By J.J. Cheesman
My cat Cocoa, was a silly little thing. She always liked to sleep in my closet on a pile of blankets that I kept underneath my hanging shirts. Don’t ask me why she did that, I supposed she liked having the space all to herself. If she wasn’t sleeping in the closet she was sleeping on my chest while I petted her. Sometimes she would spend the night going from me to the closet unable to make up her mind on where she wanted to sleep. Cocoa was also always very independent. She would paw on my front door whenever she wanted to be let out until I went and opened the door for her. Then, usually very late at night, she would come back and meow at the door until I let her back in, sometimes bringing in dead mice which I would have to dispose of once I was able to catch her and take it from her mouth. This was a constant routine in my house and one I didn’t really mind putting up with sense I lived alone and Cocoa really was my only family.
One night, as I lay in bed about to drift off to sleep I heard Cocoa get up from her spot in the closet and go out into my foyer. Then I heard her begin her usual pawing at the door. I got up grumbling a little angry that she’d wanted to go outside at such an unusually late hour, and I made my way to the front door. As soon as I opened the door Cocoa darted out like a rocket in the night, eager to go out and do whatever it was she did in the night. I shut the door, and walked through the unlit foyer back to my bedroom, hoping that Cocoa wouldn’t come back until later in the morning. I fell asleep quickly listening to the sound of the wind outside my window that was blowing particularly hard that night.
Then I was awoken sometime later by the sound of soft mewing. It was hard to hear over the sound of the wind blowing so fiercely but it was there. I got up in a groggy half-asleep haze and stumbled to the foyer. On my way to my front door I nearly broke my neck on my shoes that I couldn’t see because I my eyes were only half open. I opened my front door rubbing my eyes and hearing Cocoa mew once before quickly running into my bedroom to find her spot in my closet and I shut the front door turning the dead bolt in place. That night I didn’t even bother going after her to check for rodents in her maw, I had to work in the morning and I was just too tired to care. I went straight to my bed and when my head hit the pillow, I heard Cocoa run out of my closet in the dark and she jumped up on my chest. Normally I would pet her as I drifted off to sleep but I was just SO tired I fell asleep almost as soon as she landed on me.
I awoke the next morning with a sharp pain in my chest that burned like fire. I got up and went to the mirror and lifted up my shirt. Directly in the center of my chest was a small pin-prick sized whole with a three- inch dark ring around it. With a finger I poked the wound, and the touch immediately sent a sensation of sharp daggers all through my body. I went to my bedroom and grabbed my phone off of the nightstand and could hear Cocoa messing around under my bed. I grabbed a cigarette from the pack on the nightstand along with the lighter that sat beside it. I dialed my doctor’s office and let it ring as I went to my front door to go outside to smoke on the porch. I unlocked the door, and swung it open stepping out onto the porch lighting my cigarette as I hugged my phone to my shoulder with the right side of my face. There was a loud squishing sound as my foot touched down on something sticky and soft. I looked down jumping back from whatever I stepped on and screamed. Cocoa lay there on her side, a gaping hole in her chest from something that had come from the inside out.
I sit here now in my doctor’s office. When I gathered up my senses after seeing Cocoa in that awful state, I shut my door and locked it and drove straight here demanding I see the doctor. Shivers are still running up and down my spine at the thought of whatever ghastly nightmare slept on top of me all night and then hid under my bed when I awoke. I am awaiting X-ray results and I am praying that I found out something soon. Judging from that hole in Cocoa’s chest, I don’t think I have much time to wait.