Tuesday, 24 September 2013

24th September 2013 - Cats Don't Lay Eggs

File:Little cat.jpg
Source: Wikimedia Commons
They say that cats don’t lay eggs.

By ‘they’, I mean biologists, but you’ve probably already guessed that; you probably haven’t guessed, though, that by ‘don’t’, I mean ‘don’t normally, except for this one incredible time when my cat did’. I suppose it’s just one of those fundamental truths—that cats don’t lay eggs—that’s so blindingly obvious to all involved, that no one ever even considers the possibility of oviparous felines; as a consequence, no one ever thought to concoct a plan that could combat the horrors that occur when a cat’s normal biological processes become perverted by some, as yet undetermined, external or internal source.

I’m the only person, as far as I know, who has ever seen a cat lay an egg, and it is a phenomenon that, to the best of my knowledge, does not (and never has) occurred within the ordinary realms of the feline genus before. Although my story is anecdotal, it is the only one in existence so far, and so you’re going to have to trust me when I say that cats laying eggs is a startling thing to witness; moreover, it unleashes what can only be described, in a clichéd fashion, hell on earth.

The story, as best as I can remember, starts sometime in mid-July; I was sitting in my study, scrabbling around for the inspiration that would allow me to complete my column for the local paper. The job didn’t pay well, but it paid and I was desperate for the cash. June, my wife, was pregnant on our second child and was due very soon; buying new things for babies was scandalously expensive, and we would be cash-strapped if I didn’t get a couple of columns written and sent out to some publications that had agreed to publish me.

Looking out the window of my study in a last-ditch attempt to inspire myself, I noticed Sprite, our cute little grey tabby (why we bought a cat, when we were on the poverty line expecting another child, I will never know) squatting in the rose-bed. June is terribly attached to those roses—she won prizes for them in a local gardening competition—so I dashed out as quickly as possible to scoot Sprite away before June punted her across the garden. Sprite, miffed at having been disturbed in the middle of her routine, dashed away from me as I ran toward her, tail in the air; even without seeing her face, I knew that she would have that disdainful look that all cats have when caught doing something wrong—I’m in the wrong for disturbing her, not she for defiling the plants.

Fetching a shovel, I bent down to pick up the faeces left behind, and was halted in my tracks. I withdrew the shovel to get a better look. Positioned just at the point where the shank enters the ground was a glittering black, perfectly oval object about the size of a chicken’s egg, not a steaming pile of shit. I leaned in for a closer inspection, and my nostrils informed me that there was no scent of faeces in the air. The oval—I hadn’t even begun to suspect that it was an egg at this stage—was of the deepest onyx, and formed of overlapping scales that glittered in the afternoon sunlight; reaching down tenderly, I picked up the object and felt it to be slightly warm to the touch.

Moving back inside, I sat down again at my desk; slipping slightly as I manoeuvred into the chair, I dropped the egg; it landed on its base and balanced there perfectly, the dome pointing toward the ceiling. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that the rose under which I had found the oval had wilted and burnt, but I was too fascinated by the egg’s landing to really register what had happened.
And then, a most curious thing began to happen: the egg began to rock on its base, ever so slowly, from side to side like a pendulum. A dull clicking sound emanated from the base as the overlapping scales grated against the wood of the desk. The rocking motion got rapidly more violent until the oval eventually reversed its position; it now lay on my desk balanced on its dome with the base pointed toward the roof. Before I could even begin to consider how astonished I was at this, a tapping sound started at the base of the egg; a spider’s web of cracks spread out from the centre of the base, until a tiny clawed fist punched through the cracks to pose, like a victor’s raised hands, in the warm sun.
It was at this point that two things happened: first, I realised that the thing in front of me was an egg of some sort, and that whatever was inside was hatching. Second, I panicked; a blind sort of panic that flooded my nervous system with adrenalin and sent terrified messages coursing through my muscles and telling to ‘run, for fuck’s sake just run!’

Leaping backwards from the desk, I tripped over the carpet and landed hard on my ass; I heard my wrist snap but barely even felt the pain. The egg had finished hatching, and the onyx fragments lay glittering on my desk, some of them covering the keyboard.

But there was no creature, no hatchling, standing on the desk; it was like it had disappeared. Maybe it had evaporated in the sunlight. I sighed a breath of relief—promised to cut down my consumption of marijuana—and made to stand up. A slight scratching sensation on my ankle grabbed my attention, and I noticed a flicker of a black tail around my shoes, before it disappeared inside my trousers. Little claws dug into the delicate flesh of my thigh as the newborn creature ascended my legs and made its way past my crotch. 

I batted at my legs in panic to try and kill the thing, which only produced a startled hiss, a jabbing of claws, and a sensation of something crawling up my urethra. You can’t even imagine the pain of this, something living, with sharp claws, clawing and jousting its way up the delicate pink flesh and reaching my innards. I could feel it crawling around inside, batting aside one of my kidneys as it made its way up my body and towards my spinal column.

My back arched in spasming pain as I felt the tiny little claws dig into my medulla oblongata, and tiny electrical currents emanated outwards from the creature as it established some sort of control over my primitive functions. My life was in its hands now. Something, somehow, told me that I had maybe a few hours left before the thing established full control over my body. June wouldn’t be home until evening, and the rural location of our house meant that I couldn’t contact neighbours to tell them what happened.

So, here I sit at my laptop desperately typing the entire story in the hope that someone will read it before the creature realises what I have done and deletes it. It occurs to me now that I could have called for an ambulance—forgive me for not thinking clearer, a lizard had just crawled up my urethra—but in any case, they probably wouldn’t have found anything, or even believed me.

It is of little import anyway, I feel much better now; more relaxed. And suddenly, inexplicably, I have an overwhelming desire to lay an egg.

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