A Cat Named Meowlan (Flash Fiction #86)

Image by Doris Metternich from Pixabay

“Your name will be Meowlan.” Cindy Chai says to the cat in the animal shelter, with whom she falls in love at the first sight. No doubt she’s under the influence of the movie “Mulan” she just watched.

Meowlan lives for two wonderful years with Cindy. Her only responsibility is to play and to snuggle with Cindy, which Meowlan loves to do. Actually she does it so well, maybe too well that sometimes Cindy has to push her annoying paws away from her laptop keyboard, or to unfasten her cat embrace in the morning hours.

However Meowlan’s life of leisure and innocence is over. Things are about to change.

Cindy Chai and Tommy Tan had been in a stable relationship for years, but when Cindy proposed that they should get married since she wanted to have a child, Tommy went panicky. He’s not ready. A heartbreaking scene followed, which inevitably resulted in a breakup.

Cindy finds a new job in the nearby state of Pennsylvania and moves away. Meowlan is left to Tommy’s care until Cindy settles down in her new place. The farewell between the feline and her beloved human takes place in the living room–Cindy sheds tears while Meowlan vows to do something about this sad situation.

Not long after Cindy left, Meowlan observes a beautiful girl who shows Tommy a kind of familiarity that can only lead to an undesirable result. Tommy and the young woman are having a cup of coffee in the kitchen when Meowlan saunters in to size them up. The young woman tries to pet the cat, and her hand is immediately bitten and blood starts to ooze out. Tommy curses the cat and runs to the bathroom to get the first aid kit. “She’s never done this before. What’s getting into her.” Tommy says.

The little accident actually has the reverse effect of bringing the two together more intimately, much to Meowlan’s distress. Still the girl disappears and never shows up again, much to Meowlan’s delight.

For the next several months, Meowlan perfects her techniques of growling and meowing at the most inopportune moment to disrupt Tommy’s conversation with his visitors. She also learns to soil the visitor’s bag or shoes whenever the opportunities come in handy. The best trick of all is when Tommy and his girl are having their dinner–some takeout food or pizza. She would try to jump on the table, bite their food, disturb their drinks, or push things off the counter.

“Cindy, when are you going to take the cat away?” Tommy calls Cindy to complain of Meowlan’s antics.

Soon a more formidable girl arrives, whose name is Tana. Meowlan tries all her tricks, but Tana is such an animal lover that she forgives her. Meowlan actually starts to think about switching her allegiance to Tana when she learns that Tana has a dog–Meowlan doesn’t like dog very much. So Tana has to go. The fact that Tana is more loving and forgiving towards animals has made the task much harder to deal with. However desperate moments call for desperate measures.

One day, Tommy comes back from work early and starts to cook a romantic dinner–not really cooking seriously; just some prepackaged things to throw in the oven; two steaks in the frying pan. Meowlan instantly senses that the relationship is getting to the next level. She has to act quickly.

Right in front of Tommy’s eyes, Meowlan drops from the highest shelf to the floor. Then she rolls over a couple of times and passes out.

“Look, you rascal. It serves you right. You are getting too annoying recently. Are you dead? Wake up? Are you dead? Is this a new trick of yours? Listen, I don’t have time to deal with you right now.”

There’s no response. Tommy touches the cat, who seems to stiffen up and goes cold. Tommy’s mind is all on the steak he’s cooking since Tana is coming. So he wraps the little stiff body in a towel, put it in the bathroom, and goes back to the kitchen. When Tana comes and sees the cat body, she screams.

“Are you cooking when your cat is dying? How can you be so cold?”Tana says.

“She is probably playing a game. She doesn’t behave well.” Tommy says.

“The cat doesn’t behave well and I have always suspected she’s being abused. An abused little creature who doesn’t know how to behave. Oh, poor dear. She’s really stiff and I think she’s dead. And how can she die suddenly? She looks healthy just two days ago. I can’t stand you. You are a cat murderer. Better still, I am going to report you to the animal welfare association if such an organization exists.” Tana says with tears in her eyes.

“I didn’t do anything. She fell off the top shelf and just died.” Tommy tries to explain, but Tana won’t listen. She runs and disappears into the misty evening air.

An hour later, when Tommy is chewing his steak alone, Meowlan wanders into the kitchen. Tommy looks at her with hatred.

“You are a little devil, aren’t you? I bet if I call Tana back, you are going to pretend you are dead again. I’ve had enough of you. You hear me? I’ve had enough of you.”

Tommy stands up to come to catch the cat, but the cat is quicker than him. She jumps onto the table, grabs the steak (half a steak since Tommy has eaten half way through), and runs to the door, which stays ajar since Tana left. Tommy follows the cat. This is the first floor of an apartment building and there’s a stone stair about half a flight above the ground. In his haste, Tommy doesn’t care where he steps and he falls down the stairs–his knees scraped, his face scratched. His hand bleeds too. He lies on the grass… The alarm clock screams.

Cindy wakes up and it’s a dream.

She comes to the kitchen and Tommy is already there with a cup of coffee in hand.

“Are we going to get the cat we saw yesterday at the animal shelter?” Tommy asks.

“Yes, I have a name for her: Meowlan. What do you think?” Cindy says. She wonders when she’s going to talk with Tommy about their future–marriage, kid etc. Tommy is a nice guy, but is he ready? If he’s not ready, is she ready to break up with him?

39 thoughts on “A Cat Named Meowlan (Flash Fiction #86)

    1. I can’t come up with an ending and this is the best I can do. Originally I thought of making Tommy yield to Cindy’s wishes, but my experiences always tell me that reality is a whimsical beast. If Tommy yields, he does it with some caveats. It has to be that way, but I can’t come up with a plausible caveat.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow! This was just a dream. Haha! That’s so creative. But the story is amazing and I love the name Meowlan. That cat is a loyal one and would make sure that his mistress was replaced by no one. Your stories are always a mix of surprising elements and emotions, Haoyan. They have such a fresh feel to them. Great one! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh, I see. Me neither. However if I were to get a pet, I will opt for a cat. I imagined you were out exercising (in one of your blogs about hiking or something else) with your dog beside you, but it is obviously a wrong image.

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