The Temp – Walter Moon

The Temp, something I did not ask for, is here. Like most humans, It’s tall and lumbering, and oh Bast, It’s speaking in kitten-talk already. One of my roommates, a young kitten my human roommates call “Lucy” (whom I have yet to give my blessing to), is already performing for the new creature, cautiously trying to introduce herself. So desperate.

Do my human roommates think we’re unable to take care of ourselves? I can easily get to my food and it wouldn’t be the first time I used my claws to open a can. While Lucy has gone on to begin her usual morning routine of scratching everything and running around, behaviors I have never understood, the lumbering giant has gone over to wake up Missy (she sleeps through everything). The Temp looks horrified that Missy isn’t moving or responding to Its “speaking” but I rather enjoy Its confused terror. 

Of course, Missy is fine, and as soon as she is awake she is also acting excited that there is a  stranger in our home. The awkward Temp opens the door to let Missy, who has proven herself unable to use a litter box, outside to do her business. I go and wait by the door, ready to explain that we are fine on our own and would prefer that our human roommates return, if there must be a human here at all.

Lucy has crouched by the door behind the curtain waiting to attack the giant upon reentry; little does she know It is now chasing Missy around the yard trying to help detach the unmentionable from her backside that seems to be hanging there somehow, as Missy herself tries to avoid stepping on a snail. The dignity of human and canine on full display. Bast help me.

As It reenters the house with Missy, both looking unreasonably pleased to have solved their little quandary, I begin to make my request, but of course not before It calls me “Fluff Boy.” Excuse me? My human roommates call me “Niko,” thank you. My real name? You could never possibly pronounce it in your so-called human “words.”

Missy has begun to explain to the Temp that she in fact can have as many treats as she wants, contrary to the note left for It that It has now read aloud to her. It puts our food out and refreshes our water, after which I would assume It would leave. But no! Of course not, that would be too simple. Too much to ask.

An hour later, It is still here. Eating popcorn that It did not bring, and watching the cartoon Thundercats on the couch. Is this to mock me? Cats that look and talk in human-speak? Please. Lucy and Missy have become full blown traitors, sitting on either side of It, doing what I have heard my human roommates call “cuddling.” Disgusting.

Finally, It gets up after being here for three hours (a completely unnecessary amount of time) and babbles something about being here tomorrow. Bast take me, now. After calling me “Fluffle Daddy,” Missy “Magoo” (wow rude), and Lucy “Rascal” (is this creature purposely trying to piss me off?), It exits through the garage, hopefully not planning to make good on Its threat to return again.

walter moon has been lost in books since birth and bookselling in one way or another for almost 20 years. living in portland with his partner, Nat, and their companion, Mishka, he strives to find the key to immortality but has trouble locating the key to his house.

Leave a Reply