The Tale of Knuckles Malloy

km1Knuckles Malloy, notorious mobster kitty.
Watches from his window for intruders on his turf.
Any intruders.
Small, bouncy ones.
Big, fuzzy ones.
Anyone that challenges his right to rule.
But all he can do when they appear is growl.
And lash his tail.
But if the window were open just a little too far…
He could get out.
And give those invaders what for.

Knuckles Malloy is outside.
The invader is routed, fled.
Fled when the thug fell from the window.
Fell on the villain’s head.
And now what?
Now he can really defend his home.
Eat the birds.
And the squirrels.
Chase away the cats.
Kneecap the raccoons.
Establish his kingdom.
He’ll go home when he’s ready.

km15Knuckles Malloy will not ask for help.
He’ll solve his own problems.
Not that he ever has any.
He’s outside now.
Free to defend his turf.
Free to do what he wants.
Free to eat what he wants.
There’s no food bowl outside.
It’s dark outside.
And cold.

Knuckles Malloy found a cave.
It’s a defensible position.
He can take on all comers here.
It’s only a short scamper from home.
So he can still go back.
When he’s ready.
He heard them looking for him.
Her and Him.
But it was dark.
And he was safe in his cave.
He’ll stay here.
For now.

Knuckles Malloy feels better.
He’s had some food.
There’s a food bowl outside now.
She and He put it out last night.
The birds hear him coming.
And run away.
So do the squirrels.
The other cats don’t run.
But they don’t fight either,
If he lets them eat his food.
That’s fair.
There’s too much for him anyway.

km2Knuckles Malloy sneers at cameras.
Even if they smell like Him.
He stares into the lens and makes a face.
So there!
It’s fun to parade in front of them.
And even better to ignore them with dignity.
He knows She and He check the cameras.
Every day.
So he makes sure to walk in front of them several times.
Just to be sure they keep the food bowl full.
He doesn’t need it, of course.
But the other cats are very hungry.

Knuckles Malloy laughs at traps.
Even if they smell like Her.
He checks them carefully.
Makes sure the trigger is blocked.
Or reaches through the side to get the food.
It wouldn’t do to be caught.
Hauled inside ignominiously like a common cat.
Not dignified at all.
Faux Tux was caught twice.
Skinny Black was caught twice.
Even clever Gray Tabby was caught.

Knuckles Malloy has shed his collar.
He’s free of the sign of his imprisonment.
Free of the noise that alerts the birds.
Free of the bling.
And the bright red band that sets off his dark fur.
Attracting the pettings.
He’s a free cat now.
He doesn’t need the pettings.
Or the pile of blankets on the bed.
He has a huge cave.
All to himself.

Knuckles Malloy hates the rain.
He hates wading through puddles.
And cleaning the water out of his fur.
The taste of wet food is awful.
Especially when it’s been soaking all night.
He’ll stay in his cave.
Even if he does get hungry.
And cold.
This isn’t the way it’s supposed to work.
The world should be arranged for his convenience.
Not wet.
And filled with invaders who disrespect him.

km3Knuckles Malloy hangs around the food bowl.
Not too close, of course.
She and He like to see him.
But they shouldn’t catch him.
He’s a free cat.
Defending his home.
And theirs.
From the invading birds and squirrels.
And the cats and raccoons.
Expecting nothing in return.
Not even pettings.
Or treats.

km4Knuckles Malloy watches Him
Fill the food bowl.
He might have treats.
Or pettings.
But his pettings aren’t as good as Hers.
When She fills the food bowl,
She’ll have treats.
And a few pettings won’t hurt anything…
Even if She did carry him inside.
And lock him in the bathroom.
He’s still a free cat where it counts.
In his head.