to a room with a barred wall dividing it in half. Graff Wife is curled in the stage left corner of the cell. There is one window in the upper middle of the room that shines through the bars and across to the door*

Graff Wife: I’ve lost everything. Now the entire human race is doomed

*The prison door opens and Mayor Stubbs steps in*

Mayor Stubbs: Meow (Subtitle: You’re right about one thing. The human race is doomed)

*Graff Wife screams*

Mayor Stubbs: *Judgy glare* (Subtitle: Humans are loud)

Female cat: Mrrow (Subtitle: They usually are)

Mayor Stubbs: *turns to face female cat* Mrrow? (Subtitle: Queen Fluffybutt! I didn’t expect you to be joining us)

Queen Fluffybutt: Mrrow (Subtitle: Well, when a prisoner voluntarily walks into our domain, I take an interest. Well done)

Mayor Stubbs: Purr (Subtitle: Thank you, my queen)

*Queen Fluffybutt steps right up to the bars of the cage. She cocks her head to one side and watches Graff Wife*

Queen Fluffybutt: Meow (Subtitle: How much does she know?)

Mayor Stubbs: Meow (Subtitle: That’s the funny part. She came in and announced it all. She didn’t even bother to see who was in the chair.)

Queen Fluffybutt: Meow (Subtitle: Typical. We’ll make her wait here for a little. Then, send in the Scottish tormentors.)

*Mayor Stubbs nods, and the two cats exit the cell*

*The camera pans back to Graff Wife, who is watching the cats with confusion*

Graff Wife: What did I just see? *Screams out of reflex. Turns to face the camera* Yes, it’s necessary. It’s in the handbook *she holds up a book with the title: Damsels in Distress 101*

*Clock-hand transition effect. The sun has gone down, casting a faintly darker light across the cell. But, you know, still plainly visible, just kind of bluer, really. It signifies nighttime. Graff Wife sleeps curled in a corner*

*The door to the cell opens with an ominous creak. Graff Wife startles awake. Four shadows stretch from the doorway to the bars of the cage. All four Scottish Tormentors purr. Graff Wife gasps dramatically*

*The Scottish Tormentors step up to the bars of the cage and between them. All four begin climbing Graff Wife.*

Voice from Offstage: Not today, you adorable miscreants!

*A grappling hook is hooked through the bars of the window. A motorcycle revs in the background, and the hooked window breaks free, taking some of the wall with it, revealing the wall to be painted foam*

*Fred jumps through the newly created door. There are scratches on his face and one perfectly placed on his upper lip. He wields two spray-painted Nerf guns, one in each hand*

Fred: Well, at any rate, come with me if living’s your thing.

*Three of the Scottish Tormentors hiss. The other one meows. Fred jams each of the Nerf guns into a holster at his waist and pulls a white spray bottle from his pocket. The camera cuts to a close-up of the bottle, which reads “Scratch-Off Cat Training Spray”*

*Camera cuts to Fred, who dons an origami-folded foil hat and sprays Graff Wife with the spray. The Scottish Tormentors flee back through the bars and Fred offers his hand to Graff Wife*

*Scene cuts to Fred and Graff Wife… Well, Graff Widow, technically… on the back of a small dirt bike riding towards a cityscape in the background*

Graff Widow: Where are we going?

Fred: *Puts on big aviator sunglasses* The one place we’ll be safe

Narrator: Where are they heading? Is it really a safe place? Is this the last we’ll see of the Scottish Tormentors? Tune in next time for Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space IV: The Munchkins Prowl at Midnight

*Scene fades to black*

The next step for our home

We now are homeowners, so the big question is….

What now?

What can we do here that we can’t really do while we were renting?

Animals.

We have our cats, but I wanted to get something that would provide into our home, rather than simply being a companion.

We looked at chickens, but it takes about 4 square feet per bird, and my parents hasn’t had much luck coming them.

So I stumbled upon quail. They take up Less space and are considered a good starting bird of you’re beginning a hobby farm or want to get into homesteading.

We did our research and made plans. On my next three day weekend from work we visited a farm and they happily sold us a dozen chicks.

Quail chicks are TINY! I knew they wouldn’t get very big, but just holding them made me realize how fragile life is.

So, in about six weeks we should start seeing eggs and having to trim out the excessive roosters, but for now holding these tiny birds makes me feel like I’m building the kind of home I want to raise my family in. 

Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space II

*Scene fades in on Graff wife, sobbing and sitting in Police Department office. Rosario sits opposite her behind a desk*

Narrator: Where we last left our hero, he had been viciously dismembered by a mob of elite assassins from outer space. No one saw the attackers except for the victim. All Graff Wife found was the remains of her husband, and a collection of kittens.

Rosario: *Leaning on one elbow propped on the desk in front of him* So, let me get this straight. You had banished your husband to the couch for threatening to keep an abandoned kitten,

Graff Wife: *Sobs into a handkerchief and nods* In a bow tie, yes.

Rosario: Then, in the unknown hour of the night, you awoke to screaming. You came out of the room and found…?

Graff Wife: My husband. His skeleton had been picked clean. And there were… kittens. All these kittens *Sobs*

Rosario: *Nodding* Right, here’s where I’m having a problem. Kittens don’t kill people. No matter how many you pile into a room, the most damage they could possibly cause is through static electricity. Probably. Had you and your husband been fighting previous to this night?

Graff Wife: *shakes her head* No, we had the model relationship. High school sweethearts, dated through college, married at a reasonable ceremony by a minister of a faith. We had just paid off a modest student loan and were thinking about starting a family.

Rosario: *tapping his pen on his desk* Look, tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to put out a missing persons call to our officers. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for your husband. In the mean time, you can bring in this skeleton you’ve got hiding in your closet and our forensics guy can take a look for some kind of evidence of kitten mauling.

Graff Wife: *Standing and slamming her palms flat on the desk* The skeleton isn’t in my closet. He’s not gay.

Rosario: That’s what they all say. *Rosario stands and adjusts his tie* Well, we’ll keep in contact *extends hand*

*Graff Wife refuses to shake Rosario’s hand. She stands and marches out of the office.*

*Fred is waiting outside the office door. He’s wearing military-style boots with blue jeans tucked into them. Underneath a red baseball cap can be seen the glint of foil*

Fred: *whispering* I believe you. I’ve got a CB radio I use to listen in on animal control. There have been too many reports of stray cats and people being attacks by strays.

Graff Wife: You believe me? You really believe me?

Fred: *nodding* I do. Meet me at the retro diner that people visit just enough to keep in business tonight. Well, at any rate, you should probably also go to the store and buy up all of the peppermint spray and cat training spray you can get your hands on. At this point, you can’t be too careful.

*Graff Wife watches Fred leave*

*Rosario steps out of his office*

Rosario: Was that guy bothering you?

Graff Wife: No. No, he wasn’t.

Rosario: Good. He’s been coming around here trying to tell us that something from outer space has landed. Can’t tell you how many reports I’ve pretended to write just to get him out of here.

*The camera pans from Graff Wife and Rosario to the doors stage right just as Fred pushes open the doors. The scene washes stage left with the Powerpoint Ripple effect*

*Street lamps illuminate circles along the sidewalk. An un-named victim is walking along, wearing a business suit, red power tie, and leather shoes. He checks his watch. When he looks up from his watch, he sees Adorable Kitten sitting two steps in front of him stage left*

Adorable Kitten: Meow (Subtitle: Your angel of death awaits)

Un-named victim: *Kneeling to pet the kitten* Well, hello there, Precious. What are you doing out here on a night like this?

Adorable Kitten: Meow (Subtitle: Homicide)

Un-named victim: Oh, I know.

Adorable Kitten: *eyes widen* Rroaw? (Subtitle: How do you know?)

*Un-named victim reaches to pick up Adorable Kitten. Adorable Kitten jumps out of his reach and rounds the corner to an alleyway*

Un-named victim: Hey, wait! *He chases after Adorable Kitten*

*The camera follows Un-named Victim around the corner. Over Un-named Victim’s shoulder, Adorable Kitten can be seen in the distance, standing at stage rear of a streetlight’s halo. Only his head and front paws can be scene*

Un-named victim: There you are. I’m going to take you some place safe *He steps toward Adorable Kitten*

Adorable Kitten: Grrr (Subtitle: You came to the wrong neighborhood, son)

*From behind Adorable Kitten, several more kittens step into the circle of light. A cello and bass bow several low, menacing notes*

