Verbal… | #AtoZ #LetterV #nonfiction

…are my animals.

Hi! I know you stopped by looking for an A-Z post of a short story, or perhaps the craft of writing. Perhaps you even looked so far as to see that my theme is “Catching Up.” Well, while I did spending a couple of days “catching up”, so at least on that point I’m on theme, there may actually be no fiction or writing talk.

I have four cats and a bird in my house. The bird is kept by JY, while the cats keep all of us.

They all talk.

The bird is a parakeet. We were assured by JY that they’re quiet birds, and perhaps they are, but this one generally isn’t. He sings, chirps, chatters, flutters, and reacts strongly when the cats get too close to his cage. (Or her cage. We’re not sure yet.)

The cats are strays we adopted shortly before they were able to be Altered. They match the personalities of the team in Space Cats from Space, a story I wrote when I was like, “Huh. What should I write about? Here, let me start a story by describing a cat licking his butt, and see where it goes.” Oh, look, said book is on sale at Smashwords in some kind of site-wide Authors Give Back sale going on over there. A perfect time to buy!

Okay, okay. I’m done with the commercial.

Shadow, a large, long-haired black (dark brown) male, has the sweetest, prettiest meow. It’s high-pitched, and adorable. When you hear him beg to be let into EY’s room in the morning, he stands on his back legs and grips the doorknob with his fluffy paws and cries like a kitten.

And it works. He gets let in.

Static is a stocky, slightly cross-eyed, short haired tabby, and he doesn’t meow too much. He does have this little chitter, though. Just when you’re not expecting it, he’ll snap his jaws together rapidly and emit a little noise. It’s cute, and little.

He also sneezes, or wheezes, or maybe he’s just always trying to cough up a hairball. We’re not sure.

S. Fluffy McFlufferson, our largest cat, is a long haired tabby, and his meow is just a meow. Not too high pitched, not too needy, not too bold. He meows when he wants some love, and once he has your attention and you move to pick him up, he’ll run into the living room and jump up onto the Tower of Love.

Which leaves Shybutts. He is the smallest of our cats, the most cat-shaped, and a short haired tabby with distinct markings. He is, as his name implies, a shy cat. He will allow attention when he’s in the mood, and dart away when he’s not. But when he’s in the mood, usually after everyone has just gone to bed, he will stand in the upstairs hallway and emit the loudest, most demanding, most authoritative meow I’ve ever had the experience to listen to. He is not shy when he wants attention, which is why in Space Cats from Space he…wait, that’s spoilers. I will not spoil the story for you!

Anyway, my animals are vocal. And I know you were dying to know that, and now you do.


  1. Josna says:

    Hi! Sitting here with my first morning cup of tea I thought I’d go to the A-to-Z Master List and check out some blogs I hadn’t visited before. (Don’t know about you but I decided at the outset that this year in the interests of time I would visit only people who visited and left a comment on my blog. But the whole thing is feeling too inward looking so I thought I’d step out today.
    Anyway, that is a long intro just to say I like the vibe pf your blog, in your works, somewhere between apathetic and sociopathic?! I think it has a quirky humor and an honesty which I enjoy. And I like the obvious pleasure you take in weaving words.
    I like the sound of your household. Two questions: can the parakeets ever come out of its cage if the cats are safely out of the room? And–just to give you a little grief–you entitled the post “Verbal” but ended it with “vocal”–are they quite the same thing?
    Oh by the way, I was attracted to your blog by its name. What does it mean to you? Do you mean that we erect walls within ourselves or between ourselves and others as we grow up? Or am I reading too much into it?
    Happy Writing and enjoy the rest of the Challenge, J


    1. Nicki says:

      Woo! Thanks for stopping by. 😀

      Verbal, vocal – both are V words and so are acceptable in this context. 😉 The parakeet comes out of his cage, under supervision, even with the cats in the room. We watch both parties to make sure that we reinforce the “birds are friends, not food” message that is so hard to get through to formerly-outdoor, fully capable hunter kitties.

      Growing Up Walls isn’t quite as deep as you’ve theorized, and I feel like I should apologize, but I won’t, because that’s just silly. It’s a play on my name, and probably the best fit in the history of my domain ownership.

      Anyway, thank you again for stopping by! 😀


  2. We have one cat who is so quiet, we had to put a bell on him or we’d never see him. He also happens to be entirely black. Our newest cat has a broken voice box. It sounds like he’s hissing all the time. It’s…odd. Takes some getting used to.


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