A couple days ago a package arrived in the mail.
I regularly order products and tools for the shop and both Beastly and I are expecting a couple of items from various woodworking supply houses in the lower 48. So, naturally I figured the package was one of the ones we were waiting on.
The package was a standard large soft postal envelope, covered in paw prints, with globs of cat hair stuck in the packing tape. Strangely the package extruded a spicy, herbal odor. It was addressed to my cats, Sitka and Kenai (AKA Stupid and The Fat One, in that order).
I was, of course, immediately suspicious as I am of any item connected to anything even vaguely feline.
Hmmm. I poked the package dubiously. Nothing, no response. It was inert.
As I examined this unexpected arrival, listening intently for ticking noises or fuse ignition, biohazards, or gas emission, I had the sudden intense feeling that I was being watched. Glancing around, I realized that both cats were observing my every move with keen interest and eyeing the package with fierce feline curiosity.
Odd, neither cat had ever expressed such interest in the mail before.
"Well?" said I, sternly. "What have I told you two regarding use of the postal system?"
Both eyed me intently and remained silent.
"I better not find out that you guys have been ordering stuff off of the Internet again," I admonished them.
Stupid blinked mockingly. The Fat One wiggled his whiskers in an amused sort of way.
"Think I'm kidding, you little fuzzballs?"
The cats feigned studied indifference.
"Seriously, if there's another unauthorized charge on my credit card for tuna or frozen mouse pops you two are in deep dog shit."
The Fat One yawned. Stupid eyed a piece of fuzz on the carpet intently. Neither appeared the least bit intimidated.
"It's like this, you eunuchs, I've already had your balls cut off. I'll have no problem whatsoever cutting off other bits should I find it necessary. Do we have an understanding here?"
Ah, I could see that last comment had struck home. The Fat One's tail was twitching, and a large clump of Stupid's hair suddenly fell off and was floating freely in the air currents. They remembered, oh yes they did.
I flipped open my pocket knife, carefully making sure they could both see the sharp edge, and slit the envelope open.
Both cats moved closer.
The hair began to rise along the nape of my neck. The day took on an ominous darkness. From the TV, tuned to Animal Planet in the other room, came the unmistakable opening bars of When Animals Attack.
Well, hell, I knew the job was dangerous when I took it.
I carefully emptied the contents of the package onto the counter, reasoning that if it was indeed an explosive, Anthrax, or Dick Cheney the little bastards would have safely distanced themselves. Anything dangerous enough to take me out would kill them too, and that was acceptable. I would die a martyr to evolved monkeys everywhere. I would have both of their furry souls as servants in simian paradise for all eternity. Bawahahahahaha!
A fuzzy blue bundle, a small pouch of what appeared to be dried plant leaves and a note tumbled onto the kitchen island.
My curiosity piqued, I reached for the note.
And the cats sprang into motion. Stupid bit me on the ankle and as I turned, knife in hand, to deal with his sudden, but expected - always expected - treachery, The Fat One leaped onto the counter and snatched the contents of the package.
I had only a momentary glance at the paper as they both beat a hasty retreat, a cryptic message signed with the ominous feline monikers, Skulker and Orphelia. I have no idea what it said, but it can't be good.
Later in the day a new blanket appeared on top of the cat house in my den. It's a soothing blue decorated by a small square pocket in the middle, covered in smiling cat pictures. To my eye, the little cat smiles are full of mischief and evil malignancy.
See for yourself:
Shear unadulterated evil.
They're organized, the cats, to a higher degree than I would have thought possible considering their lack of opposable thumbs and tiny, pea-sized brains. They've taken over the postal system and they're up to no good.
I distracted both cats with a couple of catnip mice and retreated from the room.
If you need me, I'll be clutching my water pistol and hiding in the kennel with my dog. The cats, they're not taking us alive.