Product: Acid For Cats!
The problem with cat treats as of late is a lack of imagination. All they consist of is just a variation of concentrated tuna or chicken flavorings. They really get old after a while, for the owner as well as the cat. So why not mix it up, you ask? Well that’s where Acid For Cats! comes in. As soon as I heard of this particular brand I was sold. Acid For Cats! is the only cat treat available which is reported to “boost your cat’s ability to perceive life’s fundamental absurdities.”
And so I set out to test out Acid For Cats! kitty treats. I had just one problem: I don’t have a cat. My first step was to call Haven Humane and see if they had anything up for adoption. However, when I told them it was so that I could feed them cat acid, they immediately hung up on me. How stuck up! They need people to adopt the damn cats, don’t they? Apparently Sarah McLaughlin lied to me, and they don’t care about saving orphan animals nearly as much as they say they do.
I went with my backup plan and skimmed through the classifieds until I found the cheapest kittens for sale I could. A phone call and a half hour drive later, I was at the grungy singlewide trailer of one Reck Travis. I knocked on the door, looking around at the trash and rusty cars that occupied the yard. The door swung open to reveal a massive pot belly attached to a six foot frame.
“Mr. Travis?” I asked.
“Name’s Reck,” he answered, waving me inside. “Come on in, let’s get you some of this pussy.”
Grimacing at his word choice, I followed him into the trailer. The inside was pretty much how I expected. There was probably a floor somewhere, but it was covered by garbage and cat hair. At a glance I estimated about fifteen cats roaming freely around the house, mostly full grown with a few kittens thrown in. Reck closed the door.
“These are my cats,” he said, gesturing at them half-heartedly. “Grab any one of the kittens you like.” He sat down on the couch and opened a can of beer. I looked around.
“Mr. Travis, forgive me if this is too forward, but you don’t strike me as much of a cat person.”
His eyes narrowed. “Yeah, well what do you know, fancy man? These cats and I have something you’ll never understand! And what about you? You in your fancy clothes and nice car? What the hell do you want a cat for?”
“I-” I stopped. For some reason, I felt like this man deserved the truth. Not like he’d give a shit anyway, right? “I’m the product tester for Reviews of the Month. I’m going to test out something called Acid For Cats.”
He stared at me. “Apparently it’s supposed to make cats…trip balls,” I finished.
There was a long silence. Finally, Reck said, “You wanna do it right now?”
“What?” I said, taken aback.
Reck stood up, a glimmer in his eyes. “Let’s do it right now! We’ll give all of them some and you can see what happens!”
“I…I don’t have any with me. I haven’t even bought any yet. I figured I should get a cat first…”
“It’s okay!” Reck said, hurrying to the kitchen. “I’ve got a bunch right here!”
And sure enough, he pulled out a jumbo bag of Acid For Cats! What luck! Soon, we were feeding the cats one piece each of the dry treats. We laughed and pet the friendlier of them.
“Watch out for Mittens,” Reck warned, pointing to an angry looking grey and black cat who was stealing treats from a few of the weaker cats. “He can be a bit…aggressive.”
After feeding all of them, we sat back on the couch and observed. It took about twenty minutes, but then the cats started going nuts. Some of them just spun around in circles, while others seemed to handle it constructively. A few of them began stacking bits of trash to make little cat houses out of. It was all quite remarkable, really. After a while, the cats who initially had spazzed out began working with the other cats to progress their society. They began building more and more complicated structures, and even started fashioning clothing for themselves out of gum and napkins. It was crazy, almost like the acid was making them supercats or something.
Now imagine if we give this shit to one of these bastards…
There were some problems, however. Mittens, to be more specific. Whenever the others built something, he would run in and knock it down. They’d stockpile food and water in the “town” square, and Mittens would either consume or defecate in it. When they tried to stop him, he would savagely attack them until they retreated.
“Should we stop that?” I asked Reck.
“Nah, they’ll be fine,” he answered. “Mittens’ll get what’s coming to him.”
After a while of watching the cats seem to discuss zoning ordinances for a landfill, Reck turned to me. “You want to do some?” he asked.
I laughed. “Oh no! No, I’ll let them have their fun.”
He stared at me, perfectly serious. “How else are you going to know what it’s like? You need to write a review for that fancy outfit of yours, don’t you?”
“I…” Well, crap. RotM has always been about unearthing the core aspects of the things we review. I thought about it for a bit, then said, “All right, what the hell?”
“All right,” Reck said, grinning. “Grab a handful and let’s do this.”
“A handful!” I said, surprised.
“Yes,” he snapped. “We’re bigger than cats, so we’ll need to do more than what they take.”
“Even just one seems like way too much for them,” I said. I looked over at Mittens, who appeared to be installing a dimmer switch in another kitten’s back.
“Don’t be a bitch,” Reck said, already chewing. He popped a few more in his mouth.
I took a deep breath, reminded myself that this was for work, and ate a handful of Acid For Cats! I chewed as much as I could stand to, then swallowed the wad of tuna and liver flavored wheat pulp.
I looked to Reck for approval. He nodded slightly. “Now we wait,” he said cryptically.
We spent about an hour and a half just sitting on the couch in silence. I divided my attention between the television (where Reck was raptly engaged in Disney channel reruns) and the cats, who were now holding a heated war crimes trial for the newly-christened “Mittens The Butcher.”
