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Frankie's Wining Room

Drinking wine while writing, reading, crafting, and whining

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Tesla Diaries

Lent 2016 Day 8 -Tesla and the Things Do Yarn

As the days passed, Tesla learned more and more of Frankie-human’s words. Those strange things that didn’t make a lot of sense, that he would never be able to make, but that she seemed to use fairly often.

Some of those words? Thing 1 and Thing 2. The two smaller humans.

They were girls, and as such, smelled weird.

But they enjoyed doing something he loved. Playing with yarn.

Tesla Yarning

Frankie-human got a thing that changed the shape of the yarn. She called it a “yarn winder,” something she repeated often as if saying it out loud changed something. Though, Tesla could never understand how or what.

Thing 1 and Thing 2 would pick yarns, and together with The Dork, they unwind the yarn, letting the skein bounce and twirl on the floor, while the thing yarn winder whirred.

Playing with the yarn as it danced on the floor and listening to Thing 1 and Thing 2 giggle and call his name made him feel like he was a part of making the “cakes,” as the young humans called it.

Each “cake” got a different name, and while Tesla didn’t always understand the human words, he got the general meaning. They named each cake by the color, which was really weird. Well, for Tesla, anyway.

However, he loved it when Thing 1 and Thing 2 were home because it meant everyone would be playing with yarn while Frankie clicked and tapped on her computer. Yarn nights were wonderful nights.

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Lent 2016 Day 7 – Frankie’s Yarn

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When the Frankie human brought Tesla home, she’d given him free reign of the house. Of course, as he became more agile, certain areas became off limits. The working table. The eating table. The junk table. The yarn table. The plants.

Frankie-human liked to bring out toys only she could play with. Her clicky box with the glowing screen. The red mouse she moved around. Glasses of water that needed to be thrown on the floor.

And yarn.

Tesla was obsessed with the stuff. It came in so many different colors and it moved. When Frankie-human got it out, it moved all the time. It wasn’t like the other toys she would get out and play with for a few minutes, laugh to herself as if saying she’d done a great deed in playing for three minutes, and then leave. No. She would play with the yarn for hours.

The only thing, Frankie-human didn’t appreciate it when he would play with her. He’d try to attack the flashing hook. He’d try to snag the yarn itself. Sometimes, he would wrap up in the yarn with her, trying to help her created whatever she was making at the time.

Only, then there’s a lot of yelling.

So, note to self: practice yarning when Frankie-human is at work.

Tesla Teaches the Man Human How to Use the Light Switch

Tesla soon learned his human’s name was Frankie. He learned that because it was the one thing the two smaller humans repeated. A lot.

He discovered a lot of other things, too. Like, not to dig his claws into his human’s face. They were very fragile.

Canned cat food came out after he pooped in the toilet.

Tables were the best place to play, but always got him into trouble.

He learned other things, too. Like how to open doors when the man human tried to keep him out of the sleeping room. He only did that when he wanted to lick the Frankie human, and Tesla was pretty sure the Frankie human didn’t like it. She screamed. A lot.

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Tesla had to protect his Frankie human from the man human.

Man human went by several names, but the one he went by most often was Dork.

However, the more Tesla tried to get between his Frankie human and the Dork, the more mad Frankie became. At Tesla.

At the same time, the Dork tried to be nicer. He would let Tesla lick his face in the middle of the night, and shove his neck under the Dork’s nose for warmth. They showered together. They peed in the toilet together.

Tesla figured out that the Dork wasn’t necessarily the enemy. Though he still didn’t understand why the Dork continued to close the sleeping room door and made Frankie scream. It didn’t make a lot of sense.

One day, the Dork brought in several boxes of stuff that smelled like the Dork. For whatever reason, the Frankie human turned hostile, and, not for the first time, Tesla was thankful the Frankie human didn’t have claws.

The flip switch that made the lights come off was a particular issue.

With either of the two smaller humans or the Dork forgot to turn off a light, Frankie would pull her head back and yell very loudly in Human, a harsh sounding language that doesn’t make a lot of sense. They invested a lot of effort into make lots of sounds, but they never really said much.

Except, when Frankie yelled, the human words came out, but her face and body yelled as well, to the point where even Tesla understood what she said.

Turn off the light.

One day, Frankie left, leaving the Dork and the two little humans at the home. Tesla didn’t like it when Frankie disappeared from the house. He enjoyed spending time on the couch while she worked on the weird box that her fingers made click-tap-click-tapping sounds on with the glowing screen.

But when the Dork stayed at home with the two smaller humans, the TV came on and Tesla tended to be very bored.

That day, was no different, except that the two smaller humans seemed to need to be in every room and every light was on.

Tesla had been practicing his jumps. He could attack the cooking cloth Frankie human wore when she made the kitchen smell weird. He could grab onto the coat the Dork wore when it was cold outside.

