The Arena

02/02/2019

The Arena

by Number 10

 

 

The blonde woman thought for a moment.  “Yes, I’ll take

him.”

 

The human pet sat in his makeshift home, looking at his new

owner.   She had short, stylish blonde hair, brown eyes, and average height.  He

could now see her face   Her eyes were her best feature.  They seemed to widen

in excitement upon seeing the unusual pet.

 

They were in the back room of a pet store.  He had been

here for some time.  He could smell the other animals, and hear the constant

barking and yapping.  But for some reason he was kept apart from the others,

here, away from public view.

 

Twice a day, a strange looking woman would come in to feed

and water him, and occasionally enter to break out new supplies for the store’s

front.   But the rest of the time there was little for him to do.  He spent his

days waiting, waiting…

 

One day the woman came in unexpectedly.  But it wasn’t to

get supplies.  She was followed by another, younger woman.   He looked at her

again, the person who would hold his life in her hands.

 

“Here he is,” said the pet store woman.  “Very rare, ya

know.  I don’t take just anybody back here.  Anyway, if ya want him, it’ll be

five hundred bucks.”

 

The transaction was completed and soon, he found himself in

the woman’s sports car.  He watched her enthusiastically work the stick shift to

zip around in city traffic.

 

After a bit, she spoke to him.

 

“Hi there.  My name is Denise.  I think you’ll like your

new home.  You get to wander my whole apartment, and do what you like.  Just

don’t think about leaving.”

 

After a short pause:  “Oh yes, I should tell you I have

another pet, a cat.   But don’t worry, she’s been declawed.”   He pondered this

information for the rest of the trip.   Although he had many questions, the tiny

man remained silent, for now.

 

Finally, the woman and her new pet arrived home.  She

brought him in and set the makeshift cage on a table.  From there, he could see

the cat, sleeping on a nearby chair.

 

Denise walked over to it and gave it a rough pat.  As the

animal woke up, it responded to her roughness by lying on its back and boxing

her hand with its paws.  She seemed to be trying to bring Denise’s hand close

enough to bite it.  If the cat did have claws, he thought, her hand would be

bloody by now.

 

Denise walked back to her new pet and took him out.  “I’m

going to call you Dodger.  And my cat is Patches.  I think you’ll get along just

fine.  Come on over Patches.”

 

The cat got down from the chair and bounded onto the

table.  It was a 3-color calico type cat, a bit smaller than most, and very

lean.  As he and the cat looked at each other, Dodger wondered what kind of cat

followed commands like that.

 

Patches the cat slowly walked toward the 4-inch man.  She

leaned her face towards him and sniffed.  Then she decided this new pet was not

a threat to her, and walked away, back to her chair.

 

“Well, that went well, at least.”   Denise spent the rest

of that day getting Dodger settled into a  “room” of his own in her bedroom, on

a side table.  He was to sleep there, while Patches slept with Denise on the

bed.

 

The next day, Denise got up early and went to work. 

“Goodbye, you two.  Be good.”

 

Dodger found that Denise was true to her word.  He roamed

and explored the huge apartment, with no trouble from Patches.  The cat spent

most of her day sleeping and eating, and sometimes looking out a window. 

Patches kept her distance, and that was okay with him.

 

When Denise came home, he noticed something about her.  No

matter where Patches was, she always went over to her, played roughly with her,

and generally riled her up.  He wondered why.  That night, after dinner, he

found out.

 

Dodger was sitting with Denise on the living room couch. 

“I’ve always liked animals,” Denise was saying.  “I like dogs best, but they

don’t allow them here.  I used to have a snake, but it was no fun.  It just lay

there.  Did you know that it takes a week for a snake to digest a guinea pig?” 

Dodger was alarmed at the image of Denise feeding her snake a small furry animal

every week.  Creepy.

 

“Anyway, one day I got Patches as a kitten, and I decided

to raise her like a dog.  I taught her games like Hide and Seek, and I even got

her to fetch things.  Watch this.”

 

Denise picked up a cap from a milk jug that was lying

around.  She got Patches attention and then flung the cap across the room.  "Get

it Patches, come on baby!" she called.

 

Patches immediately ran across the room, picked up the cap

in her teeth, and returned it to Denise’s feet.  Patches sat waiting for her to

do it again.

 

Dodger spoke up.  “She seems like such a gentle cat during

the day.  But when you come home, she gets…kind of wild.”

 

“That’s because I like her that way.”  Something in her

tone told him the subject was closed.

 

The next night, while Denise played with her cat, Dodger

was walking nearby.  Denise spied him.  “Come on, join the fun.  I don’t want

boring pets in my house.”  She grabbed Dodger and set him down near Patches.

 

The young man was not prepared to wrestle an animal many

times his size.  For one thing, she had teeth.  Sharp ones.  He began to leave.

 

“Stay right there,” she commanded.  He stood still as she

continued to work Patches into a frenzy.  Then she got up and sat down nearby.

 

Dodger was waiting for her to explain when he felt a

massive paw land on his shoulder.  He went crashing forward on his stomach. 

When he got his breath, he tried to get up.  He struggled forward a few inches,

only to be knocked down again.

 

Dodger looked at Denise.  There was a strange expression on

her face.  “No, no, Patches, don’t.”  But her voice was flat.  She stood up and

came forward.  Was it his imagination, or was she taking her time to help

him?

 

Denise picked up the shaken Dodger.  “Oh, I’m so sorry,

little man.  Sometimes she gets carried away.  Bad kitty!”  Denise took Dodger

back to his “room” and tucked him in for the night.