“That’s so Raven!” Reck suddenly cried. I jumped and he turned away from the tv to look at me. “You starting to feel it?” he asked. “Feel the inevitable Catgasm rolling toward us?”
I shook my head, suddenly starting to get nervous. And then I felt…something. A feeling, way off in the distance that I couldn’t put a finger on. I could sense it getting nearer as I watched the jury deliver a guilty verdict to the grey tabby, who appeared eerily calm throughout the whole ordeal. As they led Mittens away, I finally understood the sensation washing over me. It felt like ocean waves…made of fur.
I looked back at Reck and we stared at each other for a very long time. “Do…do you smell catnip?” I asked.
The instant I said this, every cat in the house stopped moving and stared at me. I froze, unsure of what to do. Then, in unison, they all stood on their hind legs, said “Meow” in Hungarian, and began emitting a full Laser Floyd experience from their eyes. I shrieked, scurrying over the back of the couch. I was officially scared out of my mind.
Look at this beast! Clearly it wants to murder me!
“Do not fear!” Reck said. “Embrace the experience!”
“Embrace it!” said the cats.
I lost my balance and toppled off the couch. To my surprise, I landed on my feet.
“You see?” Reck shouted, now sporting whiskers and a tail. “You have become one of us!”
“Embrace him into the fold!” cried the cats.
Reck looked surprised. “They shall allow you to join our sacred coven! That is most unheard of for a newcomer! Accept it with great humility!”
With his teeth, Reck picked me up by the nape of my neck and carried me into the center of the room. The cats drew a pentagram around me, lighting candles all throughout the house. Reck and the cats surrounded me, licking my fur and grooming me for the occasion. Then they drew back, taking their places.
Reck looked at me solemnly. “You, Kevin Harper, have been chosen to join the Kitten Klan. Do you accept this honor?”
I hesitated a moment. Every pair of eyes around me narrowed into a glare. “Yes,” I said quickly.
The cats relaxed. Reck continued. “In order for you truly become a member of the Klan, your must first prove your loyalty. Do you agree to this task?”
“Do you wish to be a member of the Klan or not?” Reck shouted.
I sensed the pressure from the cats around me, claws slowly sliding out. “Yes I do!” I said. Reck seemed satisfied.
“Good! Then let the trial commence!” I heard some commotion behind me. Reck continued, “You are tasked with aiding to purify our order, Kevin Harper. Bring forth the dissident!”
The cats parted, and four of them carried in Mittens, who was tied to a wooden stake and hissing violently. They set him down in front of me.
“Kevin Harper,” Reck said. “To become one of us, you must do your part in assuring the stability of our order. And so it is that you must execute this traitor.”
Reck produced a large kitchen knife and passed it to me. I stared at it, feeling myself grow whiskers. “Kill Mittens,” Reck said, “And you are one of us.”
I stared at the cat before me, holding the knife loosely in my hands. Mittens cursed at me in Portuguese. “I… I don’t think I can do this,” I said.
The cats around me hissed. “You must!” Reck shouted. “You must, or else not become a part of this order!”
“I don’t think I want to be part of the order,” I said. “I’m sorry. I don’t want to do this.” I rubbed my arm and felt fur. Was I becoming a cat?
The cats closed in on me, their claws fully extended. Reck screamed at me now in fury. “There is no going back! Once you have agreed to become part of the Klan, your only choices are acceptance or death! You do not wish to die, do you Kevin?”
“No! But… But I don’t want to stab this cat either!”
“Either you behead Mittens, or we will tear you to pieces and devour your flesh with a glass of fresh milk! There is no other option! Now! Make your decision!”
The cats were all around me, ready to strike. Reck growled at me, his fangs bared. I knew I had little time to make my choice. I looked down and met the eyes of the bound cat.
“I am become death, human,” I heard in my brain.
“Okay,” I said.
Reck and the cats backed off. My hands shaking, I grabbed the knife and raised it above my head.
“I’m sorry,” I said, and brought the knife down.
I slashed through the ropes that held Mittens and he sprang free. Before Reck or the others could react, he was upon them. He tore into them with vicious strength, ripping fur, breaking bones, and slashing them apart. Blood and fur painted the walls as the others fell to Mittens’ wrath. I staggered backwards to escape the melee, knocking over candles. The garbage in the trailer quickly caught on fire and spread rapidly, engulfing the entire place. I coughed as the smoke and chaos obscured my vision. I did my best to crawl toward the door, as death rained down upon me.
I reached the door and fumbled for the knob when something grabbed me and pulled me back. It was Reck, bloody and screaming something incomprehensible. He drug himself toward me, and I could see the hate in his eyes. He wrapped his hands around my throat, crushing it between them. I tried pitifully to fight back, but I felt myself shutting down. My vision began to dim…
Suddenly Mittens flew through the air, the body of a slain cat in one paw and the knife in the other. He drove the blade deep through Reck’s calf, pinning him to the floor. Reck screamed and released me. Mittens met my eyes and shot me a look with clear meaning: this was my one chance to flee. Mittens then raised the knife and turned back to his prey. I scurried away as Mittens leapt upon Reck, going to his grisly work. I found the doorknob, threw myself out of the fiery bloodbath, and fled into the darkness.
With my slitted eyes providing me perfect night vision, I ran through the forest. On all fours I ran, putting as much distance as possible between myself and that hellish nightmare in the burning trailer. But fast as I could run, I could not escape the screams.
When I finally came to I was in Arizona sodomizing a bucket of tuna fish.
9 out of 10