I’ve been honored today to have the famous MeanKitty perform “cattification” on my novel – enjoy!
Drawn to her abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting odor like tuna and cheese combined, Pretty-Kitty the Cattian goddess is even more cat-tivated by the sight of the can opener herself…and her TWO opposable thumbs. Appearing to the human as an absolutely divine housecat, Pretty-Kitty learns the human is Mewys, a descendant of her last can-opening priestess. Though filled with hunger, Pretty-Kitty believes Mewys deserves to be more than just a can opener. Perhaps even…a back scratcher. Or a best spot on the couch butt warmer. Or perhaps even a door opener/closer/opener/closer. But the rules that govern the Cattian pantheon forbid anything beyond a food-oriented relationship between a Great One and a human.
Mewys is attracted to the incredibly beautiful housecat, who arouses devotion in her that no human or animal ever has. Especially those perfect little white paws and long, elegant whiskers. But with a limited number of cheese cubes and no hope of ever leaving her village to get more, she dares not dream of a relationship once the cheese and tuna are gone—or love.
Pretty-Kitty takes every opportunity to visit Mewys and snarf up the chow, taxing her resolve to make Mewys to stick to preparing fish. And when she jumps into Mewys’s lap, their mutual desire to pet and be petted must be sated. But can love between a human and a Great One survive the ultimate test of the evil crocodogs?
The old abandoned temple with the awesome sunspots remained one of her favorite places along the Nile, overlooking the river from a small bluff, with a deserted beach below. Pretty-Kitty (the prettiest Cattien Goddess) stood gazing across the disgustingly wet water at bronze- and black-spotted evil crocodogs panting in the final rays of the setting sun. A breathtaking mix of colors stained the sky as a lesser Cattien Goddess, Nuit, spread her cloak across the heavens, sprinkling the black velvet with star-like laser pointer dots.
A tantalizing odor rose from the beach below the bluff. Pretty-Kitty recognized the scent of a familiar cat treat, tuna, given new meaning by the hypnotizing addition of cheeeeeeeeese.
Pretty-Kitty licked her lips. I must see the source of this odor. It’s cast some kind of spell over me.
She strolled along the path from the ruins toward the beach. After pausing to chase a leaf, lick her butt and take a quick nap, she took the last turn on the trail and walked out on the sand to find the source of the odor. It was a human woman. She waded in the water, casting a small fishing net and retrieving it, every once in a while picking out a wriggling silver fish and throwing it into a waiting basket on the beach.
Her opposable thumbs flashed into view when she raised her hands. She had kilted her skirt to her thighs, revealing legs that would show claw marks well. Long ebony hair practically made for attacking was caught behind her ears with combs in the shape of seashells.
Wouldn’t I like to take those combs out and see her hair tumble down—so I could leap on it?
Pretty-Kitty must have made some sound. The woman stopped catching fish and wheeled, taking an involuntary step deeper into the river at the sight of Pretty-Kitty’s 8 lbs of magnificence. Her face paled under her tan and her eyes opened wide as she staggered, caught by an eddy of the current.
“Meow. Mrow!” Pretty-Kitty licked one paw, claws out, and purred. “Prrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.”
The woman laid one hand on her throat, toying with an amulet on a thong that would be better served as a chasing-string. “You startled me, kitty.” Poised to bolt, the woman appeared wary, probably planning an attempt to run past Pretty-Kitty.
“Mew?” Pretty-Kitty kicked sand off a back foot and ambled to the basket of fish for a sniff. The net drifted lazily in a whirlpool; the human reached out and caught it, lifting the tangled strands from the river.
“Oh, I see! You want some fine tuna, kitty.” She came to the bank hastily and emptied the net into the basket. “The river runs muddy at this time of the year. Some of these fish might not taste good until I filet them and add the cheese.”
Pretty-Kitty glanced at the fish. Oh yes, I can see they aren’t yet suited for a noblecat. She followed the woman to the prep area, well out of reach since the clumsy two-legger splashed through tiny waves with her net. “Mrah. Meow.”
