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Mrs. Macy Jones

by Heather J. Frederick

Mrs. Macy Jones was a sexy kitten trapped in a frumpy old woman’s body. No one believed her, especially her husband. She went into heat. She’d developed a passion for tuna fish. Even the patch of white hair on her head he refused to take as proof.

“Get used to it, woman. You’re going gray.”

No she wasn’t. She was going calico.

Each night after dinner they sat on the couch, Tom reading, she wondering how to bridge the distance between them. It seemed farther every night. She tried rubbing her head against his shoulder. He pushed her away. She tried kneading his lap.

“Ow!” he said. “What the... have you filed your nails? Into points?”

Finally she turned her back to him and started licking her hand.

The doorbell rang.

“Can you get that, honey?” she asked. “I’m in the middle of my bath.”

“Oh, for crying out...” He stood and kicked a path through the remnants of a shredded cushion. “I suppose this was you, too?”

“Of course not!” What did he think she was, some kind of animal? “That was the dog.”

He opened the front door on their neighbor, her arms loaded with begonia carcasses, her suit stained with mud. Torn roots dangled from a clump of wet sod. The flowers themselves had been destroyed, leaving only rims of fuscia, gnawed clean. Apparently by something with sharp teeth.

Macy shrank into the couch and peeked over the top. She felt a warm flush crawling up her skin. Suddenly, she was drenched in sweat.

Catnip, that was the third time today. She fanned her face, though it never helped.

“How can I help you, Fay?” Tom stood straight, looking not at all embarrassed by his plaid pyjamas and t-shirt. Macy couldn’t help but think he’d look great in leather chaps, too. She’d made the mistake of mentioning it once.

But he’d never go for that kind of thing.

“Tom, we’ve been neighbors a long time.” Fay stared at the ground, blushing. Macy suspected why. But it had been the middle of the day, no one was supposed to be home.

“Those your husband’s flowers?” Tom asked.

“They were.”

“This have something to do with my dog?”

“Not... your dog.”

“I don’t understand. I’m very sorry about the plants, but—” Tom started to shut the door.

The door landed against something, probably Fay’s foot. “Ow! It’s your wife. She did this. And—”

Tom wiped his face with his hands. Took a deep breath. He opened the door again. “Whatever it is, you should probably just say it.”

Macy ducked, knowing what was coming next.

“She was naked,” Fay said.

The door slammed.

Uh-oh. Macy dared to inch her nose above the edge of the couch. Tom glared at her, hands on hips. “So now you’re romping after Mitch? This has gotten out of... Good Lord, why are you taking off your shirt?”

She’d tell him cats didn’t wear clothes, but he’d never understand. “I’m hot.” When she dropped the wet garment on the floor, several long strands of her formerly brown hair came with it.

No! Her hair wasn’t thinning, she was shedding.

He stomped over to her. “Of course you’re hot, you’re beautiful. Don’t try to distract me. Is this part of your... new interest? Are you having an affair?” He shook his head, the image of rueful self-blame. “This is all because I haven’t retired yet. I take you for granted, don’t I?”

Had he just called her beautiful? She tried to meet his eyes, but he was staring at her breasts. “Hey, handsome. Up here.”

He lifted his head reluctantly. Like a puppy expecting the worst. Of course, he was right about taking her for granted. But the woeful look on his face was enough to melt her feline heart.

After thirty-four years, no matter how they’d drifted apart, he was still her Tom Cat. Still the one she wanted. “Yeah,” she admitted, “things have been rough. But it’s not all your fault. I promise, I’m not having an affair.”

“Then how do you explain the incident in... um, the flowers?”

Okay, she’d been naked in her neighbor’s garden. But if she was exploring other territory, it was only because her own husband hadn’t heeded her attempts to mate. Which was too embarrassing to admit. “It’s... complicated.”

He sat down on the couch and took her hand. “Listen, Macy, this cat thing—”

“I know. It’s time to stop.” Who was she kidding? She hated fish. Female pattern baldness ran in her family. It wasn’t heat, they were just hot flashes. And her husband didn’t want her anymore.

“I think I know the solution,” he said gently.

“You do?” She sighed. He was probably planning to take her to the vet and have her neutered.

He put his arm around her and squeezed her thigh. “How would you like a collar?”

Oh. Um. “Meow!”

Copyright © 2014 by Heather J. Frederick

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