When my girlfriend Melody brought home a gray-and-white stray one day in December, I thought the most of my worries would be how many times I had to scoop out the litter box each week.
But Montgomery — affectionately called Monty by my girlfriend — was a terror.
The first chance Monty had, he upended his dry food dish bowl and looked positively triumphant as he walked away, his tail crooked high in the air. Mind, this was when the bastard was in our home only a few weeks.
Monty also had a penchant for clawing at the furniture. When I threatened to get the damn beast’s claws removed, Melody had intervened like a guardian angel, tearfully pleading with me, and I had acquiesced by getting the disastrous furball a cat tower that took up a good chunk of our living room.
I thought it was just a matter of my not being a cat person.
It turned out I had a lot more to fear.
One night while Melody was out with her girlfriends for a few cocktails, I was trying to get a few winks of shut-eye after a long day at the office. I had the lights shut off in the bedroom, the curtains drawn, and the only light came from the radio clock on my nightstand.
I was halfway between awareness and dreams when I heard the voice.
I blinked awake, disoriented, certain I hadn’t heard right — or sure that I had dreamt the disembodied voice up. At worst, there was an intruder in my apartment.
I looked around, reaching for my phone, before I shone it on the pillow beside me.
Monty stared back, his eyes baleful, while I breathed out a sigh of relief.
“Thank God it’s just you, you ugly bastard,” I said, laughing a little at myself.
Then the cat opened his mouth — I was certain he was going to yawn — before words spilled out: “You think you’re so lovely to look at, Michael Sinclair?”
I let out a sound that was caught between a cry of anguish and a squeal of terror. Then I nearly fell backward off my side of the bed.
The cat laughed at me before he sat up and licked the back of his paw. “Yeah, took you…