Small. Fluffy. Adorable.
These words were used to describe the terror that struck my home. Oh sure, at first, I thought the same things. How could I not? The little demon even came with its own ball of pink yarn. But that was before… No, I think I better start at the beginning and let you decide.
“Can we keep her, Daddy?” Brittney’s eyes sparkled as she hugged the tiny yellow ball of fur which appeared on our front doorstep that morning.
I looked at her then the cat who mimicked my daughter’s plea.
I shook my head. “Baby, we can’t afford a kitten right now.”
Tears filled her hazel globes. My will crumbled. “Oh, all right. But you have to promise me you will take care of her.”
“I will. I will. I will.” She hugged me, the kitten smooshed between us. “I love you so much. I’m going to name her Tabitha.”
Tabitha quickly became an extension of my daughter. Wherever she went, the cat was never far, even in her bed.
One night, as I tucked my daughter in and was about to give her a kiss, the kitten growled. It wasn’t one of those cute “look at me, I’m a ferocious kitten” growls, but a deep menacing rumble. Her eyes were narrowed, her ears laid back, and her sharp pointed fangs were bared.
I stepped back, stunned. The cat sat her rump on Brittney’s pink pony blanket and licked her paws as if nothing happened.
I bent to finish my bedtime ritual when a sharp pain crossed above my brow. My hand went to my forehead and found it wet. I looked at my reddened palm then back at Tabitha. She lay curled up, purring at my daughter’s side.
“Daddy, your head.” Brittney sat up. “What happened? Are you OK?”
“I… I’ll be fine, Sweetie.” I returned my hand to the wound. ”Goodnight. Sleep tight.”
“Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” She giggled and scooted back under her blankets.
I rushed to the bathroom and turned on the light. The vanity revealed three long, narrow scratches. They started at the center of my forehead and disappeared into the hairline just above my ear. I bandaged it , but the unseen attack kept me awake for hours.
Later that night, I was woken up from a crash in my room. My heart leapt, sure there was an intruder. I rolled out of bed. My hand found the baseball bat leaning against the wall. I stood in the dark, searching the shadows. The house was deathly still.
My attention was drawn to two silver dots glowing above the bureau. Tabitha stood still as a statue in the center of the dresser. She stared at me. I waved my hand at her. “Shoo. Get out of here.”
She hissed and barred her fangs. Her hair stood on end.
I poked the bat at her. “I said get!”
She jumped to the floor and padded toward the hallway. At the door, she turned her head toward me and narrowed her eyes.
I watched shocked and amazed as the tiny cat ran, with its hind end hopping, toward my girl’s room.
My hand found the toggle and light flooded my room. I approached the bureau, noticing right away the portrait of Brittney and I laid flat. The glass protecting the picture was shattered; the cracks spider webbed out from the center of my face.
A few hours later, I cooked breakfast. Saturday was Pancake Day. I had just flipped a mouse head shaped pancake when a scream rose from upstairs. My heart thrummed. I’ve never heard such an ear splitting sound come from my daughter.
I ran up the stairs, turned to Brittney’s room and smashed through the closed door. My eyes widened. My baby lay on the bed with the kitten on her chest. The cat’s mouth was open directly above hers. A green light flowed from my daughter’s mouth to the feline’s. Brittney’s rigid arms and legs convulsed.
I sprang to the bed and backhanded the kitten. It was thrown across the room. I heard a thump as I cradled my daughter in my arms. I turned to the door.
The kitten stood blocking my way. I kicked at it.
It jumped to the side then pounced toward my face. I fell back onto the bed with a ball of yellow fur blocking my vision.
She bit my nose, scratched at my ears. With Brittney still in my arms, all I could do was turn my face.
The cat’s eyes met mine. The once deep brown irises were now emerald green. I tried to look away, but felt my body go rigid. I was paralyzed.
Tabitha opened her mouth, revealing rows of sharp, pointed teeth. A hiss formed from her open jaws. It reminded me of air escaping from a punched tire. The jaws closed in on mine. Sharp pain rose from my chest as my breath was stopped. My sight blurred and tunneled. I could hear nothing.
A brown shape crossed in front of my head. I gulped in a breath of air. The cat had disappeared.
A rhythmic thumping came from the corner of my daughter’s room. I stood on shaky legs and looked toward the noise.
Brittney had the baseball bat in her hand. She raised it above her head and slammed it down as if driving in a stake. Red coated the wooden bludgeon and splattered against the once pink walls.
I went to her and saw the remains of Tabitha laid on the floor. Exceptionally and definitely dead. I grabbed my daughter from behind as she raised the stick for another attack. She wilted in my arms and cried.
She turned and hugged me tight. After a moment, she looked up at me with tears in reddened eyes. “That was a bad kitty.”
I stroked her blonde hair and tried to comfort her. “Yes she was, but you took care of her.”