"brrrooow? brrrrooow? BRRROOoooW!"
My body clicked and creaked as I stretched out the kinks from several hours of reading in my ergonomically nightmarish position. I plodded to my bedroom not even bothering to change into my pajamas. I slid into bed and tugged the covers up to my nose. Images of teleportation and portable toilets swirled in my brain. Fur-mat circled three times, plopped down on my stomach and let out a huge cat-sigh. We dropped down into deep dreamy sleep.
I ran down the street with Fur-mat tucked into the bib part of a pair of overalls, one arm pressed across my chest to hold him steady. The soles of my boots slapped hard and loud on the asphalt. If the cat escaped from my grip I knew he'd be a goner. An owl flew behind us, screeching, growing larger and larger - not figuratively, but literally larger in size - with each flap of its silent wings. I looked ahead of me and behind me at the same exact moment. I pinned my eyes on the small building toward which I ran but also watched behind me as the owl gained on us, ready to steal the cat from my arms. Fur-mat scrambled as Strix somnium took up the whole sky. I clamped my arm tighter against the cat as my hand closed on the handle of the small building's plastic door. It was the only safe place; it would get us out of here. We had to get inside, right NOW! I shook and shook that door as hard as I could but it refused to budge. An alarm began to ring and a neon sign flashed on the door:
THIS UNIT DOES NOT ALLOW
THE TELEPORTATION OF PETS!
SURRENDER YOUR TELEPOTTY PASSPORT
My mouth opened to a useless silent scream as Fur-mat slipped from my arms and the shadow of Strix somnium made its final approach. Talons buffeted my head from different directions as I flailed my arms to deflect the owl as long as I could.
The sound of breaking glass woke me. The alarm clock buzzed its monotonous deadpan imitation of: "get up, get up, get up...". Fur-mat perched next to my head clearly ready to make another swat at my head in demand of morning rations. My flailing had knocked the bedside lamp into the water glass. Its contents spilled onto the carpet in a muffled, dribbling tattoo. I clicked the alarm clock off and worked hard to remember the day of the week: Sunday. I righted the wronged glass and lamp still feeling anxious about the imminent owl attack. The short night, crazy dreams and abrupt wake-up made for a difficult re-entry into the real world. Not until I sat on the toilet for a much needed morning bladder evacuation, did I remembered the plan to meet Mr. Custos for my first official lesson in how to use the system.
Fur-mat body double - Kitty Kat
Photo credit: Adrian