There was a strange moaning sound coming from the room upstairs. Felix’s ear twitched at the sound and he sighed. He was so comfy, sitting there in his ray of sunshine, his body warm and toasty. He had been having the most wonderful dream. Under no circumstances would he get up to go investigate, he just wouldn’t….
But the damn wailing wouldn’t stop and he was slowly getting annoyed.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMM” came the sound, loud and screechy, like a long drawn out scream.
Felix let out a long sigh, flopped over to his other side and reluctantly opened one eye to find himself staring at a rather large and floppy tongue.
“Hey Felix,” said George. “Felix! Do you hear that Felix? Do you hear that? What is it Felix? Felix what is it?”
“I don’t know, George,” Felix replied, closing his eyes again. “How could I possibly know what it is if I’m sitting here with you?”
“Oooooohhhhh,” said George, nodding his head sagely as Felix tried once again to turn over and go back to sleep.
“But. But Felix?”
For fuck’s sake, thought Felix, exhaling slowly through his nose.
“Felix? Can you make it stop? It’s so loud, Felix, that noise? It’s so loud in my ears, you know? I have very good hearing, Felix, very good hearing and it is very, very loud in my head. It’s like a boat horn Felix, like a BOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGG –
“I GET IT, GEORGE!”
Felix rolled on to his back. There was no point, now, in trying to go back to sleep. The last whispers of the dream were already dissolving from his memory – he could only vaguely remember that it had to do with sleeping in a sunbeam – and that loud moaning was really beginning to grate on his nerves.
“Felix, are you gonna go upstairs and stop the noise?”
“Yeah yeah I’m going George, calm down.”
“YAY! OH! OH Felix should I come with you? Only I’m kind of scared Felix. Because you-know-who might be up there, Felix. Do you know who? He might be there.”
“Nah George it’s okay, I can handle it.”
“Then GO, Felix, GO!” said George, nudging Felix so hard in the rump that the latter fell flat on his face. Felix whipped himself back onto his feet and glared at George, his eyes narrowed down to evil slits. George whimpered and ran behind the couch, where he slowly raised his head to peer over the other side and see if there would be further retribution. But Felix’s tail was already high in the air as he walked, regally, up the stairs.
At the top of the stairs Felix took a left and went further towards the moaning. It really did sound like a boat horn, he thought, but like a rusty old bucket of an ailing boat that was melting in a raging fire. He peered around the bedroom door and there he saw the source of the horrible sound: Bill.
Bill was sitting cross legged on the carpet before a statue of Buddha that looked like it was bought at a cheap two-penny carnival, incense burning to each side of him, his mouth open mid-wail.
Felix rolled his eyes. Fucking Bill.
“RAAAR!” Felix screeched as he leapt into the air and clung to the top of the doorframe. He looked down into George’s wide, dopy eyes and gracefully fell back down to the ground.
“What. Did I tell you. About sneaking up on me. George.”
“OH! OH I know this Felix! You said to never, never EVER sneak up on you, Felix! Never EVER! Or you would scratch me so deep in my nose that I would never smell my ass again!”
Felix looked up at George, who looked as pleased as punch to have remembered the answer, and he shook his head. You can’t get mad at stupid, he thought.
“Do I get a treat, Felix?” George whispered, licking his lips in anticipation.
“Do I look like I have treats on me, George? Does it seem to you as if I have pockets anywhere about my person where I could be storing kibble? Do you think I hide bones up my ass, George?”
George cocked his head to the side, deeply contemplating the answers to these very serious questions. Felix could see the strain of it was going to collapse his brain, so he sighed again and said
“What is it that you want, George?”
“OH, I wanted to help, Felix! I didn’t want you to have to do it alone, even though I am very scared it might be…you-know-who. Do you know what the noise is, Felix? Did you find out?
“I did, actually. It’s Bill.”
“Ohhhh nooooooo, Felix. Oh noooooo,” groaned George, deep in his belly. He tucked his tail between his legs and started to shiver all over, whining softly in his throat, afraid.
“Yeah. I know, George.”
“I don’t like Bill, Felix. Bill is not a good boy.”
“He certainly is not, George.”