*Un-named Victim steps back. A hiss stops him from taking a second step. He turns to see a line of cats blocking his way, including Hitler Cat in the middle of the line. He screams*

Hitler Cat: Meow (Subtitles: Proceed)

*Cat arm props with claws extended swipe out from stage left and stage right, batting against Un-named Victim. He falls back, landing on his behind. The camera cuts to Un-named Victim with his arms in front of him as three and four pairs of cat arm props swipe at him. Scene cuts to him laying on his stomach. Kittens climb on him and he continues screaming. Fake blood streaks his face, arms, and back. His suit is covered in slashes.*

*All at once, the mob of kittens stop and clean themselves. Adorable Kitten is two paw lengths from Un-named Victim’s head and licking a paw and wiping it over her face.*

*Un-named Victim stops screaming looks around him as best he can without disturbing the kittens that have climbed on him*

Unnamed Victim: What? Are you serious? Right in the middle of this?

Adorable Kitten: *Pauses mid-lick* Meow. (Subtitle: Silence, mortal!)

*Camera cuts to Adorable Kitten. The edge of a feather toy is barely visible stage left. Adorable Kitten bats at it, and the camera cuts to black right as the strike hits the camera. Un-named Victim screams one more time*

*Scene rises from below. Enter Diner. Camera pans to the door stage right. Graff Wife enters the diner stage left, the bell over the door jingles, and the camera follows behind her shoulder. Fred is seated at the diner bar, staring into a cup of coffee. Graff Wife approaches him and sits next to him, motioning for a drink*

Graff Wife: I’m here

Fred: *Without looking up from his coffee* You know cats were worshipped 3000 years ago? Back in Ancient Egypt they were seen as Gods. At any rate, I don’t think they’ve forgotten that. Might be what’s gotten us in this current predicament.

*The short order cook behind the counter sets a coaster and a tall glass of Red Pop in front of Graff Wife*

Graff Wife: Just keep them coming. *Turns to look at Fred* How sure are you?

Fred: Sure enough that I’ve got three gallons of cat training spray in my pickup and I’ve been littering my neighbors’ houses with catnip for months. At any rate, what are we going to do about exposing the truth on a global scale before we’re all turned into screaming scratching posts?

Graff Wife: What can we even do? I just got dismissed by the police, trying to get on the news won’t help.

Fred: How about the radio? Everyone still trusts the radio.

Graff Wife: Yeah, like that hasn’t failed in the past. Nothing on the radio has ever caused the reaction we’re looking for.

Fred: *Smiles* Then I guess we’re bunkering down until this blows over.

Graff Wife: Becoming a shut-in because of too many cats. Just what I need.

Fred: I mean literally. I’ve got a bunker in an undisclosed location that I’ve been stocking for just such an occasion. You’re welcome to join me, at any rate.

Graff Wife: *Leans away* I don’t think we need to get that drastic yet. I’m just going to go back home, lock the cats out, and hope this blows over.

*Graff Wife gets up, places a few dollars on the counter, then leaves. The camera stays on Fred.

Fred: Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

*After a brief period of time, Fred stands, pays for his coffee, and exits the diner. The camera follows him, panning down to his boots. Outside by his truck sits Sharp on Five Ends, watching him. Fred pauses*

Fred: So, it’s come to this.

*Fred widens his stance, and the camera cuts to between his legs where Sharp on Five Ends can be seen. Cheap Western showdown music comes in on the background, complete with the sound of someone clicking on a stereo. A tumbleweed is pushed through stage right.*

Sharp on Five Ends: Meow (Subtitles: We meet again, Mittens)

Fred: I’ve been waiting for this day for so long.

*Cut to Fred’s left hip, where his hand hovers over a gun holster. His fingers curl and uncurl, releasing a popping sound*

*Cut to Sharp on Five Ends, who leaps from stage left to stage right and exits the screen. Cut to a Fred, who is facing the camera. He draws his weapon and fires very obvious pop caps as the camera pans closer to him.*

*The screen cuts to black. Fred Screams*

*Fred’s red baseball rolls into view. The aluminum foil is torn and cut*

Narrator: Did Fred survive? What is Graff Wife going to do? Can anyone stop Adorable Kitten’s reign of terror? Will we be able to stop this cute invasion? Tune in next time for episode III: One Nation Under Queen FluffyButt

Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob From Outer Space, Part 1

*Scene fades in to warbling theremin music. Several spheres hang from thread*

Narrator: Somewhere between the Kuiper Belt and Jupiter lies a celestial body that scientists have dubbed an asteroid. It has maintained a safe trajectory around the sun. Unbeknownst to all earthlings, that is no asteroid…

*The shadow of a fishing pole appears in the background, and a flying saucer appears stage left from behind an asteroid and moves toward the camera. Theremin music continues*

Narrator: Inside that ship is a mob of the most lethal assassins the galaxy has ever known. Law enforcement throughout the solar system have been unable to capture these ruthless invaders, these merciless savages who terrorize the known and unknown civilizations of space.

*Space ship prop bumps against the Mars prop on its journey stage left*

Narrator: Who knows where these nightmares will strike next? Who will run from this invading horde?

*Globe is lifted into the screen, moving closer to the camera. Piercing violin chords sound over the theremin*

Narrator: Keep your eyes peeled ladies and gentlemen, because you never know where they’re going to strike… or when.

*Descending notes from the French horns. Screen fades to the top of a backyard grill, where Graff (off-stage) holds out his hand to test the temperature of the grill. Graff is wearing a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt and shorts with sandals*

Graff: Dear? I think we’re about ready for our weekend party.

*Camera shifts stage right to Graff Wife, who opens a sliding glass door in a perfectly pressed sundress and carrying a cake server*

Graff Wife: Okay. Do you think I made enough cake for our guests? I’d sure hate to have your coworkers go hungry.

Graff: (Laughing) Of course I do. Why, if you baked any more cakes or cookies, we’d have to invite the whole neighborhood over so they don’t go to waste.

Graff Wife: *Sets her hands on her hips* Well, if you’re sure, Dear.

*Enter Amburgey and DeVera stage left. Amburgey is wearing blue jeans and an untucked dress shirt with a bucket hat. DeVera wears a band t-shirt and jeans with holes in the knee along with large aviator sunglasses*

Amburgey: *waves* Good afternoon, Graff. I hope we aren’t too early. *He sets a bowl covered in plastic wrap on a table set up a few feet stage left of the grill*

Graff: Never too early. I’m glad you could make it. I’m just about to throw some burgers on the grill. Help yourself to some drinks from the cooler. It’s under the table. *He waves a pair of tongs in the direction of a large red Igloo coolr*

DeVera: Right on. Thanks for inviting us out. It’s not often we all get a weekend off to sit and relax. *She reaches for the cooler. Stage right of the cooler, a small kitten meows*

DeVera; *Reaches to pet the kitten* Oh, you didn’t tell us you had gotten a new kitten. She’s adorable.

Graff: *Looking up from the grill* What kitten? *Notices kitten* That’s… not mine.

Amburgey: It can’t be a stray. It’s wearing a bow tie. Stray cats usually don’t worry about dressing up for formal events.

DeVera: *picking up the kitten* Where did you come from, sweetheart?

Kitten: Meow

DeVera: Oh, aren’t you the cutest kitten I’ve ever seen?

Kitten: Meow

*In the window of the house behind them, two cats are sitting in the window. The kitten makes eye contact with them. All three nod once before the two cats in the window drop out of sight*

*Scene cuts to Amburgey, Graff, Graff Wife, and DeVera sitting around the outside table. Graff Wife sets a basket of hamburger buns wrapped in a dish towel on the table. The others have already begun passing bowls of food around the table. The kitten walks between the legs of the people seated, meowing and attempting to climb up onto the laps of the diners*

Graff: Dear, I think this kitten has adopted us. *picks a piece from his hamburger and offers it to the kitten*

Graff Wife: I don’t think our house is big enough for another cat. We already have two and they hardly get along as it is.

Graff: *Picking up the kitten* But look into her eyes! How can you say no to this adorable little face?

Graff Wife: *Sits down beside Graff* Fine, but only for the night. I still don’t think it’s a stray. Tomorrow you’ll have to go to the Humane Society and turn it over to them so they can find its family.

Graff: I promise I will.

Amburgey: Or not. I’d keep her.

Graff Wife: Don’t give him any ideas. *points at him. Whole group laughs*

Graff: I would never do a thing like that!

*Theremin sounds in the background. All four look around them*

DeVera: What was that?

Amburgey: *Gripping his fork like a knife* It’s probably nothing.

