The Kritter Tales Anthology is 50% off at AllRomanceBooks.com today only in honor of Earth Day. If you like cute stories of people falling in love thanks to their pets, you’ll definitely like this. My story in this anthology is “Princess Cocoa Puff”, which is named after my actual cat, though the description in the book is nothing like her aside from them both being very diva.
The cat was a scrawny, scraggly thing, more fur than flesh and possessing a terrible yowl. It was a black and brown calico with thick, fluffy hair that seemed too short in spots, like someone had taken a bite out of the thing’s fur at odd intervals. It opened its mouth and let out another ear-piercing yowl, showing off two rows of very impressive teeth. Andrew eyed the cat from across the room, half afraid of getting bitten if he came too close.
“What is that thing?”
“It’s a cat,” Sandy said. She cradled it against her ample chest and scratched under its chin, effectively shutting off the distressed sounds the cat was making and shifting the yowl to something much more pleasant. It seemed happy with the affection, if the slow increase in volume of its guttural meows were any indication. The meowing, at least, wasn’t as discordant as the yowling.
“I can see that. Why is it here?”
Sandy grinned in the way that never meant anything good. “Because it’s your cat.” She moved forward.
Andrew’s eyes widened, and he shook his head. He tried to back away from her sudden approach, but it was too late. The cat was in his arms. He stared down at it, and it stared back at him. They both seemed equally confused. The cat then turned suddenly, wiggled out of Andrew’s arms, and jumped down to the floor. Andrew watched with rising trepidation as the cat sauntered into the kitchen. He’d closed the kitchen window, right?
“Why?” he asked, meaning many things with that one question. Why him? Why the cat? Just generally why?
He opened his mouth to protest, but Sandy cut straight through his words before they had a chance to form.
“No. None of that. You are, and we both know it. Princess Cocoa Puff will help fill the hole Douchebag left.”
“His name is Roger,” Andrew grumbled, “and I don’t need a cat.” He needed many things: post-breakup therapy, a good hug, many cups of soothing tea, but not a cat. Though, if he was truly honest with himself, he was lonely. He’d bought this house to live in with Roger, and now that Roger was gone, it felt too empty. It was too much space just for himself, but he liked the neighborhood and didn’t want to move.
“Too bad. You have one now.”
Andrew frowned. He was running out of excuses. “Princess Cocoa Puff? Really?”
Sandy shrugged. “That was the name she came with.”
Andrew scrubbed a hand over his face. “I don’t even have anything to take care of her.” In his head, he was already starting to compile a list of supplies. He wondered how late the pet store was open.
“It’s in the car. You can help me carry it all in.”
Andrew sighed but gave up the battle. He knew he was going to lose the moment Sandy had walked in with the pet carrier. He must seem like he was in a really bad slump if Sandy thought he needed a cat—of all things—to cheer him up.
He supposed it could be worse. After all, how bad could having a cat be?