Sarah had brought Bill home two months ago. Felix could tell immediately that he was the worst kind of person. He didn’t offer his hand for him to sniff, first off, but instead had just grabbed him by the scruff and shaken him to and fro by way of greeting. Felix never knew why he became paralyzed if something grabbed him right in that spot but his inability to turn and gouge the man’s eyes out had been a very embarrassing episode for him.
George didn’t fare much better. Bill had kicked him over and over in the hindquarters while giggling softly to himself. When Sarah came back to the couch with that drink she loved to drink, the one that made her laugh and laugh, he’d changed his tune right quick and started stroking George and calling him a good boy. George was as dumb as a bag of rocks but even he knew what this guy was playing at and he tried to wriggle free, but Bill just held him in a head lock.
Felix hated that Bill was always there now. Whenever Sarah was around he’d act like he was Jane fucking Goodall but the minute she was out of the way, he’d reveal his true colours. He saw Bill roll up magazines and hit George on the rump or rub George’s nose in his own poop – when the only reason George had pooped in the house was because Bill had locked the back door and refused to take him out for a walk.
He never refilled the water bowls and never gave them their meals. And twice now he had sprayed vinegar in Felix’s eyes because he thought it was funny to see him go tearing blindly around the house trying to get rid of the stinging.
Now here he was, sitting here wailing like a banshee with his eyes closed and his fingers facing the heavens. It was really just too much. Felix turned back around to look at him, George’s head hovering above his, when Bill’s eyes suddenly opened and his head jerked in their direction.
His shoulders jumped and his eyes looked shocked for a second before he yelled “GO ON WIT’ YOU!” and grabbed the Buddha and flung it at the pair. The statue was heavier than it looked and, just as the two spun around to hightail it back down the stairs, it hit George in the stomach and sent him hurtling down the first few steps.
“AHHHH!” George shouted as he went bang-garang-bang down the stairs, Felix off like the wind beside him. When he settled at the bottom, George just lay there and whimpered.
Felix came up beside him and sat down near his head.
“You alright, George?”
“That really hurt, Felix. That big rock thing hurt me in my tummy and then I fell down the stairs. Did you see Felix? I fell down the stairs. That hurt also.”
Felix looked down at George. George was annoying. He asked Felix a thousand questions a day and he was way too excitable. The only time Felix got any peace was when George and Sarah went out walking, which was less and less often since the advent of Bill. George was a big dumb oaf. But he was Felix’s big dumb oaf and now he’d just about had enough.
He was going to have a word with Bill.
Felix scampered silently back up the stairs, where the moaning had resumed at fever pitch. He stuck his head around the door and surveyed Bill for a moment, purring in his throat a little while he considered. Bill was facing the empty spot where the Buddha had been, his eyes still closed.
Felix stalked in behind him, silently, crouched down as low as he could go. He crept forward and around Bill, slowly, slowly. When he found the right position, he snuggled down lower into the carpet, his stare fixed. When Bill took a deep breath through his nose and pushed his head back to let out his loudest, longest wail yet, Felix saw his chance.
Lithe and graceful, he sprung into the air and landed on Bill, ripping into his chest with his teeth.
Bill’s spiritual moaning turned to high pitched screams as he grappled with Felix, who had every claw and tooth sunk into the man’s flesh. Bill scrambled to his feet, his hands gripped around Felix, trying desperately to pry him off. Felix bit and bit while his claws sunk deeper into Bill, who was now stumbling out the door in his attempt to break free.
Just as Bill got to the hallway, still screaming and fumbling in pain, George ran up and pushed into Bill’s legs just behind the knees. Bill lost his balance, tripped over George, flipped over the bannister, and fell bang-garan-bang all the way down the stairs.
Felix sprung from Bill’s chest and watched from the top of the stairs as Bill fell head over heels over head over heels and landed with a thump, his head turned all the way to the back and his eyes wide open.
“Huh,” said Felix, as he surveyed the damage.
“Ho boy,” said George as he looked through the stair railing, his eyes wide. “Ho boy oh boy oh boy.”
The two of them stood there for a minute, waiting to see if Bill would spring up and chase them through the house, but Bill was very, very dead.
