Off With Her Paws
My roommate is such a worrier. She is always worried I’m sick, that I’m not eating, that I’m eating something I’m supposed to, among other things. I really truly think she needs to get her own life and stop worrying about mine.
Unexpectedly, I did need her help yesterday. I started feeling really tired and I wasn’t in the mood to eat too much so she said that she would take me to see a doctor.
“It seems like she may have just eaten something that upset her tummy, does she go outside or is she only an indoor cat?” he asked her.
“She’s an indoor cat, but I didn’t see her eat anything weird. I feel like I may have noticed if she did and I don’t have any plants that are toxic to cats, I always make sure to check that.”
Of course I didn’t eat anything, I’m not an idiot. I just feel weird.
“Okay, we’ll run some blood work but she may have gotten into something without you noticing.”
The doctor stabbed me with a needle rather ungracefully while taking the blood.
“What a good kitty!” he said, so I pissed on his hand that was holding me under my stomach.
“She doesn’t like being called ‘kitty,’ her name is Marie Antionette.”
“Well, that is a very lovely name,” the doctor said while washing his hands in the sink.
At home, my roommate prepared dinner for us. I received a stew of tuna in gravy in my pink ceramic bowl while my roommate heated something up in the microwave that smelled like plastic.
“So from what the doctor said it appears that your blood is abnormally low in iron so they prescribed some supplements and you need to be eating all of your dinner,” she told me. They had done some more tests but the results wouldn’t be in until tomorrow.
I blinked at her.
“Right? So I’ll add those to your food starting tomorrow when I pick them up after work, but for the time being please eat a little.” She placed my bowl down on the mat next to the water fountain.
I wasn’t too hungry but I ate about half of my meal since she seemed so concerned. After dinner we both laid on the couch watching reality shows until my roommate fell asleep.
I woke up with a start with my chest aching, it felt like there was some sort of burning inside of me. I took a few steps towards my roommate on the couch where she had fallen asleep but it hurt too much. What was this feeling? Was I dying? They only said that my iron was low but I didn’t think this would be the end. Uncharacteristically I reached my tongue out and gave my roommate, Becky, a tiny lick on her hand that she had reached out to me in her sleep.
When I woke up she was standing over me, nudging my hand with hers.
“Marie Antoinette? Should we go back to the vet?”
My body felt heavy but I was still of this world. I blinked at her.
“You would tell me if we needed to, right? It seemed like you weren’t breathing but you woke up so you’re still alive. You scared me a bit if I’m being honest.”
Wasn’t I breathing? I waited, thinking. Maybe I wasn’t.
“Well?” she asked me.
I felt hungry so I hopped down off the couch to get some food.
“Good,” she said, “I’ll get your bowl ready.”
When Becky had served my food she stood by in the kitchen to watch me eat.
I took a few bites and almost immediately threw up.
“Fuck.” she said.
At the doctor’s later that day he said my iron was very low and I needed more fresh food.
“It may seem a little grotesque to you but cats are indeed natural predators,” he said, keeping a noticeable distance from me this time, “they hunt for things in the wild and eat them without cooking, raw and bloody. It seems that Marie Antoinette here needs some more blood.”
“So I need to give her live bait? Like mice or something?” Becky asked.
“No no,” he said, “nothing that gruesome. I suggest quail eggs, salmon oil, freeze dried fish, maybe some quality raw liver that you’re sure won’t have food-borne illnesses. That kind of thing. I’ll give you some shops that will have what you need to boost her iron levels. Plus her supplement prescription should be ready today so you can add that in.”
“Does that sound good to you?” Becky asked me.
I blinked at her.
“Well, okay then.”
That night Becky prepared a bit of beef liver, a quail egg, iron supplement power, and salmon oil. She placed my bowl down in front of me and walked to the other end of the kitchen pretending to be making herself another microwaved plastic dish while she was actually watching me to see what I thought.
I wouldn’t give my compliments to the chef exactly but I did enjoy the liver and egg, the oil and supplement powder seemed a bit bland but I finished it all to make her happy.
“Oh my Mademoiselle Marie Antoinette I am so happy that you enjoyed,” she told me, wiping a bit of food off my face with a damp cloth.
I stretched and yawned and went to the couch to take an after dinner nap and let Becky enjoy her dinner.
I woke up to ungodly noises coming from Becky’s bedroom that she hardly ever slept in, and it certainly didn’t seem like she was sleeping now.
“Oh yes!” I heard from the other room.
I usually let my roommate do whatever she wants with whomever she wants but I was at this moment so tired that I decided to put an end to this so the man would leave and I could go back to sleep.
I marched into her room and, while averting my eyes from the tangle of bodies as much as possible, jumped on the bed and bit the first limb I could see.
Luckily, it was the arm of the man that Becky had invited over without telling me.
“Ouch what the fuck?” he asked, disentangling from her and turning towards me.
