[May Featured Short Story] My Name is Hathor by Heidi Slowinski

Monthly Short Story Feature

One of my writing goals for 2022 is to create more short stories. They’re a good creative exercise and sometimes lead to bigger ideas for novels. Or who knows, maybe an eventual collection of short stories in the form of a new book.

My selection this month is just for fun. This story was created from the writing prompt: ‘Get adopted they said. It will be fun, they said.” I wrote this quite a while ago. It’s very much tongue and cheek. I hope it will bring a smile to your face.

My Name is Hathor

  

My name is Hathor but my humans call me Whiskers. Whiskers. What a stupid name. One of the smaller humans gave me this name when they bailed me out of that prison, I ended up in. My ancestors lived in palaces and wore jewels. I live in something called a 3 bedroom ranch in somewhere called the mid-west. I wear a nylon collar with fake rhinestones and a damn bell.  

Let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I was born in a barn, one of five. Barn life wasn’t all bad. It was warm and dry. But you had to watch out for the cows to make sure you didn’t get stepped on. That happened to my brother, Ra, when we were little. I miss him a lot. Plus, you had to hunt your own mice to eat. Occasionally, the farmer would give us fresh milk. But the farmer got old, the cows left, and there weren’t as many mice to catch after that.

I was two when I found my way into the city, hoping to have an easier time finding food. Chipmunks and birds get nice and fat when they’re fed by human feeders in the city. But it’s harder to find shelter. I hate being cold and I especially hate being wet. Did I mention my ancestors lived in palaces? I had to sleep in window wells, the back of garages, and one time under something called a dumpster. Then I got picked up and taken to jail. It was warm and there was a hammock to sleep in. That was nice. The humans gave me food and I didn’t have to hunt down clean water to drink. They spent time with me. And I met some new friends.

My best friend was Nu. She was six. The humans called her Fluffy. Another really stupid name. I learned a lot from her. Like if you meow and rub against the humans’ legs, they give you treats. My ancestors were Egyptian royalty and I have to beg for treats. Everyone in jail talked about getting adopted. Humans would come and take others away. Nu told me getting adopted would be like the palaces of Egypt. I would be adored and treated royally. It would be fun. I had been in jail for about six weeks when my new humans arrived.

There were two big humans and three little humans. They wandered around and tried to entertain some of my cellmates. I was sleeping in my cell when I heard a loud noise. It was the littlest human. She’s the most annoying of my humans. The tall female human came over and told her to stop pounding on my cell. The tall female human is my favorite. She’s the most eager to please me and gives the best offerings.

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“Mommy, I want that kitty,” said the little human excitedly.

“Okay, honey. Let’s ask someone if we can meet that kitty,” said the tall human.

One of my jailors opened my cell and picked me up. I hate when they do that but seeing as how the little human had already rudely disturbed my nap, I didn’t make a fuss. They took me into the meet and greet room. It’s where they put you with the humans when they come to visit. The humans grouped around me, mussing my beautiful fur. The adoration was a little overwhelming, but they backed up to a more appropriate distance. The jailor came back and told them I enjoy being entertained by the fleece on the stick. So, one of the smaller humans attempted to entertain me. I had just woken up from a nap, but I accepted the offering and hunted down the fleece. They seemed delighted by this.

“Can we get her, Mommy?! Can we?!” asked the littlest human, eagerly.

“Hang on sweetie. Let’s spend a little more time getting to know her before we decide,” said the tall human. Then she scooped me up and set me on her lap. She rubbed my chin and smoothed out my beautiful fur. It was nice and I started to purr.

“You’re a sweetie, aren’t you, little girl? Yes, you’re very sweet,” she cooed at me. “Would you like to come home with us?”

Before I knew it, I was being packed into a portable cell and carried off. There was a fluffy pad in the cell but I was jostled and bounced around. They let one of the shorter humans carry me away. They put the portable cell in some sort of conveyance. The motion scarred me and I cried.

