Cat's Eye Digicam
a story by the Anchorite
with a few edits by Chris Hugh
with a few edits by Chris Hugh
Mr. Kitten did not know his true birthday, so he and his human established the tradition to celebrate it on the date that Chris adopted him from the shelter. That tradition worked for Mr. Kitten as he contentedly received generous gifts every year, while he repaid his human’s kindness with several gifts of his own. Chris especially loved the dead birds and occasional mice, and would join the cats in eating them raw because he felt it enhanced his image as a mob enforcer.
This year, Mr. Kitten wanted a camera because he wanted to become a photographer. He did not want just any camera, but the top-of-the-line Cat’s Eye Digicam with the sharpest image resolution and largest memory capacity on the market. Mr. Kitten never accepted anything less than the best.
His human unfortunately lost his job a scant week before celebrating Mr. Kitten’s birthday because all the Mob bosses in the area suddenly found religion and turned straight. Chris panicked and considered foregoing the lavish gift to save money, but he valued his cat’s happiness and still purchased the camera despite facing an uncertain financial future. Mr. Kitten appreciated the gesture as he happily took photos that he posted on his blog.
His human had to tighten his belt as he had to provide for himself and his cats with a limited supply of money from his side business as a specialized pharmaceutical importer and distributer, so he cut the food budget and fed Mr. Kitten lower quality cat food than what he normally ate. That is, Mr. Kitten had to switch to eating Beluga caviar ($520 for 4 ounces) rather than the Almas caviar he preferred ($25,000 per kilo although it does comes in a free 24k gold tin). Mr. Kitten would have previously refused to eat such inferior swill, but he saw his human hurting and realized the token sacrifice Chris was making. Kitten wrinkled his nose and begrudgingly ate the cheap cat food with his usual side dish of black truffles seasoned with saffron and decorated with gold flakes. In the back of Kitten’s mind, he vowed to find a way to apply his photography skills to his help out his human.
Mr. Kitten was sad to see Chris come home day after day with a female escort independent contractor under each arm, high as a kite from sampling his own product, and pockets bulging with $100 bills, but frustrated because he hadn’t broken anyone’s kneecaps. Mr. Kitten’s close friend Twitch offhandedly suggested that Chris’ luck could not be this bad. Mr. Kitten pondered that notion as he thought that despite Twitch’s often questionable ideas, even a broken clock was right twice a day. Mr. Kitten suggested investigating these prospective employers with his camera in tow. Twitch insisted that he should go out in the field because it was his idea. Mr. Kitten suspected that Twitch just wanted an excuse to play with the camera, but he allowed his friend to take the camera as he trailed their human’s job search. Twitch returned with the camera’s memory filled entirely with black screens because he forgot to open the shutter. Mr. Kitten rolled his eyes, snatched the Cat’s Eye Digicam from Twitch, and then bit his tail to send him running away.
Mr. Kitten followed his human on his job interviews, often sneaking out during his own lunch hour and taking extended breaks from his own job. His efforts led to prolonged absences and diminished performance that caught the attention of his supervisor Anton Fitzgibbon. The Chaircat of the Internetz called Kitten into his office with a gruff bellow and demanded an explanation. Anton listened with impassive silence as Mr. Kitten explained his situation. The Chaircat recently opened his heart to a human’s love after many years spent alone, so Mr. Kitten’s story gained his sympathy. Anton immediately granted Mr. Kitten an extended leave of absence with full pay, placed the Internetz A/V department at his disposal, provided a discretionary expense account, and even placed Warrior Cat on retainer for any potential wetwork. Mr. Kitten thanked his boss and set out on his mission, feeling slightly remorseful for the “Ditzy Fitzy” graffiti and crude caricatures that he scrawled throughout the office.
Mr. Kitten’s keen eye and high-resolution photos uncovered deliberate efforts from crooked employers to keep his human unemployed as they wrongly tried to do their mob enforcement using other means such as “talk therapy” and “sending polite reminders.” Mr. Kitten frowned as he thought that no matter how strict or uptight Anton behaved, albeit less so after adoption by his new human, he ran his business with honor and integrity: if he said he’d drop you off a bridge wearing cement boots, that’s what he did. He didn’t offer refinancing at a more favorable rate of interest. Mr. Kitten eagerly took photos and anonymously sent them to these bad humans, urging them to reconsider their business practices.
Back at home, his human barely held back drunken shouts of rough laughter as rejections turned into offers. Before Chris knew it, he found himself in the position of having to choose between competing prospects who practically begged for attention. He finally accepted a generous offer where he had a private office, a chauffeur and a brand new Louiseville Slugger for kneecap breaking. He was so happy he felt like a little boy again. Mr. Kitten and Twitch once again enjoyed premium cat food and repaid their human’s kindness by dragging a raccoon corpse into the house. Mr. Kitten knew that he would be happy after seeing the size of this dead creature.
Twitch begged Mr. Kitten to borrow the Cat’s Eye Digicam now that he completed his mission, but Mr. Kitten had a better idea. Mr. Kitten kept a list of mobsters who had tried to go straight, so he sent Twitch on a mission to visit every one of them and barf on their shoes, leave hairballs on their floors, and take high-resolution digital photographs of each one. Twitch excitedly set out on his own mission. Mr. Kitten warned him to not get any barf on his precious camera or else he would bite Twitch’s tail so hard that he would beg for Warrior Cat to put him out of his misery. Twitch told him to relax and not worry about anything, which did not reassure him in the slightest and instead gave Mr. Kitten a new perspective on all the times he made similar promises to Anton Fitzgibbon.
Before Twitch departed, their human roughty ruffled both cats' fur and called them "good little sons-of-bitches." He radiated happiness at once again securing gainful employment and told his beloved pets, “Who says black cats are bad luck? I'll break their kneecaps.”