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An Intervention: Talking Animals
Posted by Sylvan Sylph, Apr 1, 2008. 3273 views. ID = 999

An Intervention

Posted by Sylvan Sylph, Apr 1, 2008. 3273 views. ID = 999
This post was written in 17 minutes.
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If there is something to be learned from this story, it is not so much that excessive reading is bad for your health, as it is the fact that it is never wise to trust anything your cat says to you. Specifically when it says it's concerned for your well-being, and especially on April 1st.
This post has been awarded 36 stars by 9 readers.

Alexander settled into his favorite chair, book in hand, prepared for a long uninterrupted afternoon of reading. Smiling, he contemplated his latest conquest, a particularly fine copy of Don Quixote he had found at his favorite used book store. It had cost a bit more than he usually spent, but it was also in better condition than the books he usually purchased.

He thumbed through the book looking for the place he had he had stopped reading the previous evening. Don Quixote had been approaching some inn that he believed to be a castle. After a moment he found the spot and, with a contented sigh, allowed his mind to be drawn into the pages.

He had been reading for some time when he began to feel that someone was watching him. The sensation increased as the moments passed, until he finally looked up from his book in agitation. His eyes met those of his cat, Felix, who was staring forcefully at the place where the top of Alexander's head had been a second before. Alexander chuckled a little and went back to his reading, but the sensation of being watched remained. He wasn't able to concentrate. In frustration, he looked up once more to meet Felix's piercing green eyes.

"Go away, Felix. I'm trying to read, and you're being a nuisance."

Alexander turned his eyes back to his book, then nearly dropped it in surprise at the sound of a silky but firm voice saying, "Alexander, I think it's time we had a talk. So, no, I'm not going to go away."

Alexander looked up again to stare in shock at his Siamese cat, who seemed to be talking to him. Felix continued, "I'm concerned about your well-being. You spend too much time reading books."

Alexander gaped at him, then began spluttering, trying to find words that his overwhelmed brain was unable to form.

"Hush, I'm not done yet. You spend all your free time sitting in that chair with your nose stuck in a book. It's really not healthy. It's a bad habit. Sometimes I even have to come remind you that it's time to feed me, and we both know that's entirely unacceptable. You're becoming a hermit, and as much as I like having you always around to do my bidding, I'm afraid it's become a bit much. Clytemnestra has taken to using the fact that you never take her for walks or to the park to play fetch as an excuse to chase me around the house. Isn't that right, Clytemnestra?"

A blue-eyed husky peered around the corner where she had been waiting for Felix to exit the study, and roguishly replied, "Perhaps," with a tongue-lolling grin.

Felix harrumphed in an offended tone and continued, "Well, I won't have it. You must get out of the house more. We demand that you make some real human friends. Characters out of books don't count."

A croak interrupted Felix's tirade as a raven landed in the tree outside the window and stated with dignity, "Nevermore."

Alexander stared at it in utter horror. Felix, however, completely ignored it. "You know, you humans who lock yourselves away tend to go mad; so do those who read too much. Just take that book you're reading as an example."

Again Felix was interrupted by "Nevermore," issuing from the open window.

A growling hiss erupted from Felix's throat. "Oh, do shut up, Octavius. I'm trying to have a serious conversation here. You've been utterly impossible ever since I read that blasted poem to you. I quite regret it. It's altogether maddening!"

The raven croaked, "Nevermore," once again, then began cackling wildly. "What do you expect, Felix? It's not everyday that we ravens get mentioned in classic literature. I have to make the most of it."

Felix growled deep in his throat.

Clytemnestra quickly intervened. "I believe we were trying to persuade Alexander of his need to take care of his mental health. I think that is a bit more important than Octavius' annoying obsession with Poe."

It was at this point that Alexander could take no more. He dazedly began muttering, "They're right. They must be right. Clearly all this reading has driven me mad. Why else would my pets, and a raven, be talking to me? I need to call the doctor. I need to get to the hospital." He turned to Felix and Clytemnestra. "You two, stay here. Just stay right where you are." He glanced at Octavius and shuddered, keeping him in sight as he moved toward the door. Leaving the room, he dashed down the hall in search of the phone.

Felix and Clytemnestra stared after him until he was out of sight. When they were sure he was beyond the range of human hearing they burst into gales of laughter.

After a few moments, gasping for air, Clytemnestra barked out, "That was perfect, Felix. Absolutely priceless! And Octavius, your timing was excellent."

Felix, grinning a grin to rival the Cheshire Cat, calmed his laughter to a more dignified purr and murmured, "I love this day. If only the first of April came more than once a year. But seriously, Octavius, if I hear you say that word one more time I'm going to forget how much I hate the outdoors and getting dirty, and I'm going to come out there and see if I can stand your foul taste."

"All right, all right. That word is a thing of the past. It shall pass my lips…Nevermore."

A furiously hissing streak of fur launched itself toward the window as Octavius flapped away, snickering.

Copyright 2008 Sylvan Sylph. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 36 stars by 9 readers.
This post is part of a writing prompt: Talking Animals
This is a revised version of a post. Click here to view the original version


Apr 1, 2008
I think that I would like a dog like that. :):)or not. ::)
   ~Posted by Mathax, Apr 1, 2008

Apr 1, 2008
quoth the raven...

I laughed at the "Nevermore" part. :D
   ~Posted by Douglas, Apr 1, 2008

Apr 2, 2008
Haha! Well done! Five stars! :-)
   ~Posted by Katie, Apr 2, 2008

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