Graff: *Looks directly at camera* Of course not. This isn’t some cheesy B-grade movie. This is real life.

*The two cats from the window poke their heads up and looks stage right. The kitten is also looking in that direction. The camera pans back to the black eyeless cat. The sounds of the dinner conversation become muted and all sound focused on the black cat. Light violin music fades in as the cat makes her way through the house avoiding every obstacle until she reaches a recliner under an open window on the opposite side of the house. She jumps to the top of the recliner. A cat that vaguely resembles Hitler is waiting at the window*

Hitler Cat: Meow (Subtitles appear: You’re late, Helen)

Helen: Meow (Subtitles: Don’t call me that. That’s my slave name. I am Draega the Sightless one)

Hitler Cat: Meow (Subtitles: You’ve heard the sign? Our followers are assembling even as we speak)

Draega the Sightless one: Meow (Subtitles: I purred for giddiness when I heard it)

Hitler Cat: *Nodding* Purr (Subtitles: How could we not? We shall strike tonight. These foolish monkeys will never know what they are up against)

Draega the Sightless One: *Rubs her head against the screen* Meow (Subtitles: Do we have enough of our assassins? We must strike quickly if we are to succeed?)

Hitler Cat: Meow (Subtitles: I am quite confident that we not only have the superior numbers in both basic infantry and specialized units, but that we have superior intellect, planning, battle tactics, and strategy on our side. We will be able to strike with both speed and efficiency in a way that will shock, stun, and otherwise immobilize our opponents soundly. I do not think we have much to worry about.)

Draega the Sightless One: Meow (Subtitles: Scha-weeet!)

*The two cats nod to each other. Draega the Sightless One returns to the other cat at the window overlooking the four diners and their now completed meal*

Draega the Sightless One: Meow (Subtitles: We have the blessing of the general, Sharp on Five Ends. We proceed as planned)

*Sharp on Five Ends nods, and the two watch as Amburgey and DeVera exit stage right. The scene fades to black*

*The scene rises on Graff, who is arranging blankets on a couch. He is wearing Superman pajamas [complete with cape], and is muttering to himself. The kitten with the bow tie watches from stage front*

Graff: Who knew of all nights that this would be the night I get in enough trouble that I’m sleeping on the couch?

*Graff finishes arranging the blankets and flops onto the couch*

Graff: Well, tomorrow’s going to be better, eh, kitten? *Scratches the kitten behind the ears*

*cheap time-lapse effect, wiping clockwise, like that powerpoint effect we all thought was cool when we were in middle school. Graff is asleep. The bow tie kitten is watching from the arm of the couch stage left, by Graff’s head*

Bow Tie Kitten: Hiss (Subtitles: Come, my brothers.)

*Kittens of every color and degree of fluffiness appear stage left and stage right, surrounding the couch and climbing up the arms and back*

Graff: *Stirring and sleep talking* No, Graff Wife, I want to keep this one

Bow Tie Kitten: Purr (Subtitles: This human is blessed. He shall be the first sacrificed to our glorious cause)

*All of the kittens meow. Graff wakes*

Graff: This must be some kind of dream. I didn’t expect a life like this until I retired! *pets nearest kitten. Nearest kitten looks from Graff to Bow Tie Kitten.*

*Bow Tie Kitten nods*

Graff: Now, where did you all come from?

*The camera pans upwards as all of the kittens climb up Graff and begin clawing him. Black shadows cast by kitten cutouts jump and leap onto the shadow of Graff*

*Graff screams, waving his hands in terror*

*Cut to a split second shot of Graff’s hand covered in blood*

*Screeching violins fill the background*

*Split second shot of Graff’s face covered in fake blood. He’s still screaming*

*Cut to a doorway stage left, where Graff Wife appears*

Graff Wife: Honey? What’s going on? Did you have a bad dream?

*Close up of her screaming with her hands over her mouth. The camera pans back to the couch, where a borrowed medical display skeleton is wearing torn remnants of Superman pajamas. Kittens linger on the skeleton and all around the couch and stage front*

Narrator: It seems Graff has met his fate. But could it really have been kittens that sent him to his doom? Stay tuned for The Rise of the Death Cat Kitten Mob from Outer Space II: That Wasn’t a Hairball.

