Jeff Mount

Tiger Returns, Again

Sometimes, they really do come back.

Heather and I had chosen him together. I named him “Tiger” after a certain golfer you may have heard of. He seemed so playful at the Humane Society.

Heather and I had an ugly breakup shortly thereafter and I was left with that fucking cat, which ended up being a hell storm of a feline. He would pounce onto my bed in the middle of the night and dig his claws into me and bite me and generally harass me to the point that sleep was impossible. Lock him out of my room you say? Yes, and endure that hideous screeching meow as he begged for entry? I’d rather jam a pencil in my ear.

So, I had to get rid of him you see. I really had no choice. So, one night I tossed him in the car, drove a couple miles away and chucked him out into the large parking lot of an apartment complex.

“Sorry, buddy”. These were my parting words. I’m scum, I know.

Tiger scurried off under a car and I headed home.

Later that night, I was sitting on my couch watching TV and eating cereal when I heard that horrific meow outside my front door. Tiger had found his way back to my house, miraculously. His fur was pretty messed up and dirty but other than that he seemed fine. I shook my head and let him in, feeling ashamed and generally weirded out. I mumbled a weak apology and gave the little guy some milk and tuna fish.

More of the same clawing, biting, screeching and hell raising over the next couple of nights compelled me to take Tiger on another journey; this one much further away. I drove across the overpass of I-5, took some twists and turns through the labyrinth of a random neighborhood about 10 miles away from my house, and left Tiger at a smaller apartment complex I happened to run across. Again, off he pattered underneath a nearby parked car.

“Someone will take care of you better than I can, Tiger.” This would be the final goodbye I was sure. I felt like shit for what I was doing but I did it anyway.

About a week later I was sleeping in my room and was awakened by a screaming “Meoooowwwww!” It had to be that fucking cat again. Un-fucking-believable. I sat up in my bed with a hand over my mouth. I was mortified. How in the hell could he have found his way back. It was impossible! I ran downstairs and opened the front door.

Tiger didn’t look as good this time. Big patches of his fur were gone and he had some scratches and scabs. He was too skinny. He looked at me with angry eyes and snarled.

“Holy shit, Tiger.” I took him into my garage, fished the cat food bag out of my garbage, filled up a bowl, and watched for a moment, amazed, as he inhaled the meal. I tried to keep him in the garage that night but he objected, loudly. I brought him into my room and stayed awake for most of the night, too creeped out to drift off to sleep. Tiger seemed to keep his eyes on me from the corner of my room as he was cleaning himself. At times I heard him growl quietly like a suspicious dog. I had to get rid of that fucking cat somehow.

The very next night, I took Tiger on a drive to the city of Salem, which is about 40 miles from my house. I exited the freeway and drove another couple miles into another random neighborhood and stopped at another large apartment complex. I noticed other cats were running about.

“OK little fella. This is the end of the road for you and me. Looks like you’ll have some friends here at least.” I found it hard to look at him. He hissed at me forcefully from the passenger side of the vehicle. When I tried to pick him up I found it nearly impossible as he had fixed his claws into the upholstery. He screamed and hissed at me again. I tore him away from the seat and put him on the ground. He hissed yet again and jumped back into my car. I wondered if anybody was looking at me from out of their windows in their apartments. I grabbed Tiger again and gave him a little toss towards a grassy median, hopped in my car and took off. I looked in my rearview mirror as I neared the exit of the apartment complex. Tiger was running after me. Fast. I sped up and so did he. He pounced onto the back of my car. I hit the gas and swerved a little to try and throw him off. I could hear the claws screeching against my rear window. It sounded like fingernails on a chalkboard. I looked in my rearview mirror again and saw Tiger rolling and tumbling then finally stop. I could see his snarling teeth. I swear he was looking right in my eyes. I shuddered. I never saw Tiger again.

I felt inhuman as I drove home.

After several months the memory of Tiger started to fade away and I had repressed my horrible actions. I was also finally over my feelings for Heather, so I started dating again. I met Francy at the library in the DVD section. We recommended movies to each other and ended up at my house watching movies that very day. She moved in two months later.

