Katy is not quite a cat, but in some ways she is a cat. She likes to lounge in the sun. She has been known to lick the back of her hand and use it to smooth her hair down. If you were to describe her as a cross between a cat and a human, no one would argue with you. She has some legs and some arms. Back feet and front feet. Whiskers, a tail and large ears. But she walks upright. She’s quite tall and can reach the shelf over the fridge if you need her too.
As a cat-human hybrid it is difficult for Katy to be taken seriously sometimes. But she has plans. Big plans.
The Proper Place
Though it feels as though her fingernails are being ripped from her hands, Katy keeps digging. The sound of the baby’s crying has grown frantic and Katy worries about its comfort, beneath the ground. Under a pile of dirt is no place for a baby to live.
At last Katy feels the soft curl of elbow and then the tender flesh of arm. Though the dirt is cold, the baby’s skin is warm. Almost too warm. Katy handles the baby carefully and quickly, carrying it inside and sitting it in a fruit basket on the kitchen table.
What Can Be Done with Babies
Katy has no patience for babies who hesitate. She has been known to throw a baby into the ocean or to build a very tiny rocket ship and send a baby to the moon.
The Awful Things
“It has always been my dream to become a grey kitten,” Katy says. “Just like you.”
The kitten nods. “I can see why. You’re almost a grey kitten, but not quite. What an awful way to live.”
Katy agrees and hides her hands behind her back, ashamed they are hands and not paws. Ashamed the grey kitten might imagine the awful things that can be done with hands and thumbs.
In the living room, Katy finds the source of the problem. Roof elves. Terrible roof elves. They hacked through the roof with their garden hoe. Pipes are broken, wood is splintered, and bits of dry wall are scattered on the floor and furniture. The floor is covered in two feet of water and the roof elves are floating upon what looks to be roofing shingles. They’re using their oversized shoes to paddle and steer themselves about the room. They also appear to have eaten several books from Katy’s bookshelf.
“You roof elves are nasty things,” Katy says.
The elves respond by eating another of Katy’s books.
“I liked that one,” Katy says, but the elves laugh.
Katy decides that though she is a vegetarian, she can make an exception for roof elves. Delicious roof elves.
Very Young and Small Cookies
“I should like to see the ocean or journey in a rocket ship,” the baby says. “I am not afraid of you or your whims.”
Katy thinks about rocket ships. Rocket ships filled with babies. So warm and soft and soaring far away.
“I should like to dress you in a bonnet and feed you cookies,” Katy says.
The baby frowns. “I am too young for cookies,” it says.
“I will prepare cookies that are very young. They will not even be one day old,” Katy says. “They will be so young and small that you will not notice you are eating cookies.”
So Katy makes very young and small cookies. They are shaped like baby ducks and bunnies and foxes. The newborn cookies crawl and stumble up to the baby and then make the trek to the baby’s mouth. Some of the cookies fall off of the baby and have to crawl up again. Some of the cookies break and some of the cookies get trapped underneath the baby. But a few of them make it.
“How are the cookies?’ Katy asks.
The baby does not answer because such young babies should not eat cookies and this baby has become dead. (Much the way certain jackets become out of style).
Katy smiles at the seed shaped like a tiny cat. A hypoallergenic cat actually. The best sort. She’s highly allergic to cats. Her last cat turned to stone whenever she tried to hug it. Eventually one of Katy’s toes turned to stone and fell off. It had been ‘a situation.’ Her mother was ashamed. Her father began to drink heavily and pretended he didn’t know her name. Over time, they began to treat her normally, but she was always concerned about cats.
The New Baby
The baby in the hole is the exact opposite of Katy’s baby. It looks respectful and intelligent and well-mannered. Its tiny suit is cream with flecks of blue that perfectly compliment its eyes. A little hat sits atop its head and a dark blue feather is pinned above the hat’s brim.
Katy reaches into the hole and the new baby takes her hand.
Katy and the new baby ignore the old baby.
The Necessity of A Hat
After the incident, Katy keeps the hat in a cardboard box. She charges people to view the hat and forces the hat to perform tricks. With the money she makes, she saves enough to buy the hat a matching scarf. She forces the hat to do an erotic dance with the scarf and this endeavor provides her with enough money to move somewhere she might never need a hat.