Taking Care of Bigfoot (HTML excerpt)
 
Tabby Cub came home from school with his tail held high. He’d been a late bloomer to the hunt, but once he’d begun, he bloomed like the lilacs in summer, all at once in gaudy proliferation. More afternoons than not, he came home carrying prey. But today was different. Today he’d managed to wield the control necessary to capture a small animal without killing it.

He came indoors and transferred his prize from mouth to floor, pressing it securely to the linoleum under a prickly paw. “Mama! Look what I caught!”

Mama Cat was busy making sure that the fur of her left shoulder lay flat and tidy. It’s impossible to satisfactorily describe how irritating fur can be, otherwise. “Child of mine, you know the rules. Dispatch your prey outside; we are not made of carpet cleaner.”

“But I don’t want to eat him! I want to keep him. As a pet.”

Now Mama turned round. She didn’t like what she saw. Her ears went back and she grimaced in disgust. “Kitten, you can’t keep wild humans as pets. Their habits are filthy and they haven’t the intelligence Bast gave rabbits.”

“But, Mama—Lynx and Forest have pet humans, they’ve trained them to comb their fur and sing to them at night, and—”

“How lovely. Have they litter-trained them, too?”

“I don’t—”

“They haven’t. Because it can’t be done. And unlike Lynx’s and Forest’s parents, I can’t afford a full-time housekeeper. Kitten, the answer is no.”

Tabby Cub’s whiskers drooped. So did his tail. Mama Cat sighed. “Look, you can keep him in the backyard. But—” she said hastily, to forestall the too-grateful gleam in her kitten’s eye— “he’s your responsibility. You’ll make sure he has food and water. You’ll clean up his mess. You’ll maintain his habitat.”

“I will, Mama, I will!”

“You had better. Because if you don’t, I’ll dispatch him myself.” With that dire pronouncement, Mama Cat returned to the problem of her shoulder fur....
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This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for March 2, 2018. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1054 words) from Patreon as an ebook or audiobook depending on their pledge tier.

Cover art incorporates public domain image from PIXNIO.