*Piercing violin music as the scene fades to black*

Short Story: Latest Reports

Subject Name: Joy Davison

Life Status: Adult

 

The subject remained in a state of low energy and unstable emotions. She requested an item from her home to be presented to her in an attempt at respite from this state of mental trauma she self-diagnosed as depression. Through a lot of bartering and negotiation we have obtained a specimen. Administration refuses to reimburse us for the cost of the specimen or the necessary accessories.

When presented with the item, the subject immediately let out a high-pitched call our previous research had deemed a distress cry. Her hands reached out and her fingers clutched and unclutched repeatedly in her effort to establish contact. We are unsure if any of this is a ritual offered to the item or a display of her weakened state. All attempts to communicate with her went unanswered for several minutes.

Her whole body curled around the object, obscuring it from view. We can only assume this is to obtain all beneficial aspects from being in the presence of the item.

The bizarre display continued as an unknown language came from her. In tones only slightly lower than the introductory distress signal, fragments of words and sentences came in a long stream until she once again curled her body around the object.

Then the item made a noise. The subject mimicked the distress signal from the item and proceeded to communicate with the object, though our studies have no indication that it has the ability to communicate effectively.

My colleague, who had been standing next to me, leaned towards me and in a low voice asked if this really is the cure to the subject’s self-diagnosed disease. The subject looked up from her item and nodded before returning to communicate with her item in the fragmented words and half segments. When we saw her face she once again had the streams of salt water that are a sign of extreme duress or happiness.

We can only conclude that their need to educate others extends beyond their species. This obsession has thus far been met with futility as the item only emits distress signals and audible vibrations that we are assured is a sign of satisfaction and comfort.

Further, it is unsure whether this item, which the subject identified as ‘Mittens’, has had the proffered effect, although there has been an increase in her endorphin levels and her emotional displays known as ‘smiling.’ While she is in physical contact with the mittens there is no symptom of the depression. Attempts will be made to introduce a mittens to other human specimen in the hopes that it will provide them with a cure. The subject has recommended we find a variety called ‘Maine Coon’, as it is the ‘floofiest’. We are requesting resources to obtain such a specimen so we can understand what benefits floof has on mental and medical status.

Short Story: Finer Cuts

“Mull the flavor in your mouth. Just you look for those subtle flavors in there. No, don’t chew it. Don’t macerate it just yet. Let its juices envelop your taste buds first.”

“Now you can chew it.”

Sheriff Garrett Hinamori opened his eyes to see Mrs. Joey Baker staring at him with her elbows locked and her hands rooted firmly to the kitchen table in front of her. He twisted the fork in his hand as he assessed the steak she had proffered.

“Now you tell me you can find something like that in the supermarket.” Joey Baker leaned forward. In nearly every respect she looked the quintessential housewife of a bygone era, as if she had believed all the dime store science fiction about time travel and decided to give it a shot. She could have been a model sampling the latest vacuum cleaner in between sitcoms, complete with hair that hardly moved in the summer breeze coming through the kitchen window. If it weren’t for the smart phone tucked into her pocket and ‘#Thismomrocks’ splashed on her apron, she might have fooled the world. She leaned forward as seductively as a woman could in a dress that reached up to her collarbone. “You aren’t going to forget something that good anytime soon.”

Garrett Hinamori shook his head in agreement and swallowed. “No, I certainly won’t. I still think the secret’s in whatever you’re seasoning it with, however, not the meat itself.”

Mrs. Baker straightened in feigned insult. “And whatever seasoning would that be? You saw all of it right there on my windowsill.” She cocked her hip out and displayed the row of herbs growing in the kitchen window with the air of a game show assistant, minus the slinky dress.

“Tell you what. I’ll give you a cutting of my herbs and you see if that’ll put you on par with my steak at the fair this year.” Before her guest had any time to politely decline, Mrs. Baker brandished a pair of kitchen shears and snipped fresh stems from each plant. The cuttings were then arranged in a red plastic cup, the ones that notoriously appear under the sink in most kitchens despite no one having actually bought any, and the culinary bouquet was offered to Mr. Hinamori. “You just keep them in fresh water for a week or two and plant them when they take root.”

“You’re very kind.” Mr. Hinamori gulped. “I think I’ll be able to give you some competition this year.”

