The cat arched its back as it leaned against my arm and nuzzled its head against my leg. His black fur stood on end. A little quiver ran through his body as he stretched. By that time in my life (I was thirteen) I was just starting to grasp the concept that certain species craved attention and affection from others—the Non especially. I’d come to realize that it was I who was different, but still hadn’t considered what that might mean.
I had no desire to pet the cat, or for it to continue touching me. I never derived comfort from animals, and their constant insistence on pressing themselves against me was beyond my understanding. It was infuriating. Nauseating. As ridiculous as it must seem I felt threatened by it in some way. There was a pressure in my chest anytime a living being, human or animal, invaded my space. My heart would race and my throat would become dry, my breathing labored.
This time was no different. I felt it building inside me; my hands trembled.
What might surprise you is that I felt no emotion when I picked the cat up and set it on my lap. No rage or anger, no sympathy, no confusion or fear--just that continually rising pressure. The feline rubbed its face against my t-shirt and twisted onto its back on my crossed legs. It purred and wriggled playfully in an effort to reach those hard to scratch areas, completely unaware of the danger it was in. I rubbed my hand along its belly and felt the ribcage beneath the skin. The cat closed its eyes and purred louder with my touch. I may have smiled then. I stroked him a few times while he lay contented on his back and contorted himself into various unusual positions that didn’t look the least bit comfortable.
I scratched under his chin with both hands. I could feel the vibrations of his pleasure under my fingertips. My jaw tensed. My teeth clenched. The muscles in my neck and shoulders tightened, then my triceps, biceps and forearms. My cock. Sweat pricked my forehead and my heart slammed in my chest.
He must have sensed it. His eyes snapped open the instant before my hands clamped shut around his throat.
I didn’t expect the fight it would put up. He writhed with claws out, raking the skin of my forearms. He kicked wildly at my stomach, shredding the fabric of my shirt. The sting of a light breeze on my wounds strengthened my resolve. I squeezed harder, my thumbs completely buried in the fur of his neck. His bright green eyes bulged and stared at me with shock and betrayal. Its mouth opened and closed several times without a sound.
For a brief second, his struggles faltered and his eyes seemed to lose focus. His legs twitched. I started to loosen my grip. He hissed in a harsh, ragged breath and whirled, trying to jump off of me. An instinctive panic surged through me—a need for self-preservation. I grabbed a handful of fur and tail. He tried to shriek, but it came out as a rasp. He spun on me and tried to bite my hand, but his movements were sluggish, and he didn’t have a chance. My hands found his throat again. I could feel blood trickling down my forearms and dripping from my wrists, falling bright onto the cat’s dark fur.
He fought fiercely for his life. I’ve had humans give up more quickly than that fucking cat did. But in the end he failed. I felt a crack beneath my fingers, and the fight went out of him instantly. His green eyes dilated and rolled back in his head. He went limp in my hands.
I was a mess. My hands were caked in dirt and blood. Deep gouges marked both of my inner arms, some still seeping. I’d taken off my torn tee and used it to wipe them off, but it hadn’t helped to do much other than to further ruin the shirt. Halfway home, I shoved it into a rain gutter. I knew better than to bring it with me into the house. My stepfather had been dead for years, but mom had learned plenty and was no less vicious on her own. In some ways, she was probably more so.
I snuck in, prepared for the worst. I needn’t have worried. She was plenty occupied by whatever dreams had been in the needle on the table by the couch.