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"curiosity killed the cat"

soft plush ground hides my steps,
stalking through the wild
mess of a living room.

my prey sits in the wide open,
ready for my teeth to sink into
its cardboard lid.

my fluffy tail swishes,
as i ready myself to pounce
into the perfectly-me-sized box and take a well-deserved nap.

what could be inside?
pillows? blankets? cushions? the possibilities are wonderful!
bags of food? books? a new phone? i'll just take them out.
but i need to know.

i jump!
diving gracefully into my new throne!
except this throne... isn't filled with anything i could have imagined.

rubber bones.
crinkly stuffed animals.
a ball that squeaks when i touch it—
oh, no.
here it comes.

its footsteps thud even on the soft ground,
i can hear it panting,
i try to curl in and hide in this box full of terrible things,
but it's no use.

i flick my ear at it.
go away, you loud disruptor of my sunbaths.
it knocks the box over.
i fall out of my would-be naptime throne.
it shakes a mouse-shaped toy in its mouth. it jingles.
and infuriating.
if only i hadn't jumped into the box.

is there no hope for my now-cruel fate?
am i doomed forever, to endure these evil squeaks and jingles?
will i never know peace again?
i lay down on the carpet, ready to wallow in my sorrow.
my ears perk as i see it, spilt upon the floor, a glint of solace in this depressing time—
a tiny fish-shaped object, strung on a stick.
a toy for the sophisticated.

i pounce on my new prey.
my claws dig into it and i purr, content.
"pandora? where are you? oh!"
laughter comes from above.
i ignore my name in favor of the shiny blue fish.
"looks like you and epi found the box of toys already. i'll get you some more next time, don't worry."
alright. i suppose i can endure the hellish dog's toys until then.