Squirrel!Matrix

Okay, so I now know why that one day was so quiet.

The squirrels were training their Neo.

Yesterday I was on the treadmill. It was the last five minutes of a five-mile run and, true to form, I had a side stitch and a serious case of wanting to be just about anywhere than where I was. I kept running, because, well, what the hell, it was the last five minutes and I knew I’d feel Victorious and Vindicated and all sorts of other words when I was done.

Then it happened. Well, not it, but the precondition for the utterly ridiculous I am about to relate occurred.

I saw a squirrel.

He was a big one, too, and he sauntered out into the middle of the yard in a few graceful, authoritative leaps. My earbuds were in, so I couldn’t tell if he was chittering. I do know he was scanning my yard like he expected an army to appear at any moment.

No army appeared. However…one of my cats did. The sweet, stupid tuxedo kitty, who I adore. Of all three, he’s most my cat. He thinks he’s a hunter, too, and sometimes leaves birds (and when we had the field out back, often mice) on my front step. Of course, he totally ruins the effect by being scared of them once he’s killed them–when I pick them up he runs and hides.

So anyway, he was going to get himself a squirrel snack. What I was thinking was, You idiot, that could have rabies! What came out, since I was running and couldn’t get any breath, was a version of “MMMmmmmrph AAAARGHNOOOOOOOO!”

That was when it happened, and I realized this was the Morpheus!Squirrel’s saviour. This was The One. (This probably makes my cats Agents.)

Anyway, the squirrel watched the cat bounding for him, and I could swear there was a moment of kung-fu pose before the cat leapt, all graceful authority, tail held out and claws most probably unsheathed. It was beautiful. It was flat-out gorgeous.

It was, however, doomed.

Neo!Squirrel jumped at the last second, did an amazing flip, and I swear to God he kicked my cat in the head.

No. Seriously. He kicked my cat in the head.

In the head.

My kitty landed in a heap, Squirrel!Neo chittered and zoomed away. He leapt five feet up, caught the trunk of the plum tree, and fricking vanished. Vanished. I hit the stop button–by this point, all five miles had been achieved and I was having visions of a dead cat to deal with–ripped my earbuds out, almost ran into the sunroom’s glass door, and got outside just in time to see my tuxedo kitty zoom under the fence, tail held low and ears back.

I don’t blame him. He was kicked in the head.

I stood there, sweating and cursing, and the phone rang inside the house. For a moment I seriously thought it was Squirrel!Neo calling with a declaration of war.

It was a telemarketer. Thank God. (And this is the only time you’ll probably hear me say THAT.)

My tuxedo kitty seems none the worse for wear, just a bit shaken and embarrassed. He came back in after lunch and spent a long time grooming himself and beating up on the other two cats. (To assure himself of his masculinity, I guess.) It was with no little trepidation that I climbed on the treadmill this morning.

Halfway through my run, Squirrel!Neo sauntered out into the yard. He spent a long time pretending to dig, but then he hopped up on one of the patio chairs and eyed me directly for a disconcertingly long time as I ran and tried to ignore him. Beady little eyes, big fluffy tail, and kung fu. Jesus.

I can’t wait to see what’s next. I just hope that fuzzy little bastard doesn’t think I’m after his girlfriend. And I also hope he can’t get his paws on any weapons

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