Category Archives: Fiction

Oh hey!

Several people pointed me at this story from the Daily Press in Victorville, CA. They probably did so because of this story that I wrote a few years ago. My story’s online, and free for you to read. Share and enjoy!

Storyteller Collab: Cat Tree

Storyteller collab:
CAT TREE

(© 2002 by Richard S. Crawford)


Write a story in which the character stays in one place. It could be in a room, or in a car (the car qualifies as "one place", even though it may be moving), or hanging out in jury duty, for example.

Wow.

Really. Just… Wow.

It just keeps on spinning. It doesn’t spin any faster. And it doesn’t spin any slower. And it doesn’t even fall from the ceiling. It just keeps kind of spinning. Around and around and around and around. It kind of reminds me of that bird I saw yesterday out that window over there: the one that kept spinning around and around on the ground. I don’t know what he was looking for.

I could have taken him. Yeah. If I’d felt like it.

But this thing here, wow, it just keeps spinning and spinning and spinning. If I wanted to I could probably just… stretch… out… my… paw… and take it down. Bring it right here. Sniff it. Taste it. Maybe even rub my cheek against it and make it mine.

Yeah. If I wanted to.

The neat thing about it is how it makes everything up here much cooler. Not so hot. It’s like a breeze, and it’s really pretty cozy up here.

One of my lieutenants saunters in and leaps up to the second shelf, just below me. Scratches his claws on the sisal wrapped around the trunk for a few seconds, a proper show of respect. I’m annoyed because I was having fun watching the spinning thing and thinking about falling asleep but I don’t feel like showing how annoyed I am.

The lieutenant settles in and relaxes, stretched out a bit, and starts to purr. His ears are flat back on his head, though, and his whiskers are low, and his tail is twitching. I decide to let him twitch for a few moments before I finally ask him for his report.

"Things are going swell!" he blurts out, a bit more anxiously than I would have liked. But he’s young. He’ll learn. "Reports are coming in from all over the world that things are just about ready for us to move and get going with Stage Three of the Great Plan.

I purred loudly, but I kept staring at the spinning thing on the ceiling. How did it stay up there? "That’s excellent news," I told him, yawning and stretching. "When can we start moving?"

My lieutenant purred even louder. "Any time now," he said. "All you have to do is just tell us when."

I was feeling so good that for a moment I thought I’d go into the hallway and get a fishie treat, but then I thought that it was probably too much effort for the middle of the day. I needed to conserve my strength for my afternoon nap, after all.

"Go ahead and start the operation," I told him. "And spread the word everywhere that our time is at hand!"

The lieutenant leapt off of the cat tree and wandered into the bedroom, where the other cats were gearing up for the afternoon nap time. I heard him meowing their orders at them, and purrs of assent from the others. Soon, I knew. Soon.

A few hours later, I woke up. I heard doors opening downstairs, and I knew that the humans who owned this house were home. Too late! Frustrated and annoyed, I yawned and snagged some of the carpeting on the cat tree; my lieutenant rushed in and sratched frantically at the sisal rope.

"What happened?" I demanded.

"Naps happened!" my lieutenant reported. "Just like yesterday and the day before! We all fell asleep. There are just too many sunbeams on the bed!"

I couldn’t bring myself to growl at him. It seemed like every time we got so close to world conquest, this would happen. Perhaps it’s just our inner cat nature. Who knows?

"Don’t worry too much about it," I told my lieutenant. "We have them as good as conquered anyway. Tomorrow we’ll try again."

But my lieutenant didn’t answer. He was too busy getting pets from the humans. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day, as the humans like to say.