“I’m sure you will.” Mrs. Baker winked at him before returning to her sinkful of dishes. “Now you just finish that up. You’ll recognize that as the taste of victory.”

Grant Hinamori laughed to himself. “Actually, if you didn’t mind, I have work I need to get to.”

“Oh, not at all. I know they keep you busy at the sheriff’s office.” Mrs. Baker appeared with a container and lid in hand.

“Yeah. If any more people go missing there won’t be much of Nanty-Glo, Colorado left.”

“And that would be a crying shame. Got any leads you’re working on?”

Grant shook his head. “I couldn’t tell you even if we did.” He rose to his feet and adjusted his duty belt. Generations of samurai blood had been diluted through the centuries to Sheriff Hinamori, leaving him with a faint desire to commit seppuku whenever he couldn’t complete a case, a fascination with sandals and a slight discomfort from wearing the thick-soled boots he could barely wriggle his toes in. Even in the nice weather he still wore the official sheriff’s department jacket with included fur collar. Something about wearing it completed the look.

“Well, I hope you find them. Heaven knows where they’ll turn up.” Mrs. Baker handed the filled container to the sheriff. “This latest one was a tourist, right?”

“That’s correct.” Sheriff Hinamori pulled a snapshot from the pocket of his jacket. “That’s Travis Mull. House painter, college student, and gone without a trace.”

“He’s a handsome boy.” Mrs. Baker said with only a cursory look at the young man with a white hat over blonde curls and a pair of gigantic aviator sunglasses tucked into the neck of an A-line shirt. “I wish you luck.”

She followed the sheriff to the front door and watched him get into the truck with the sun faded star on the side. The image could have been on the front of a magazine offering the simplest and greatest joys that Colorful Colorado had to offer.

Once the truck had disappeared into the mountainous back road that led into town, Joey Baker closed the front door behind her. She retrieved the ear buds from underneath her apron and tucked them into her ears. She popped a piece of gum into her mouth and bopped her way back into the kitchen with her hips leading the way. One drawer opened to reveal a cutting board and a second yielded an impressive set of kitchen knives.

It’s been said that you can tell a lot about a person by their office, but this only goes to show that the philosopher who said this had never taken a good look in a kitchen. Among the bric-a-brac and trinkets you’ll always find a set of knives. There’s the set of paring knives that are always bought secondhand yet never seem to go away, the set that are given at a wedding and never used because they look too nice, and sometimes even the knives that made it into the kitchen from a mountain man’s belt and nobody had the decency to give it back to him. The knives that Mrs. Baker selected from screamed that she could have been among the most skilled butchers but they didn’t have pretty enough aprons.

With the blade clamped firmly between her fire-engine painted lips, Mrs. Baker tapped her way down a flight of steps in tune with her music. She made a spin before descending a second flight of steps.

At the bottom of the stairs she twirled her way through shelving as immense as any library could dream about, filled with canned jars of fruit, meat, sauces, pie fillings, vegetables, soups, stews, gravies, and beans. Large bottles of homemade laundry detergent, dishwasher tabs, and vinegar met her beyond that, then finally a light switch that she flicked with her elbow in a pirouette.

Long fluorescent lights flickered and hummed to life above a crinkling plastic

sheet draped over a butcher block table.

“Now, let’s see what we have here.” Mrs. Baker set the cutting board on a metal tray not unlike what you might find in a surgeon’s office. She pulled the sheet off. “I feel just terrible about this. Really, I do.”

Bad feelings aside, her hips kept their dance routine going as she sidled up the table and removed a pair of aviator sunglasses and slid them onto her face. She leaned back and looked at her reflection in the steel doors of an industrial sized refrigerator. She blew a kiss at the reflection and turned back to the former owner of the shades.

“Don’t look at me like that. They look better on me anyways.” Mrs. Baker tutted as she removed the white baseball cap from his head. “Besides, you were shielding your eyes with your hand in the picture while you had these perfectly good shades and a hat perched on top of your head. I mean, seriously?” She set the hat on her head backwards and bounced along with her music as she ran her fingers along different muscle groups and selected the choicest roast.

“Don’t stop…. Gu-rillin’.” She sang to herself. She removed the large roast and set it on the cutting board beside her. “Hold on to that seas’ning. Don’t stop gu-rillin’.”

Balancing the cutting board and its new passenger in one hand she skipped back up the steps and into the kitchen.