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the canary that swallowed the cat: microfiction


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the canary that swallowed the cat

Ginger pecked irritatedly at feathery fluff that tickled the skin under her beak.

"Look what I found on our front porch, Derrick!" Kevin called toward the den.

"Tell me. I'm up to my kneecaps in dropcloths and paints," his home decorating roomie demurred.

"It's a black male kitten."

"Good luck."

"What?"

"It brings good luck."

"Okay," Kev answered doubtfully. "I'll call him Goody Twoshoes. He has yellow-tipped front feet."

"I gotta see that," Derry announced over a tinny clatter. And, on taking in the scene, "Shouldn't we put Ging up in her cage?"

"Naw, they're getting along okay. It's funny. Goody's declawed anyway."

Intrigued, Derry sat cross-legged on their braided rug, a holdover from the lake house in Onniset, where they'd adopted Ginger when the Kresgees began their retirement hopscotch out west to put up in a coastal tent city to think it all over.

Ginger pecked more determinedly at the feathery stuff grazing her ear. The feathers moved synchronously in a way that tingled the tops of her feet. Ging squeaked in protest. The feathers hummed a baritone tune. She chirped for the chorus. Feathers bristled against her bare belly as she pecked at them so hard a few lingered spicily on her tiny tongue. Her eyes widened in surprise.

"Where's Goody hiding?" Kevin lifted the skirt out from the bottom edge of the divan as he settled in from work the next week.

"Holy Moley!" Derrick exclaimed as he crossed the floor for their kitchen. "What did Ginger swallow? A whole sunflower?"

Ging rolled on her back to give her tummy more room and flexed her golden wings against remnant scraps of Goody yum-yum things left on the couch. She chirped loud and long with a telltale baritone cat song to share her feline feast with friends.


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