Chapter 12

21 6 1

by Phoebe

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by Phoebe

Hooman #1 sent me
a text message
about their progress
in Hawaii.
I'll read it to you.

SMS:
After flying
through the clouds,
then ferrying
across still more
stretches of ocean,
we arrived
at the Cat Sanctuary
on the remote island
of Lana'i,
where the first
Hawaiian king looked
from the mountains
and shores upon
the surrounding
lands and decided,
"I will unite
my people together."

Tom:
That's quite
the text message.

Philosopher Jones:
I've heard this story.
When the Hawaiian king
united the islands,
the cats
of Feline Society #777
similarly aligned
all the cats of Earth together—

Phoebe:
I don't mean to interrupt,
but there's more,
and my phone's got
two percent left.

Buttercup:
That's irresponsible of you.

Phoebe:
Piss off...!
...I mean.
...I'll keep reading...

SMS:
When we reached
the Cat Sanctuary,
we found
kittens and eyeless elders
alike wandering through
a cat-friendly campground
of seven-hundred and
seventy-seven felines.
No walls separate them,
no cages or borders;
so if they don't
agree with their neighbor,
they simply leap
into the trees,
like lounging panthers,
aware of the moral
imperative to share space.

Greg:
Sounds purrfect.

Phoebe:
I'm at one percent.
Let me finish.

SMS:
We didn't search long
before we found
Lahea Ikaika,
who lives by
the alias Rhea
in these parts of the world.
She's the length
of an adult hooman hand,
and her eyes bugger
from her head
like her mother
squeezed her out
of the womb
a wee hard.

"I was born in a bush
at a Marriott,"
Lahea told us,
"on the island of Maui."

She licked her paw,
then lifted her leg
into the air
for more licking,
before she yawned
and continued,
"When I realized
the wormhole goofed up
and sent me
to this chain of islands,
I sent word
to the Mainland.
So you're from
Feline Society #337?"

She shot us
a distrustful glance,
like we made
Commander DeeJAY's
story up.

"You see," she said,
"ever since I reached
the Cat Sanctuary,
I've worried
Proxima Centauri B
would send lizards
in human skins,
similar to Orange Man,
to purge me from
the safety of Da Loker's
B.I.R.D. defense system."

So we asked her,
"How do we prove
we're from Earth?"

"Bring me fish,"
she said. "Freshly cut
poke from the Lana'i deli;
if the locals trust you,
I'll trust you, too."

Phoebe:
I hate tuna.
They better not
bring her tuna.

Buttercup:
Most of us
like tuna.

Then the phone died.

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