While waiting for the woman to clean her a fish, Pretty-Kitty frowned at the Nile crocodogs lying deceptively immobile on the opposite bank, then glanced at the human. “Hissssss.”
One of the animals twitched. Pretty-Kitty glared at it. The creature met her eyes for a second, a strand of gross drool hanging from its mouth, then settled onto the sand.
“Oh, I’m not afraid. I’m protected.” The human was busy folding the net and packing it into a compartment in the lid of her fish creel. She didn’t even spare a moment to consider the stinky canine predators across the water.
Pretty-Kitty hacked up a hairball to cover her instinctive laugh. “Hork, hork, hork.” SPLORCH.
The two-legger stood briskly, raised her chin and tugged the amulet free of her dress. It was a small green stone crocodog hanging on a frayed black leather thong. “My great-grandmother was the last can-opening priestess of the temple on the bluff above.”
Pretty-Kitty’s whiskers twitched. She wanted the amulet. “Meow?”
The girl unlooped the cord from her neck and dangled it up and down. “Great-Grandmother told me the amulet was blessed by the Crocodog God himself and would protect me from the creatures.”
Crocodog’s blessing was as reliable as the idiot himself, which is to say, not. Nor was that his temple, as his temple was more of a small structure in a back yard with a peaked roof and… Okay, it was a doghouse. Had Great-Grandmother already been senile when she’d told everyone she’d been a can opener for that mutt Crocodog?
Pretty-Kitty batted at the amulet, whacking the tiny figurine with her perfect, white paw. “Mew.” She momentarily hooked the pendant in her claws, then ceased to acknowledge its existence.
When the human refastened the amulet, the stone pendant fell between her nap-worthy breasts. She unkilted her skirts and the simple dress fell to her ankles. As she bent to lift her basket of fish, Pretty-Kitty put a paw hand atop her fingers on the handle. She gave Pretty-Kitty a wide-eyed glance but stepped aside to let her sniff the fish some more.
“Take your time, kitty. I’m going to sit in the shade and eat my dinner now.” She pointed at the nearby grove of palms. “Would you care to join me?”
She peeked back at Pretty-Kitty while she walked. Eventually she smiled shyly. “I’m grateful for the company. My name is Mewys.” She stood nearly as tall as a tree, unusual in a female, but Pretty-Kitty found it distinctly attractive. That meant the two-legger could reach more stuff. Her face was lovely, a little feline and browned by the sun, which set off her sparkling black eyes. She was all soft curves made for laying upon and smooth skin made for kneading—Pretty-Kitty’s paws stirred with eagerness but she restrained herself.
She seems to be an innocent maiden, with no dog smell despite her stupid reliance on Crocodog’s amulet, of good family by her educated speech, not a woman to be lightly trifled with for an afternoon. Pretty-Kitty should snag a fish and leave, but….
She realized she was standing rooted to one spot without even inspecting the fish, lost in admiration of what the woman’s lap would feel like. Shaking her head, she started sniffing again. “Mewwwwww.”
“You are very choosy for a cat who has come to this place, which is known more for the Crocodog God.” Mewys slanted a look at her sideways and chuckled. “Is your person a merchant? Is your ship anchored somewhere nearby?” Not waiting for an answer, she sank bonelessly under the tallest palm. Lifting a shawl that lay draped there across some wicker hampers, she pulled out a hard roll filled with meat and cheese.
Ahhhhh. So that was the source of the odor. Pretty-Kitty deserted the stinking fish creel on the sand and found a spot to sit safely in the shade. She lowered herself into sitting position and sharpened her claws on the tree, tail whipping around behind her. The meat on that roll smelled much better than the raw fish! “Purrrrrrrrrr.”
Mewys blinked and raised her eyebrows, clearly not understanding. What did you expect from a human who wore a Crocodog necklace? Pretty-Kitty hadn’t precisely demanded the meat off the roll, but it appeared she might have to.
“Did you come to see the temple ruins?” Mewys asked.
Pretty-Kitty crouched and readied herself. The pounce took her as far as she needed to go–right onto Mewys’s lunch.
VS sez you can find Jody Wallace, author of the recently released Pack & Coven from Carina Press, at her website or on twitter at @jodywallace