I licked my lips where my teeth had drawn blood, not a bad taste I thought. I went in for another bite and took my time to savor the salty results.
The man shook me off his arm and went to push me off the bed but Becky intervened.
“Shit, I’m sorry,” she said to him, “I didn’t tell her you would be coming over and she usually likes a bit of a warning. It is only polite.”
“You tell your cat when you have someone coming over? It’s a cat.”
“Her name is Marie Antoinette and of course I tell her, this is her home too.”
I stared at the man, licking my lips.
“The cat’s name is Marie Antoinette? Like that rich French lady that had her head chopped off?”
“She was actually Austrian and I think history has been cruel to her, she was only a child when she was married off and I doubt she actually knew what people were going through and now she has been misquoted through all of history. It’s a real shame.”
“Right, well I might just go then. Next time maybe you could come over to my place? I don’t have any roommates or needy cats.”
“Marie Antoinette is not needy; she just likes a bit of decency. If you had any roommates I’m sure you would tell them when you had someone coming over just like I usually do for her.”
“Totally,” he said, rolling his eyes.
I bit him again.
After he had gone Becky and I sat on the couch and watched a reality television show where people were berated while they cooked.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you Chad was coming over,” Becky said while placing a hand on my back.
I licked her hand once, no hard feelings. I bet I was pretty tired after not eating well the past couple days. Today’s dinner had been better but I was still thinking about the blood I tasted from that man.
I think I was hungry for more.
Well, Marie Antionette was certainly getting her iron.
Meanwhile, Becky had a dead man in her bed.
She had woken up to the sound of her cat lapping up liquids and thought rather foolishly that Marie Antionette was actually acting like, well, a normal cat. Maybe she had thrown up and was licking it up, she thought while she had been still in a haze of sleep. But instead she woke up to her white cat’s face covered in blood and the man she slept with approximately five hours before bleeding out on her pastel pink pillows. “Marie Antionette, what the fuck?” she asked her cat.
Marie Antionette gave her an impassive look and simply licked her lips.
Becky turned her attention to Chad–no, that wasn’t his name, Shawn? no not him either…oh! Bobby and made an attempt to shake him back to life but knew it would be no use.
“Bobby,” Becky said to Bobby’s open and unblinking eyes as she poked him on a non-bloody part of his shoulder.
Marie Antionette yawned and jumped off the bed leaving dark red paw prints all the way out the bedroom door.
Becky stood in the kitchen watching Marie Antionette stare at her bowl of very expensive raw cat food. She had bought the liver and quail eggs and salmon oil and iron supplements just three days before but the vet had said her cat was low on iron and isn’t there a lot of iron in all of this? Why did her cat feel the need to bite through the neck of the guy she was seeing? Were her portions off?
“What, no appetite?” she asked.
Marie Antionette turned her gaze to Becky, who flinched. Then the cat blinked at her and walked over to the couch where she curled up for a nap in a patch of sun that was coming through the window.
If she called the police and alerted them to her murderous cat, would they even believe her? Would they take her cat away from her, or take her away from her cat? Who would want a cat that drank human blood? Would Marie Antoinette try to kill other cats or dogs too?
For now, Becky was going to have to deal with the dead man in her apartment and talk to her cat later.
After wrapping up Bobby in her now stained comforter Becky dragged him into her closet and closed the doors, officially attempting to hide a murder performed by her cat. Then she ran a towel under warm water and went to wipe the blood off of Marie Antionette’s face like she usually did after meals but this time also wiping off her paws too. After this Becky went into full crime scene clean up mode by mopping away the incriminating paw prints and putting the rest of her bedding in the laundry with copious amounts of bleach.
When she sat down on the couch she turned to the furry beast next to her.
“I’m pretty pissed about this,” she said.
Marie Antionette raised her head and looked at her.
“What the fuck am I supposed to do with the dead man in my closet? Did you even think about the ramifications of your actions on me? I just cleaned up a crime scene. That guy is dead,” Becky whisper-yelled this last part even though they were the only two living beings in the apartment.
Marie Antionette blinked at her.
“No remorse? Was Bobby a delicious snack? It’s not like I wasn’t going to feed you, you have been getting the best food I can buy. I feed you better than I feed myself.”
The cat yawned.
“Oh, I’m sorry, am I boring you? Is the fact that I cleaned up a dead body boring for Mademoiselle Marie Antionette? Because it’s not boring to me. I think I have successfully incriminated myself if I wasn’t already. Besides, I told you this guy was coming over. I didn’t want a repeat of what happened with that other one when you came in during a very private moment and bit him on the arm.
Marie Antionette blinked at her.
“Did you plan this?” Becky asked in a whisper.
Marie Antionette blinked at her again.
“You bitch,” she laughed a little, “I think I’m going insane. I really do.”
I wasn’t about to argue with Becky, she had gone a little insane.
