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Log of the Month for December, 2008

Day Is Done
Posted on December 1st, 2008 by Charity Suite

Charity stepped cautiously into her quarters, looking left, then right. One never knew where Cuppin’ Cakes would attack from, so caution was always advised when the cat had been subjected to an indignation, real or imagined.

“Cupcake? Kittykitty?” Charity called softly, not wishing to wake the cat if she was sleeping. Nothing.

‘Nothing’ was bad.

Normally, Cuppin Cakes would be near the door when Charity got home from her shift, talking in a muted, yet persistent, cat monologue. Obviously, Cuppin’s day was always far more important to talk about than Charity’s, so it was generally best to let her talk and get it out of her system. Charity imagined stories filled with savage space rodents that Cuppin had slain, fields of catnip that she’d rolled in and squashed flat, or vicious dogs she’d chased off with a slash of her claws and a cold stare.

But when Cuppin’ wasn’t at the door, Charity knew to be afraid. Very afraid.

Cuppin’ was infamous for her ‘Sulk and Slash’ temper. If she’d been wronged, Charity could count on paying the price. There would be a prolonged period of searching for wherever Cuppin’ was ensconced, then a revelation as the target of the rage of the feline was identified, followed by the inevitable cleanup phase. If Charity didn’t get back from her shift in a reasonable amount of time, the remains of more than one cat toy would be strewn across the floor of the living room. Once, after a de-tangling session at the groomer, the contents of Charity’s toilet paper dispenser adorned her quarters quite artistically. It was weeks before all of the tissue shrapnel had been vacuumed up.

Charity shook a bag of cat treats. “Sweetie, come on,” she called. Nothing. Shake-shake-shake. Still nothing. The tuna-flavored treats were a peace offering meant to divert and appease the cat, but if she didn’t appear for the shaking of the bag, there would be no diverting, never mind any appeasing.

Turning the corner into the bedroom, Charity stopped, looked around, and sighed deeply. Work had been one long, grueling haul, and the Medical team was still working to attend to all of the injured from the attack on the Atlantis. One possible fatality, seven critical, fifteen serious and a seemingly endless supply of minor bumps, bruises and scrapes had kept the entire department hopping under the watchful eye of Da Boss. However, it would be quite some time before Charity would be able to get a decent rest.

There was a fine, white haze of goose down covering every square millimeter of surface area in Charity’s bedroom, with large clumps of down here and there as though they had been placed for maximum artistic impact. There was down across the bed, covering the carpeting, adorning the dresser, on top of the mirror over the dresser, on the nightstand, in the glass on the nightstand, on the shelves … it was everywhere. The closet door was partly open, and feather detritus covered everything inside the small space. The bathroom floor had been changed from a dark granite stone look to snowy white fuzz, while the bath mat had surrendered as well to the onslaught of down, no longer green and fluffy but white and fuzzy.

In the middle of the bed, at the center of a great deal of down (how much down could possibly be in one pillow?), and next to what must have been the pillowcase, lining *and* decorative green pillowsham, lay a large, long-haired tuxedo cat, staring at Charity with an unblinking bottle-green gaze. Her black fur was absolutely pristine, as though not one molecule of down dared to drift onto it. Her white bib front and white-tipped front paws were also defiantly free of feathers. The only sign that Cuppin’ had anything to do with the carnage, aside from the clawed shreds of fabric from the hapless pillow, was a small clump of down wrapped around one carefully sheathed rear claw. That clump dislodged as Charity picked up the cat, and seemed to weave itself into the fabric of her uniform.

“Ah shoulda known better, Miss Cakes. But, in mah defense, Ah tried ta bring you here mahself, so you know it weren’t mah fault.” Charity scratched under Cuppin’s chin, eliciting a resonant purr and several affectionate head-butts. Now that the punishment had been meted out, Cuppin’ would be the most affectionate, docile of cats. She gave Charity one last head-butt, swept her raspy tongue across Charity’s chin, and jumped down, headed for the kitchenette where dinner would be served.

Charity looked around once again, wondered idly where the central vacuuming outlet was, and trailed off after the cat to grab a couple fingers’ worth of Irish Cream out of the bottle in the packing box labeled ‘Exercise Equipment’ before tackling the cleanup. Several tendrils of seemingly weightless down wafted out of the bedroom, pursuing Charity and decorating the living room with delicate white fibers.

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