Francy was a gorgeous, tall brunette. I was baffled that she was with me as it seemed like she could have any guy she wanted. She was incredibly humble though, which is so rare for such an attractive person. We seemed to click on so many levels. I was sure she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with so I proposed and she accepted. I was walking on air.

We were due to get married that summer. One night we were in bed and had just finished making love. I was smoking a joint and she was reading Cosmopolitan. That’s when I heard it. It was sickly and weak but a familiar ‘meoww’ nonetheless. I exhaled the smoke in my lungs and started coughing violently. I was stunned, and more scared than I had ever been in my life. I knew it had to be Tiger.

“Oh my god honey what’s wrong?” Francy asked. I don’t think she had heard the cat outside. I had not told her about him and I didn’t care to. Something like that would probably be enough for her to break up with me. She was a real ‘animal person’. She had brought her cat “Snickers” with her to my house when she moved in. Snickers was an older cat though, and easy enough to live with.

“I’m fine babe, no worries.” I assured her. I was gripped by fear and unsure what was about to happen. I knew it was going to be bad. I heard the mangled noise from the cat again outside.

“Was that our Snickers?” Francy asked. Snickers was outside, I remembered.

“No.. no I’m sure Snickers is fine.” I assured her. “Probably just some alley cat or something.”

“I’d better go make sure.” Francy said, and started to get out of bed.

“No, no honey, I’ll go check.” I jumped up, too quickly.

I walked downstairs and took a deep breath before opening my front door. I knew there was no way to prepare myself for what I was about to see so I just figured to hell with it, and swung the door open.

There was nothing on the front porch, except for the bloody paw-prints of a cat. “Holy shit.” I whispered to myself and I tightened my robe and stepped out into the driveway. I followed the bloody paw-prints over to the side of my house, horrified at what I might find. I reached the side of the house and peered around the corner.

Tiger was not there, but what was left of Snickers was. It’s body had been torn open and the guts exposed. There was an incredible amount of blood. It looked like the work of a coyote, but I knew better.

My stomach turned as I put the remains of Snickers in a Hefty bag. We buried him in a park the next day. I convinced Francy that it was indeed a coyote’s work. She was a wreck for weeks. So was I, but for different reasons. Blessedly, however, we didn’t hear from Tiger until one day I got a call at work. It was Francy calling from home.

“What’s up babe?” I asked.

“Hon, there is the most sickly looking creature I’ve ever seen on our front porch.”

I dropped my coffee cup. Hot liquid spilled all over my lap. I yelled.

“What is it?” Asked Francy.

“Nothing. Don’t worry about it. Now, what does this.. thing.. look like?” I spoke through tightly clenched teeth.

“It’s so sad! It’s like a hairless cat but so wounded and frail that it looks like it should be dead. And it won’t go away! It just makes this awful noise like it wants to come in. And it looks like it’s vomited all over the porch. Oh, what should I do?” She was badly shaken at the sight of the creature. I could only imagine what it looked like after all this time. My heart thumped and raced with increasing intensity. My mind was spinning like I was drunk.

“Do not let him in!” I demanded. “I’ll be right home!”

“Him?” Francy asked. “How do you know it’s a ‘him’?”

“Never mind, I’ll be right there.”

I hung the phone up and raced out of the office, claiming I had to go home and change due to the spilled coffee (which was true I suppose, but the least of my concerns at the moment).

I tried calling Francy on my cell phone on the way home. She didn’t answer. I drove faster.

I noticed as I pulled up the driveway that the front door was open. As I walked in I saw vomit on the porch and bloody paw-prints that led inside the house. I ran inside and followed the trail of blood upstairs. I yelled for Francy.

I found her in the hallway upstairs. Just like with Snickers, her flesh had been torn open and she was disemboweled. She lay on the carpet, which was saturated with blood for several feet surrounding her lifeless body. Her mouth was frozen open in a twisted grimace. It looked like part of her tounge had been ripped out.

I saw bloody paw-prints that led into my bedroom. Instead of following them in there, I ran out of the house screaming and sobbing and drove to the police station to tell them everything.

A jury found me guilty of Francy’s murder. I am due to be executed next year.



All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Jeff Mount.
Published on on 01/17/2009.


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