“Bill’s dead, George.”
“Hooooooo boy,” said George, walking down to sit beside Felix. He licked his chops and looked from Bill to Felix to Bill and back to Felix again, shifting his weight from foot to foot.
“The thing is, George,” said Felix, his calm veneer beginning to unravel. “Sarah’s gonna come home, and she will fucking freak out if she sees Bill’s dead. She might…she might give us away, George. She’ll know it was us and she’ll put us…[he gasped]… in the Shelter!”
“NO FELIX!” yelled George, flopping his head to the floor and burying his face under his paw. “Not the Shelter!”
“THE FUCKING SHELTER, GEORGE!”
And with that, Felix began to wail, which was almost as bad as Bill’s tantric moaning.
“WhatarewegoingtoDO GAAAAWWRGGE?! I’m too good for the Shelter! It’s so dirty there! The fucking SHELTER GAAAAAWRGE!”
It filled George’s ears and made him wince. He wasn’t used to seeing Felix like this and it was very unsettling. He took his head from under his paw and sat back up again, looking again from Bill’s body to his wailing friend. Then, suddenly, he had an idea.
“Felix! You know what I like to do, Felix? What I like to do most of all? I like to dig, Felix!”
Felix left off wailing and gave George a piercing look.
“….that is…enlightening, George. And also, irrelevant to our situation.”
“OH YES Felix, very ivverelant!” said George, nodding his head.
Felix looked once more to the heavens and closed his eyes.
“George, you like to dig…?”
“Oh boy DO I!” shouted George, his tail thumping wildly on the ground. “DO I EVER, Felix! I love to dig! Digdigdig Felix! I scratch scratch scratch in the dirt and there’s all these SMELLS, Felix, and so much –
“Yes, George I get it, I get it, you like to dig, what is your point?!”
“Well Felix, I can dig and dig and dig and we can push you-know-who in the hole and then I will fill fill fill it!”
Felix’s tail began to curl around his body, his head pulled back in disbelief.
“George that is…Christ almighty that is actually a good idea.”
“Yay!” said George, hopping excitedly from foot to foot to foot to foot.
The two sat looking at each other for a minute.
“Well…?” said Felix, his head cocked to the side.
“Oh!” said George, who eagerly ran down the stairs, grabbed Bill by the leg and started dragging him towards the backyard, Felix trailing behind.
“Are you gonna dig too, Felix?” George asked once they were in the backyard.
“Certainly not! I’ll supervise.”
George dug and dug and dug and dug, then tipped Bill in the hole and pushed all the dirt back in on top of him and tamped it down with his feet until he was good and buried. Then he sat down and looked at Felix, his tongue hanging out of his mouth, pleased as punch with himself for a job well done.
“George, come over here” said Felix.
George walked over, very hesitantly, his nose low to the ground. Maybe he’d done it wrong? He could never tell if Felix was going to swipe him on his nose or hiss at him.
“You’re a good boy,” said Felix, rubbing his head on George’s shoulder in a rare show of affection.
“Oh boy! Oh BOY Felix!” he said, doing a little dance on top of Bill’s grave.
When Sarah came home, George and Felix were curled up on top of each other in the sunbeam, which had now moved to the other side of the room. George almost peed himself in his excitement to see her and Felix wound his way through her legs.
“Hallo my lovelies” she said to them before yelling “Bill! I’m home!”
She made her way up the stairs.
“Bill! Are you here? We need to talk.”
She hadn’t been looking forward to coming home. She hated having these conversations, these ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ discussions, except in this case it was him. She’d been putting it off – ‘dickmatised’ her friends had said, and she couldn’t deny it, after such a long dry spell and his …particular set of skills – but the truth was he was a grade A douchebag. And he was the only man she’d brought home that George and Felix did not like. It was time to move on.
Typical, she thought. She shrugged her shoulders and clomped back downstairs, relieved but also annoyed at having to put off the unpleasant discussion one more day. She dropped down onto the couch and pulled George’s head onto her lap, Felix curled up beside her.
“Well guys, looks like it’s just us three tonight,” she smiled as she leaned her head back and closed her eyes.