A Cat Named Cocoa
by Aaron Steinmetz
Cocoa hopped on his bed and quietly stepped around his sleeping form with cat-like agility, something that came very naturally to her. She stepped her paws on portions of the mattress she knew wouldn’t stir or rustle him to consciousness and slowly, patiently worked her way to his face. After carefully setting her rump down on the bed next to him, she slowly pulled from his nightstand the small black bottle, the one with the skull and cross-bones on the side.
“What are you doing?”
Cocoa dropped the bottle which clanged on the floor, and began purring loud.
“No, no, none of that,” he said. “What were you doing in my night stand?”
Scratching her chin with her extended claw, Cocoa looked all around the room before finally saying, “I, uh, thought I smelled some catnip in there.”
He wasn’t buying it. “Yeah, you know I go nuts when I smell that.” Cocoa needed to find a new tactic. “It was the coyotes, they were chasing me again so I needed to get something to drink.” She smiled nervously. “You know, regain my strength.”
“That’s a bottle of poison, Cocoa. If you drink it you’ll die.”
“Really?! Boy, then it’s a darn good thing you woke up, ‘ey buddy? Woo-ee.”
“You were trying to poison me again.”
“No, no, nothing like that. I was just worried you might accidentally grab the bottle thinking it was a bottle of water and–”
He leaned on one elbow and said, “I’m tired of you trying to poison me in my sleep. Don’t you have something better to do than try to kill your master?”
“Oh I’m not trying to kill you…”
“The guy who took you home…”
“…you know, just give you massive stomach cramps and diarrhea.”
“…who nursed you with a bottle when you were too young and sick to drink on your own.”
“…and, well, death, it would be nice, but it’s not a requirement.”
“Cocoa.” He picked her slender, furry form up as he climbed out of bed and carried her down the hall to her kitty-house. “I’m going back to sleep now. I suggest you do the same. Stay in your little claw-house, get some sleep and your murderous impulses should be gone by breakfast.”
“All right, all right,” Cocoa replied as he set her down on the house. She slipped into the hole in the top and her voice projected from the inside: “What is for breakfast anyway?”
He disappeared into his room, shut the door and locked it. Inside the kitty-house, though, within the darkness through the main entryway two cat eyes popped open and one eyebrow rose. Cocoa silently exited the kitty-house and began working her way toward the knife collection, grinning from ear to ear. She hopped up on the counter and pulled the longest knife from the wood-block, which triggered the net which snatched her from the counter and forced her to drop the knife as it quickly shot her four feet above the counter. She dangled in the net, trapped, and growled in frustration.
“Good night, Cocoa,” he called from his room.
“Good night.” She sighed and maneuvered herself into a comfortable position within the net.
Aaron Steinmetz is the ‘word-renowned’ author of Sleepy P.I. and Highland High, two quirky comedies about a private investigator who doesn’t sleep until he closes his case. He also has a book of short stories out called Anomalous Confessions which, despite the pretentious title, is actually quite wacky. He is currently working on a third book in the Sandy Mantle Series, and a little something about a cat.