“Shhhh, it’s okay kitty,” said one of the little humans, sticking his fingers through the holes in my new cell. That scared me even more. Then we arrived at what I was told was my new home. It took me some time to explore it all but I found it acceptable. The humans gave me offerings of fluffy beds and a strange throne with multiple levels on which for me to climb and nap.

We get on alright, but the littlest of the humans disrupts my naps. She hasn’t learned to revere me. At night when the humans sleep, I like to prowl around, as I used to in the barn. But all there is to hunt are little stuffed mice and I steal the littlest human’s socks. The tall human scolds me for this but I don’t care. Last week, the littlest human stuffed me into one of the dresses her tiny human-looking things wear. Then she put me in some kind of conveyance and toured me around the house. It was awful! I thought I was going to be sick. I tried to jump out but the littlest human kept stuffing me back in. She does this regularly. I absolutely hate it. Get adopted, they told me. It’ll be fun, they said. I finally managed to escape and got into one of the other small human’s rooms.

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This small human is more of a medium-sized human. She is not as tall as the tall humans but she is not a small human either. I heard one of the tall humans call her a teenager. The teenage human and I share many common traits. She spends most of her time in her room and also expects offerings from the tall humans. I like her. She helped me out of the ridiculous dress the littlest human had put me in and offered me a place with her on the giant soft pillow the humans sleep on. I stretched out with her and we lounged together. The stress of dealing with the littlest human exhausted me and I quickly fell asleep. This human allowed me to sleep, undisturbed. She talks to me sometimes and tells me about someone named Brandon, at somewhere called school. I’ve never seen this human but he does not adequately adore this human and I don’t like him. She also gets mad at the two big humans in my home. Something called college that I don’t fully understand.

Once the humans left me alone in my home for what felt like forever. At first, I enjoyed the peace and quiet, although I missed their offerings. A new human came in every day to give me food and clean up after me. I was nervous of her at first. What if she took me away from my current humans or put me back outside? I had grown accustomed to my new surroundings and not having to find my own food. Outside was cold and wet and no one was there to give offerings. But eventually, I realized this human was just there to give me offerings. But she didn’t stay very long. She didn’t give me the usual treats from the correct vessels. She moved the fleece toy too quickly. She attempted to rub my chin, but she didn’t do that right either. I did not like this human, but she was better than no humans at all. The house was too quiet with the humans gone. I even started to miss the littlest one. But after what felt like forever, my humans returned. I’m a little embarrassed by how eagerly I greeted them when they first returned. But then I got angry at them for leaving me. So, I retired to my favorite napping spot, under the big humans’ large sleeping cushion. This upset the littlest human the most. The tall human gave me extra offerings in an attempt to regain my favor. I rejected them at first. So, she gave me more. Then I forgave them. They haven’t done this again since. Clearly, my message was received.

Now I would love to continue to regale you with tales of living with my humans but I’m afraid it’s time for my bath. It’s far less work trying to keep myself clean in this place than it was when I dwelled outside. But still, cleanliness is next to godliness. Then I’ll be retiring for my midafternoon nap. You are dismissed.  

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Past Short Story Features:

[February Featured Short Story] Closing Time by Heidi Slowinski

Monthly Short Story Feature One of my writing goals for 2022 is to create more short stories. They’re a good creative exercise and sometimes lead to bigger ideas for novels. Or who knows, maybe an eventual collection of short stories in the form of a new book. The story I’ve selected for this month is […]

[March Featured Short Story] The Bus to Haifa by Heidi Slowinski

Monthly Short Story Feature One of my writing goals for 2022 is to create more short stories. They’re a good creative exercise and sometimes lead to bigger ideas for novels. Or who knows, maybe an eventual collection of short stories in the form of a new book. The story I’ve selected for this month is […]

[April Featured Short Story] The Kashering by Heidi Slowinski

Monthly Short Story Feature One of my writing goals for 2022 is to create more short stories. They’re a good creative exercise and sometimes lead to bigger ideas for novels. Or who knows, maybe an eventual collection of short stories in the form of a new book. My selection this month is more personal in […]

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