Alex's Story

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The wind went dead. Suzy curled her tail as she perched on the window sill, awaiting a change in the weather. She rested there for a long time, but nothing in the sky had altered in its appearance when the cat grew tired of sitting idly. Her claws dug into the wooden frame as she arched her back and yawned. Suzy jumped off the edge and crawled away, her gait a bit nervous.

Ryan was lying on his back lazily, restlessly pawing at dust dancing around light beams. Suzy hopped onto the cushion next to him. When he did not address her, she scooted closer to the end table and knocked the particularly expensive vase over. It fell to the ground and shattered, the pieces scattering all over the hardwood floor. Ryan sat up immediately, his ears pointing forward and expression shifting to fear.

“Are you serious?” he hissed as his ears pointed back down.

“You know what you did.”

Ryan turned to face her head-on.

"You're upset about that? All I did was dump a gallon of colored water on you. Perfectly harmless."

“It was not just ‘colored water.’ It had chlorine and pepper spray mixed in!”


“Why don't you just admit it?”

Finally, Ryan screamed and pounced on her with his claws outstretched. They hissed and shouted, all the while tearing at anything that was within their range. Violet stomped into the room, using every ounce of energy she contained not to yell. She was just about to pry the two brawlers apart when her toe struck a shard of porcelain. Her patience tank had run empty.

“Which one of you did this?”

Both cats instantly halted in their fight. They sat up straight like soldiers in line, waiting for the next command. Their owner continued to stare at both, gaze flicking between terrified faces every few seconds. She huffed and released an exasperated sigh.

“Since neither of you will admit to it, I guess I will have to punish you both.”

The two growled at each other.

“Out. Now.”

Ryan resentfully complied and stalked out the open door. Suzy, however, lingered on the couch. Her resistance only infuriated Violet further.

"Do you honestly hate him so much you can't bear to be outside with him for less than an hour?"

Suzy slipped off the couch and slowly crawled away.

When the troublemakers were out the door, Suzy gazed up into the sky. Ryan looked up in the same direction, searching for whatever was so fascinating.

“What are you looking at?”

She squinted her eyes.

“Don’t you feel it?”

He straightened his back.

“What happened to the weather?”

Suzy turned to Ryan to fix him with a serious expression.

“Something’s going to happen; we need to get back inside now.”


Suzy leaped to the window sill next to the front door and began to scream like she was dying. Ryan understood and started to throw himself against the stucco wall. They both continued to do this for a long time until the sound of glass smashing on the wooden porch echoed through the air. The pair froze in their positions. Suzy glared down at Ryan, her tail switching back and forth behind her. After a few seconds, the all-too-familiar stomping erupted into existence.


The door was torn open and Violet trudged outside with flames in her eyes. She paid no attention to the vase lying broken on the boards. “Who?”

The wind decided to fill the silence. Violet’s scowl pierced right down to Ryan’s soul. He looked her in the face and nodded minutely; he accepted his punishment. Suzy’s eyes widened in surprise, as he always persisted in trying to prove Suzy guilty.

“Why?” she mouthed.

Ryan gestured to the door that had been left ajar.

She understood and darted inside.

Violet’s voice was much calmer.

“You’re staying outside for the rest of today.”

He sprinted to the old doghouse that sat in the middle of the backyard.

Suzy locked her gaze with Ryan’s through the window.

Violet strutted inside and shut the door.


“Hey, Suzy, looks like there’s going to be a tornado.”

Suzy didn’t respond. She was still sitting on the sill.

“Suzy, we need to get into the basement.”

“We need to get Ryan.”

Violet raised a brow.

“Why are you meowing? I thought you liked the basement.”

She faced Violet.

“Ryan is still outside.”

“Come on, just follow me. We have enough resources to last for a month.”

“Get Ryan!”

“Quit shouting at me!”

She grabbed Suzy, but she started to swat at her.

“What is the matter with you?!”

Suzy jumped out of her arms and ran to the back door.


She crawled through the doggy door, streaked across the lawn, and dashed into the doghouse.

“What are you doing?!”

Ryan popped up from underneath the crudely-made rug lying in the dirt.

“Shut up. Violet’s looking for us.”

“Get back inside, you idiot.”


The door slammed open and Violet’s paralyzing screech rang in their ears.

“Come on! The tornado will be here in ten minutes!”

Suzy and Ryan ducked underneath the rug and held their breaths.

Violet released a sharp sigh of frustration and stomped back inside.


Violet shivered in her blanket cocoon and awaited the furious storm to leave. Her phone dinged and the screen displayed an alert that stated the disaster was over.

She raced upstairs and burst through the back door in search of her cats.

Violet searched everywhere for hours, telling herself they were just hiding.

She was in denial.

The cats were gone.