A Floof Toast

Here’s to the players

The goofs

Zoomin’ through the rooms

The ones in a tug of war

Stalking others

And evening the score

Here’s to the eaters

The watchers

The ones who sleep and snore

The ones who entertain us daily

Slayin’ life’s dull bore

Here’s to the chubby ones

The chow hounds

The ones who always want a treat

The tall ones

The little ones

Still growing to their feet

Here’s to those with stubby legs

Wagging tails

Swishing tails

And tails that they chase

Here’s to the ones who smile at us

Nibble toes

Bite our nose

And take a tongue to our face

If I

If I had to drink some wine

You know I think I could find the time

And if you want to make me dance

I would probably be willing to take that chance

If I had to work today

I’d ask if maybe there’s not another way

And if I were asked to write a song

You know it wouldn’t last too long

If you told me I need to find joy

I’d laugh and sing, oh boy, oh boy

But if you tried to start a war

I’d walk away

Because war’s a bore

The Cat Chant

Sung by three cats as a round

Entertain me

                Cause I’m a cat

Entertain me

                 Not like that

Entertain me

                With a toy

Entertain me

                That was just a ploy

Entertain me

With a song

Entertain me

                That one is wrong

Entertain me

                Let me out

Entertain me

                Just not now

Entertain me

                Scratch my head

Entertain me

                Touch me now and you’ll be dead

Entertain me

                Give me food

Entertain me

                I’m not in the mood

Entertain me

                Because I’m bored

Entertain me

                My life is such a chore

Entertain me

                Cause I’m a cat

Entertain me

                Not like that

Contact 2

Continued from Contact

Britt (not his real name) had never planned to be Human. Nor had he expected to be on Earth. On his eighth life, he’d been cruising toward his ninth. Omnipotence would be his, was almost within reach of his yearning fingers but then –

Well, then.

Then.

He’d secured every thought and emotion – and there was a huge spectrum of these – around ‘then’ under a mountain, sealed it in a mental tunnel, blocked its access. Because –

Well. Then.

Once he’d learned of his fate, he researched what he could about the planet and human civilizations. He learned: his people hadn’t visited in over two thousand Terran years, thirty-five hundreds of their own years. Still, some items were left behind. He acquired maps and entry codes, found and fixed the vehicle pushing through the processes of activating and testing the systems and flying the thing. Three years, he’d taken, manufacturing new parts, testing everything, adjusting to his body and their limited senses, cursing the optimists who’d informed him that, although they’d never been Human, being Human on Earth was apparently much like it was enduring in your seventh life.

Ha. They were wrong.

Being Human was worse.

© 2022 Michael Seidel

Contact

He’d begun to wonder.

A snowstorm was traversed that morning when he came over the pass, following the Interstate. Hurricane force winds. Icy temperatures. Snow without end, clotting light, forcing a squint into his tired eyes as he and the cats and dog peered ahead. No one slept. The animals had to be with him, of course; they were mostly silent constant shadows. Itty Bitty was on the console and Floofy Cat rode the right-hand chair. Almost Dog lolled his tongue from the left-hand seat. Britt had the center seat – when he sat. Mostly, he nursed coffee and stood or paced.

Steering by him and such controls weren’t required. Protected by its energy shied, the machine scythed along. Systems weren’t optimum but speed was low, fifty miles per hour. Plenty of energy remained in reserve and the cells hovered around ninety percent. Altitude was five hundred feet. The imaging system showed a city in the valley below but nothing over eleven stories. Still, uncomfortable, flying blind. He drank coffee and hovered around the drive deck, eyes skipping between the snow outside and the instruments, maps, radar, and GPS.

Weariness finally won. He told the vehicle to find a place to land. Pavement was found; he nixed that, asking for a meadow. One sufficiently large was tracked down. The machine settled itself twelve minutes later. Snow still fell. Wind remained an angry infant wailing. He deployed the security fencing. Despite twenty-degrees Fahrenheit temperature – minus two when the wind was considered – the little machines sailed out of their portals, and then created and erected the perimeter protection in fourteen minutes. The shield was expanded to include the ship and the area to the fencing.

