The prompt: Write a story in which a character unexpectedly has to take care of another character's pet.
A Play in One Act
The scene: Just inside the door of an apartment in a senior housing complex.
The characters: Two older women, a large cardboard box, and a small pet carrier.
Mildred: Grace, thank you so much for agreeing to take Puddikins while I’m away. It’s so kind of you considering we only just met at the rec center the other day. I know you and she will get on famously and have a fine time together.
Grace: Don’t mention it. It will be nice to have a living creature other than my cactus in the house. I am thinking of getting a cat and this will be a good experiment....and it's only for a week.
Mildred: Yeah, only for a week. There are a few things you should know. Puddikins only eats Select Choice cat food. I have given you a week's supply. Her litter box is in her travel carton and she likes it kept fresh, so please clean it every day.
Grace: Does she scratch the furniture? I’m overly fond of my antiques.
Mildred: Not a problem. Puddikins is declawed. She is a wonderful companion and the dearest little thing (she pats the cage and the occupant purrs contentedly).
Grace: Is there anything else I should know?
Mildred: Sleep on your stomach. If you lay on your back she will sink her teeth into your nipple and hang on until you apply an electric shock to her genitals.
Grace: Good Lord! I always sleep on my back.
Mildred: Me too. I put on the chest protector my son Jim used when he umpired little league games. Works like a charm. No problem. It’s in her box.
Grace: Is there anything else?
Mildred (holding up duck tape): Puddi can open the refrigerator and unless you put duck tape on it she will open it and puke into your dairy drawer.
Grace: Good Heavens!
Mildred: A little tape and problem solved.
Grace: (Tentatively) And?
Mildred: You know sometimes when you fall asleep in your lounger, watching tv or reading, how your head falls back and your mouth hangs open?
Grace: Yes? I do it all the time.
Mildred: Don’t do that. Puddikins will jump on your face and pee into your mouth.
Grace: Heavens! No one’s peed in my mouth since my husband died and he had bladder control issues.
Mildred: Not a big deal. Just say “bad, Puddi” and go gargle.
Grace: What else?
Mildred: Don’t let her answer the phone, because the only thing she knows how to say is “drop dead, mother fucker.”
Grace: I don't have a land line. I only have my iPhone.
Mildred: Good! She can’t text anymore since I had her declawed. Oh, I know you two are going to be best pals.
Grace (looking through the carton’s contents) What are the baseball bat and survival knife for?
Mildred: Oh, I don’t know. I just thought they might come in handy.
Grace: I hope not.
Mildred: One last thing: it was kind of you to invite me to the prayer group you have here every Saturday night. I think, however, you may want to hold it elsewhere this week.
Mildred: Whenever Puddi hears the word J-e-s-u-s her eyes roll around in her head, she foams at the mouth, and bounces around the room howling like a castrated Italian tenor.
(crate starts to bounce violently around the room accompanied by a sustained, ear-splitting shriek)
Mildred: Well, I’m off. Ta, ta!
(Mildred leaves in haste. As she closes the door, Grace casts a suspicious glance at the bouncing, shrieking crate.)
Two weeks later...
The scene: Inside the front door of an apartment in a senior citizen housing complex.
The characters: two older women, a large cardboard box, and a small pet carrier.
Grace: Joanne, thank you so much for agreeing to take Puddikins while I’m away. It’s so kind of you since we only just met at the rec center the other day. I know you and she will get on famously and have a fine time together.
(fade to black)