It’s not like I planned a whole murder, she just said she was bringing a man over and while he was sleeping he smelled good and I got a little hungry. I wasn’t planning on killing him, I just wanted another little bite and I guess I bit too deep.
You live and learn, I suppose.
I didn’t know how to tell Becky that this was potentially a serious issue but I’m sure she would recognize it eventually. We watched that movie with the people who crave drinking blood enough to where she should have already realized I may be like them.
“It Was My Cat!” She Yelled, Now She Has Been Indicted of Murder
by Penelope Glen May 3 2022
NEW YORK CITY (News of the Day) — Rebecca Anderson has been indicted on one count of first degree murder following the investigation of the disappearance of Robert O’Connor who was last seen on April 30. Anderson pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against her saying “It was my cat, she killed Bobby [O’Connor] and I was just trying to protect her.” When asked why she cleaned up her apartment after O’Connor’s death Anderson could not give a reason.
Anderson’s cat, a persian long-hair named Marie Antionette, is currently in the custody of Anderson’s sister who declined to comment on her sister’s upcoming trial.
Sister of Rebecca Anderson, ‘New York City Cat Lady,’ Suspect in Recent Homicide
by Penelope Glen May 6 2022
NEW YORK CITY (News of the Day) — A body now publicly identified to be Stephen Garza was found in New York City yesterday. Police report that Elizabeth Anderson, sister of Rebecca Anderson commonly known as the New York City Cat Lady, is at the top of their suspect list. Garza was found with throat injuries consistent with those of Robert O’Connor who Rebecca Anderson was indicted with murdering earlier this week.
Elizabeth Anderson claims that she doesn’t know how Garza died, claiming “I left to go take a shower and when I came out of the bathroom he was all bloody.” Unlike her sister, Elizabeth Anderson telephoned the police as soon as she found Garza’s body. However, the police believe this is a tactic to make her appear less complicit.
When asked about the cat Rebecca Anderson claims is responsible for O’Connor’s death Elizabeth Andserson had no comment.
The cat, a white long-haired persian named Marie Antionette, was not located at the scene of the crime and is believed to be missing.
Police Scramble to Explain New Death in Anderson Sisters Case
by Penelope Glen May 13 2022
NEW YORK CITY (News of the Day) — Two more bodies have been found with wounds consistent with those of Robert O’Connor and Stephen Garza that had been attributed to the Anderson sisters. However, both Rebecca and Elizabeth Anderson have been in police custody at the time the coroner believes the two new bodies passed away.
Police Search for Marie Antionette the Cat is Underway
by Penelope Glen May 15 2022
NEW YORK CITY (News of the Day) — NYPD is on the hunt for the white long-haired persian cat named Marie Antionette in connection with a string of murders. Police have refused to comment except to state that if you have seen Marie Antionette to please contact the NYPD by dialing 911. They have not specified if the cat will be charged in association with the murders.
“Off with Her Head!” the Public Calls for Repercussions in the Case of Marie Antionette
by Penelope Glen May 20 2022
NEW YORK CITY (News of the Day) — After locating Marie Antionette the cat and running tests of her blood and stomach contents NYPD believes it is possible that the white long-haired persian cat is to blame for the murders of Robert O’Connor, Stephen Garza, Jacob King, and James Williams. A spokesperson for NYPD stated that “with the analysis of [Marie Antionette’s] blood, stomach contents, and residue on her fur it is possible to conclude that she was present at the scenes of the deaths of King and Williams where neither of the Anderson sisters could have been.”
These claims have led to the public calling for Marie Antionette to be punished for these alleged crimes but animal rights advocates disagree.
Sophie Holmes, CEO of animal advocacy group Cats for Change, argues that “Marie Antionette cannot tell us what happened with these men and it is entirely possible she acted in self-defense if she acted at all. What matters is that she can’t speak for herself so we must speak for her against the injustice of the NYPD. Who holds a cat like a criminal? Was she even read her rights? We demand justice for Marie Antionette.”
Four Officers Deceased, Cat at Large
by Penelope Glen May 21 2022
NEW YORK CITY (News of the Day) — A gruesome discovery was made this morning at the New York City Police Department. Four officers who were put in charge of keeping watch of Marie Antionette the cat after suspicion of her involvement in other homicide cases were found deceased with wounds to the neck causing death through blood loss. The white long-haired Persian cat they were tasked with watching has not been found and she is currently at large. NYPD officials implore that if you have seen this cat to call 911 immediately and do not approach as it is believed she is dangerous.
Summer Alexis is a graduate of Northern Arizona University where she majored in English and Women’s and Gender Studies. She received the Charles E. Bull Creative Writing Scholarship for poetry and her literary analysis has been featured in Magazine Americana. Summer enjoys reading and writing horror and thriller stories and lives in Minneapolis, MN with her two cats.