The systems said the snow had ceased the next morning and the temperature was up to twenty-four. He spent a little energy warming the air outside the machine, melting the snow off the shield, letting in blue sky and sunlight. Growing more comfortable and relaxed, he spied on the town. No people were detected. Not much of anything showed up. There were stores. BiMart. Google said it was an employee-owned enterprise, part of a chain. Albertsons and Safeway. A Market of Choice. Rite Aid. Six miles away. He flipped a mental quarter and decided to take the five pack in for scavenging.

It was after coming back that he detected other people. Three women, according to the vehicle’s senses. Been three months since he’d had human contact, but he was in no hurry to meet anyone. Taking manual control of the vehicle, he confirmed the cloak was on and steered toward their reported location. Spying them, he settled the vehicle into a hover and watched.

Three women. Struggling. Indeterminant age in that ragged clothing. One seemed worse.

Why, though, were they out in this thick white? Snow climbed over their knees.

Desperate people, of course. Most survivors were desperate, hungry for the right food, thirsting for company, praying for help.

Britt tapped a finger on the center console and counted, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four. Didn’t know why he did that and when he caught himself, he willed, stop.

He figured the woman must be trying to reach the city. They were at least a few miles away.

A sigh breached his lips. The humane thing to do and all that. He guided the vehicle forward until he was just ten feet away. Then he uncloaked. Let them see him.

Took a double fist of seconds before one focused attention on the vehicle. Pushing back thick brown hair and light blue hood, she held them off her pale, wan face to take in his car. Turning on his vehicle’s ears, he heard her ask, “What’s that?” Then, when the others put attention on her, she pointed at the car.

He settled it onto the snow and popped the door. Stepping out, he called, “Hello. Need any help?”

© 2022 Michael Seidel

Friday’s Theme Music

Dark day in the house despite the sun’s arrival at its appointed time of 7:40 AM. He’d been a little slow warming up for his shift. Most people didn’t know that inside the sun were maintainers on shifts ensuring the light and heat was properly maintained. The sun preferred that no one ever found out. They might start looking if the heat and shine start sputtering. Of course, there was one being called, “Sun”. Parry had never met him; his predecessor, a woman hired him. Maybe ‘the sun’ was another myth. Who knows the truth? The truth was, he was still a little hammered. Had gone out with a few from other shifts yesterday. Made a night of it, ha, ha. That was their favorite joke.

He’d had reason for going out and drinking. This was his anniversary. January 7, 2022. (Right? Wasn’t it? They’d argued the date for some time the previous night.) Been on the job for four hundred years. Enough for a pay bump. Six hundred more until retirement. He’d already begun planning that. Had picked out a star and was saving for a place. Was tired of living in the solar system. He’d spent his whole life there. Born on Pluto, then moved to Mercury. Followed Mum into solar management. Got a job locally. But, he would travel, go to other stars, after he retired. Maybe marry. If he met the right one. Only place he’d really been besides Pluto, Mercury, and the Sun, was the dark side of the moon. Was everything they’d said it would be. Yes, he had been on a few comets. But come on, who had not?

The sun was on course. Would set over Ashland at 4:55 PM. His shift ended a little later. He poured a cup of coffee and peeked into the little region of his responsibility. Chilly day down there. 43. Cloudy. Rainy. Would only reach 45. Not really bad for a winter day, as he understood all that, which was, not much. Weather was another’s purview. He was all about the shine.

With everything settled down, he turned on some music, shifting through dials until a tune he liked was struck, and began playing computer solitaire and wishing for new games. Like the sun couldn’t afford it.

###

That just popped up, so I went with it. That out of the way, today’s theme music is by Jet, a 2003 song called “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”. Of course, I was singing it to a cat last night. A ginger boy. So, it was, are you gonna be my cat? He stared at me, like, what? The song stayed in the morning mental music stream. So, here we are.

Stay positive. Test negative. Wear a mask as needed. Get the jabs when you can. Coffee time for me. Cheers

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