Zay woke with a start thinking that the buzzer was sounding in his cubicle on board the launch craft. The noise came from the alarm clock, as it screamed it hellacious clamor to the morning air. Time to wake up. Pulling the pillow down over his head, Zay tried to drift back off into a world filled with tuna fish demanding to be eaten, but he was unable to block out the noise. He rolled over and looked at Jane, who was snoring loudly making her own sort of din. The entire cacophony had not caused Sheldon to stir one inch, and Zay began to think that he was the only one who could hear the racket.
Finally Jane made a snorting noise and shut off the alarm without opening her eyes. Mumbling something like “Morning comes too early,” she blindly staggered toward her bath, leaving the two ‘cats’ on the bed.
Zay checked the position of the sun. He had not adjusted to the way humans measured time versus space time. It appeared to be rather early by his understanding. The sky in the east was orange and pink revealing a slight glow. He wondered if all humans had some built-in need to use every minute of daylight.
Yawning broadly, Zay wiped the sleep from his eyes and stood up on two feet to grab the control for the television. He liked the noisy reports about weather and events. Clicking on the news, he began to watch as the caster said something about a early show and traffic. Sheldon gave him a disinterested meow, but he pushed the cat over to include him in the viewing.
Returning to the room, Jane stopped at the doorway. She stood there, dripping wet, staring at Zay as he began to feel uncomfortable. “I must have turned that on…” the woman was frowning. “I’m getting so old that I think I’m losing my mind sometimes.”
Making a mental note that he was not allowed to watch the television without Jane’s permission, Zay sat back down on the bed as the woman dressed. “Oh, you’ll like this next part,” Sheldon piped up.
“Next part?” he cocked an eyebrow to indicate his curiosity.
“Yeah…every day when she gets up, she goes downstairs and gets out the bowl.” The cat seemed to think he would understand this cryptic message.
“The bowl?” at the risk of sounding stupid Zay tried to draw out more.
“The bowl…you know, the tuna dish!” Sheldon was very enthusiastic.
“Oh my! Why didn’t you just say so?” Zay began to salivate against his will. The very thought of the fish meat made him crazy with desire. The two ‘cats’ hurried down the stairs even before Jane had on her slippers.
“Me, me ,me…give me the bowl,” Sheldon cried out and in his confusion Zay followed suit meowing loudly.
“You boys hungry?” Jane laughed, apparently pretending that she could not see the commotion.
The long night had been filled with odd dreams. Jane felt tired as she climbed out of bed, but she had not thought that she was without a substantial amount of mental control. Finding out that one has turned on the television perhaps only minutes before… She shook her head as if she could remove the cobwebs of old age. Time takes a toll.
Her two cats seemed happy. They had been watching the morning news, but Jane knew it was just pretend. Cats do not watch news. They do not care about traffic. Maybe if it had been mouse news, she laughed to herself.
Then came the loud meows. It was time for breakfast and both felines seemed to know what was coming next. She jumped up on her tiptoes to reach Sheldon’s dish and then grabbed for another for Zay. Having had a trio of cats at one time, Jane knew it would be foolish to expect them to actually share a dish without some growling.
She tried to be fair as she scooped the kitty treasure into one dish then the next. When they looked even, Jane slid them onto the floor at the same time and then sat for her coffee. Sheldon ate immediately, but Zay stared at her for a minute as if he might be insulted by having his food on the floor.
“It’s where you can reach it,” Jane said aloud and then felt very foolish. Again she reminded herself, “Cats don’t talk.”
“Oh well, I’m hungry,” she heard him plain as day and nearly fell off her chair.
Jane drew in a deep breath and reached for her calendar. She thought that her scheduled appointment with Doctor Morton might need to be moved up. “It’s one thing to talk to yourself. When I start hearing my cat’s…Maybe my granddaughter was right. Maybe I shouldn’t live alone.” Zay did not respond. Having gobbled every morsel, he was too busy licking the bowl.
“Did you bring the camera and the video gear like I asked?” Cyrus squinted in the rays of the early morning sun.
“Everything you wanted, boss,” Jake Kelley might not have been a terrible graduate student after all. The young man smiled as he moved the equipment from his convertible into the professor’s van.
“Good. We should be able to locate the meteor from tape if we don’t see it clearly at first.” His plan seemed foolproof, but Cyrus was very aware just how smart fools could be sometimes. “You need to keep your eyes peeled,” he admonished the young man. “We could very well miss it altogether if we aren’t careful.”
“Why don’t you just ask her?” Wait…had he said Jake was not so bad? That sounded like heresy. A graduate student’s first rule: Never argue with the professor.
“Because I lied to her already!” Cyrus harrumphed. “I know her kind. If I tell her what I want, odds are she will bury it so deep, it’ll be lost forever.” Right or not, Cyrus believed it.