by Ann Marie R. Harvie
The day I met my new best friend started much like any other. I rolled out of bed, jumped from the shower into my clothes and nearly burned myself as I quickly filled my travel mug with coffee and ran out the door.
After screeching into the office parking lot on two wheels, I barely made it to my desk on time. Just as I put down my backpack, my boss strolled over to let me know I had a meeting with an important client at 12:30 p.m., cutting my lunch hour in half. I smiled and nodded, but when he left, I rolled my eyes. Darn! I had a lunch date with a guy I met while I was grocery shopping last night. He was handsome and seemed like he had a great personality. I wanted to get to know him better. But not this afternoon I sighed to myself as I dialed his number. However, my heart skipped a beat when I heard his silky, baritone voice suggest drinks after work. Maybe the day would be so bad after all!
My morning was productive but uneventful. My growling stomach told me it was time for lunch. The fact that my lunch bag what not sitting beside me because of the canceled lunch date reminded me that I didn’t bring anything. Not wanting my stomach to be a third party in my important client meeting, I ran down the street to the supermarket Sushi bar. Certainly not high-end, but fresh. I realized I was running out of time, so I clumsily ate my sushi as I walked. I was only halfway through with my lunch when I realized that I would have to run to make my meeting on time. I spotted an adorable grey cat sitting on top of small historical shrine situated between high rises just ahead of me. I take my left over raw salmon and I placed it on the shrine in front of the cat. “Today’s your lucky day, Kitty,” I said.
I gave him a quick pat on the head before depositing my container in the trash and sprinted back to the office.
As I opened the door to the office building, I stopped short when I saw the cat in front of me. “Do you know I’ve been sitting on that stupid shrine for 200 years waiting for someone to bring me an offering,” it said.
My eyes went wide. What was in that sushi?! I didn’t have time for hallucinations. Not really believing I just heard a cat talk, I gently nudged him away from the front door with my foot so I could open the door. “That’s all I have, Kitty,” I said as I hurried back to my desk.
I grabbed my folder with the project status report and hurried to the conference room where I was supposed to have a one on one with my client. When I got there, the client had not yet arrived – but my furry friend did.
“Ugh! Who let you in, Kitty?” I asked as I rushed to pick him up. “You can’t be in here. My client will be here any minute.”
As I looked around the room frantically for a window to put the cat out – we were on the first floor and only a foot or so from the ground – the cat spoke again. “My name is not Kitty,” he said with a touch of annoyance in his male voice. “I am not a cat. I am a God. My name is Uthar.”
I placed the cat down on the conference table and I plopped myself down in a chair in front of him, still not believing he was talking. “That sushi wasn’t as fresh and I thought it was,” I said to myself.
“I’ve been waiting 200 years…”
I cut the god off. “Yes, yes so you’ve said. Look I have an important meeting…”
The god then cut me off. “A god has decided to befriend you, and you tell him you have a meeting?”
I eyed the little furball. He was adorable. The apartment was lonely with just me, so I decided either way he was coming home. “A god, huh? Why would a god want to befriend me?”
Uthar swished his tail. “I had been cursed to sit on that shrine until someone made an offering to me. In all this time, I’ve been petted, teased, tortured and have had food thrown at me. But no one ever offered me food in kindness until today. You have freed me from my shrine and I will reward you with friendship.”
Stilling thinking I was having some psychotic break, I said, “Well, you’re welcome. You don’t have to of anything for me. Your gratitude is enough.”
“Oh, come now, I am a very beneficial friend.”
Before I could argue further, my client knocked on the door. Uthar jumped off the table and hid under the far end. “Thank you!” I whispered as I opened the door.
To my surprise, the meeting went well. The client was happy with the progress I was making designing his storefront and said if I kept up the good work, I would get a bonus.
I left the conference room with my new cat in my arms and hid him under the desk, offering him water until I got home. Uthar sure enjoyed tuna fish and milk for a non-cat. As I got ready for my date, I asked Uthar which dress he liked better. “The red one,” he said between mouthfuls. “I don’t see why you are leaving to be with a mortal when you can spend your time with a god.”
“Humans want human contact,” I explained while I put on my make up. “Although I love that I have a talking cat.”
“I am not a cat.”
As I patted Uthar on the head, the doorbell rang. I opened the door and my date walked through.
Uthar reacted, and not in a good way.
My non-cat cat’s back went up and his hair stood on end. His big, blue eyes narrowed into slits and he bared his teeth as he let out a mighty hiss. My date took a step back and gave out a little laugh. “Whoa, Kitty! Calm down. What a tiger!”
I eyed Uthar and told to behave himself as I left with my date.
Worst date ever.
I couldn’t get home fast enough. Just as my new cat could magically talk, my date magically grew extra hands, or at least it seemed that way. After threats of assault charges, he apologized for grabbing and groping me and offered to take me home.
I stupidly accepted. Once home, I tried to close the door, but my date was right behind me and forced himself inside. He grabbed me, but I got away. I ran to the other side of my small, open concept apartment. I rushed past Uthar, who laid on the kitchen table. As soon as he saw me, he jumped up and resumed his protective, threatening stance. My date stopped advancing and regarded Uthar with a laugh. “Are you kidding me? Your killer cat is going to try to save you? I don’t think so.”
Uthar hissed once more, but it seemed much louder and more guttural than before. I eyed my cat. His teeth seemed way bigger than I remembered them earlier. Actually, he seemed a lot bigger.
Right in front of my eyes, my sweet grey kitty morphed into an obscenely large grey wolf. His pretty blue eyes were blood red, and one of his fangs were the length of my hand from fingertip to wrist.
My date also noticed the change. The color left his face as he fell over himself trying to get out of my apartment. Uthar bit his backside and tore a large hole in my date’s pants as a personal memento of the evening.
Once the real monster was out of the apartment, Uthar changed back into the small grey cat. That was it – I was convinced. My new cat, my new best friend, was really a god. I stood staring at him while he cleaned his faced with his paws. After a while I said. “Wow. Thanks, Uthar.”
He stopped cleaning himself and regarded me. “I am Uthar, God of Battle,” he bellowed. And then added matter-of-factly, “I told you I wasn’t a cat.”
And so began our life-long friendship. I’ve got to say, it’s nice having a God as a BFF.
Copyright 2017 Out of this World Publishing. Photo courtesy of pixabay