 

“I’m making Patches sleep downstairs tonight.  That’s what

she gets for being rough with you.  Goodnight little man.”  She bent down to

give him his first kiss.

 

The next day was uneventful.   Dodger did make a conscious

decision to befriend the cat.  He thought this might prevent any more incidents

in the future.  Once, when Patches was resting, but not yet asleep, Dodger made

his move.  He slowly moved closer to her, all the while talking in soft tones. 

Patches looked at him with a friendly face.  She wasn’t purring yet, but he had

made progress.  The cat’s eyes turned to slits and finally closed altogether.

 

Denise came home again and the ‘wild kitty’ pattern

re-emerged.  Dodger made sure to keep his distance this time.  Later, she and

Dodger followed their routine of talking on the couch.  Denise, as usual , did

most of the talking.  After a few minutes, she made an announcement.

 

“Dodger, we’re going to have company tomorrow night.  I’ve

asked my friend Maggie over for drinks and dinner after work.  She’d really like

to meet you.”

 

“Are you sure you want me around?” Dodger said.  “I could

give you some privacy.”

 

“Oh no, you’re invited too.  In fact, you’re the

entertainment.”  This last part made Dodger curious, but then Denise changed the

subject.

 

The next day, Dodger went even further to get to know

Patches.  He waited until she was relaxing on the floor, then slowly walked up

to her.  Dodger slowly approached like before, this time getting close enough to

touch the cat’s fur.  Very carefully, he reached out and stroked the spot behind

her ear.

 

Incredibly, he began to hear it.  A purring, very soft at

first, but getting louder.  He continued the stroking for a long time until she

again fell asleep.  Soon I’ll have nothing to fear from this creature, he

thought

 

Late in the afternoon, Dodger heard voices outside the

apartment door.  He saw Denise come in, and then another woman with dark hair. 

She had a somewhat pretty face with a thin body.  This must be Maggie, he

thought.

 

“Hi Dodger,” said Denise.  “Maggie, this is the new pet I

told you about.”  Maggie did not speak, but just looked at Dodger and then back

to Denise.  She had an odd look on her face.  She drew Denise back and whispered

something in her ear.  Denise nodded quickly.

 

“Why don’t you go out to the living room, Dodger, and we’ll

join you in a minute.”  As he did the whispering started again.

 

As Dodger waited, he noticed Patches in the corner.  He

hoped that Denise would forget the ‘wild’ treatment tonight, but then he heard

Denise calling.  “Patches, come in here right now.”  The cat bolted and ran into

the kitchen.  Dodger could soon hear the sounds of Denise’s roughhousing.  Just

great, he thought.

 

The two women came out with a pitcher of martinis and three

glasses, including an extra small one for Dodger.  They both sat on the couch

with Dodger between them.  With the two women chatting to each other and getting

comfortable, Dodger was starting to enjoy himself. Then Denise asked a favor.

 

“Dodger, I’d like to put my slippers on.  They’re over

there.  Would you get them for me?”

 

He was puzzled.  She didn’t usually ask things like this

and it would be so much easier if she got them herself.  But he lowered himself

to the floor to do as she asked.

 

He figured it would take two trips, one for each slipper. 

While on the floor he noticed that both women had removed their shoes.  He

stopped briefly to admire their bare feet.  But then he remembered his

mission.   When he had almost reached his destination, he heard Denise’s

commanding voice behind him.  “Get him Patches!  Get Dodger!”

 

Dodger turned to see the animal stalking him.  The face was

not friendly this time, but had the calm look of a hunter.  The absolute quiet,

the absence of any hissing or spitting, made the drama all the more chilling. 

Then, she pounced.

 

It was like before, but worse.  Dodger was repeatedly

knocked down and played with, as if he were a tiny mouse.  When he tried to

move, he would feel the horrible force of the cat’s paw upon him.  There was no

escape.  His only hope was Denise.  He looked up to find her.

 

On the couch, Denise leaned forward with excitement.  She

made no move to help the tiny man, and was in fact enjoying the show.  Maggie,

who had been talking in low tones, now spoke louder.

 

“Are you sure you want to go through with this?  Doesn’t it

seem cruel to you?”

 

Denise sat, transfixed.  She did not look at Maggie, but

seemed to be talking to no one with a voice from deep inside:  “I love this.”

 

“Well, I don’t know if I can watch any more.”

 

Back on the floor, Dodger continued to get battered and

bruised every few seconds.  Once Patches got her paw around him and sent him

sailing through the air.  On impact, he curled up and tried to play dead.  He

called for help in a small voice.

 

“Denise!  Please!”

 

He soon realized it was in vain.  Finally, he used all of

his strength to make a dash for a nearby potted plant.  Maybe he could evade the

monster.  Patches, who had been slowing down, now came back to violent life and

pounced with her full weight.  She sank her teeth into his neck.  It was the

final stroke.

 

Patches picked up the small, still body of Dodger with her

mouth, and brought it over to the women.  He dropped it by the still bare feet

of Denise.

 

“That’s my goood kitty,” she cooed, patting the cat’s head

affectionately.  “You’ll get an extra treat for this.”  The proud animal purred

loudly.  Then she walked away to find her water bowl.

 

Denise surveyed the tiny form by her feet.  “Oooh, yuck,”

said Denise to her friend.  “Now I have to dispose of this.  That’s one of

Patches’ worst faults.

 

“She never eats her kill.”

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