I didn’t think I was much of a Cat Person until I met Matilda. She’s an even worse Cat Person than I am, I thought. I laughed derisively. I’ve got to do something about my derisive laugh. And maybe start talking aloud.
Matilda was trying to scratch a sofa, and failing miserably. “She’s got no claws; that’s her problem,” I said aloud. Matilda turned and glared. “Oops, I should not have said that aloud,” I said aloud.
“Oink,” said Matilda.
“No, no, it’s meow. Cats say meow. Pigs say oink. We are not pigs.” I had been lapping up a bowl of milk and it was dripping from my chin like fatty tears of frustration onto my fur.
“Last time I checked, cats don’t speak English either, Mr. Smarty-Pants. I mean, meow,” another Cat Person named Eliot said. He had me there.
I decided to go back to drinking my milk and minding my own business. The only thing worse than a bad Cat Person is a know-it-all hypocrite Cat Person. That was Cat Person 101. And it was the reason I was here in the first place.
We were all stuck on this deserted island, outcast like the unworthy Cat People we were. The mad scientist Dr. Moreaurles had created us, along with dozens of other animal-human hybridizations. For his crimes against nature, he had been exiled to a deserted island. For our failures to be perfect crimes against nature, we were exiled to an even more deserted island. We were exiled by an exile. So yeah, I didn’t count pride amongst my virtues.
Anyhow, Matilda wasn’t so bad. It was kind of cute, how she mixed up her animal noises. Sometimes she’d wander over my direction and look me straight in the eye and go, “Moo!” I don’t know. There’s just something endearing about a Cat Lady going, “Moo.”
I tried to escape the island once. I drew up great big plans, with rafts and explosives and costume changes and a musical number about memories and moonlight. It was all intricately thought out and time-consuming, and I was ultra-secretive about it. No one knew. But I ultimately shelved the notion of leaving. Because what would I do if I escaped? Live in your world, where I would be a bad Cat Person who stuck out, as opposed to fitting in here? What did I hope to accomplish?
Also, when I was just about ready to go, to really leave and start my life over as, I don’t know, a bad Cat Person accountant or something, Matilda wandered over to me, playing with a catnip mouse. And she looked me in the eyes with those huge, cat pupils. It was as if she knew I was going, even though she had no way of knowing. But there was a longing there, in those round pupils. And she asked me to stay, in her own inimitable way.
She said, “Quack.”