Between the Pages
No. 9: Entirely Reasonable Concern-y Cat
Comic No. 9
M. Doyle – 8/10/17

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Bradley Hand speaks:
I will tell you of an incident that happened when I was a kitten, that will, perhaps, explain my current reluctance. (Although, judging by that last panel, I’m still a kitten? Damn this lack of external scale comparisons.)

I was one of an exceptionally large litter, and my mother had her paws full with all ten of us. She was alone in this endeavor, as my father had - as is right and proper for a cat - deserted her as soon as their amorous activities were concluded. From desperate necessity, Mother invented a system by which the elder kitten was responsible for the kitten immediately younger. Mother would give a direction to the eldest, and it would telegraph more or less swiftly down to the end of the line, where it reached me.

It worked reasonably well much of the time, and the move from our Birth Box to the Toolshed passed without significant incident. But occasionally, Mother had to leave us alone to hunt, and well...the phrase "when the cat’s away" does not apply only to scurry-play-food; as you would say, mice.

Being naturally curious, one day I wandered away from the others when many of the others were napping, including my minder. I’d found a gap in the wall, and I was overwhelmed by the sights and smells of Outside. While I was sitting silent, entranced, Mother returned, determined to relocate once again to the more high-rent district under the porch. My elder sibling was still only a little bit older than I, and - to tell a tale out of school - was never as diligent in his attention to his responsibilities as he might have been. Suffice to say, the entire caravan was assembled and off with no-one noticing the missing one.

My shock upon my return was, as you can imagine, immense. After being constantly surrounded by the mewling of what seemed like endless siblings, the silence and emptiness where there ought to have been noise and comfort was more than just frightening - it was a crack in the universe, a world gone to spoil, a mechanism irretrievably broken.

After what seemed like days, my Mother appeared back out of the dark, and carried me in her mouth, shivering and mewing, to our new home. I have never trusted others as much since then, nor have I ever particularly liked being on my own.

And yet...the others seem determined and so I must, with extreme aversion, ascede to the inevitable.

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M Doyle, writer

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