And he could leap up, hook the light switch with his claw and pull it down as he fell back to the floor.

Tesla had been turning off the lights for them for several minutes. Well, it could have been longer. Frankie human had tried to teach him time, but it wasn’t like using the toilet like a human. The only thing he could make out was the colors and the lines, not what they meant.

The three humans could not figure out how to leave a room and turn the light off behind them.

So, Tesla went to the Dork and pawed at his leg several times.

The Dork didn’t look up from his phone, the TV playing in the background.

Tesla tried again, using his claws this time.

The Dork something in Human, his tone saying he was mad.

But at least he was looking.

Telsa ran to the back door, staring up at the light switch.

The Dork sighed and got out of the chair, saying something about “Frankie.”

With his chance in hand, Telsa leapt up, hooked the flipping switch with his claw, and brought it down as he fell.

The Dork stopped in the middle of the sitting room, then barked with laughter. He called the two smaller humans and turned the light back on, gesturing for Tesla to do it again.

Tesla glared at them, but decided it would be best to show the humans how easy it was to turn off the light.

He spent several minutes while the three humans turned the light on so he could turn it off again.

But after that, the Frankie human yelled a lot less.

Because the other humans remembered how to use gravity to help turn the lights off.

Lent 2016 Day 6 – Tesla the Orphan Cat

Tesla was a pretty kick-butt kinda cat. He lived under a trailer. He had an endless supply of trash. He only really had to fight off the other cats. The raccoons, on the other hand? Yeah. Those were a different matter all together. You didn’t mess with a raccoon. Especially, if he was in the garbage bin snacking on some thrown-out chicken scraps.

He had a routine. It worked out well for him. Basically, it all came down to not dying through starvation or cold or someone else’s claws.

The trailer he lived under had  a lot of humans. They were noisy, too. They didn’t stay the night like a lot of the other humans in the trailer park, but when they were there during the day, they actually helped make his sleeping space safer. He often slept more during the day than at night because the other cats didn’t like going near their trailer.

Several of the male humans threatened Tesla, yelling at him when he crept out from under the trailer, or boarding up the holes so he couldn’t get in again.

But one human–a woman–offered him food.

Well, she offered all the cats food, and if he was really, really lucky, he would get some of it.

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He wasn’t sure because he didn’t speak human and they were terrible at communicating without words, but it seemed like she actually knew he existed. Sometimes, she’d wait outside the hole to his sleeping space with the bowl of food next to her. He thought maybe she waited for him, but his instincts told him to hide from her. Also, the other cats warned him against humans. Not that they were really looking out for him. They weren’t. They were mostly making fun of the fact that he was still alive because that particular human had seemed to take notice of him.

Yeah. He was thankful for the food when she brought it, but he could take care of himself. Thank you very much.

As the nights grew longer and colder, and as the days grew shorter, and as the food grew scarcer, Tesla found it harder and harder to survive. The other cats did, too. Each day, one or two or, sometimes, more would be missing as they all scrounged around for food.

The older cats were a lot tougher than Tesla and better able to fight for scraps. They would mock him for not having a Momma Kitty, knowing that even she had abandoned him. And when their words didn’t bring the result they’d been looking for, their teeth and claws did.

Tesla worked each day to sharpen his teeth and his claws and his reflexes, but as the food supply dwindled with the older cats maintaining the lion share of it, his reflexes grew slower, his coat grew shaggier, and his teeth grew soft in the mouth.

After surviving the coldest night of season, shivering, alone, huddling in the dirt, cuddling close to the human’s purr unit, he fell asleep.

He didn’t wake up when a human invaded his sleeping space under the trailer until his hands were wrapped around Tesla’s mid-section, dragging him out.

Not that Tesla had a lot of energy to fight back. He didn’t. He did have his claws and he used them, but the human’s funny-smelling, removable hands were too thick, and Tesla’s claws didn’t penetrate.

The man put him in a box, and then took him inside the trailer with the humans. Tesla could hear them speak, but couldn’t understand anything they said. Fear ran through him, but he was so bone-chillingly cold, and so desperately hungry that even the fear powering through him did little to help his cause.

The box moved. A human carried it. Tesla didn’t know where they were going. Was he being taken to one of the great moving boxes with the black crushing wheels? Would he disappear like so many of the other cats had, entire litters at a time?

The box stopped moving finally, and the lid rose. A single human face peeked through.

The human woman who stood guard at his hole.

He wanted to run. He wanted to claw at her face, to get out of there as soon as possible. All he needed was to get back to his sleeping space, curl up against the human’s purr unit. All he needed was to find a scrap of food, maybe some of the stuff the woman brought occasionally.

She lifted him out of the box and tucked him tight to her, wrapping her arms around him.

The mottle-colored alley cat had wrapped his arms around Tesla one time and hand shredded him pretty bad. Over a chicken bone.

Tesla growled low in his throat, releasing his claws into her arm.

She pressed his nose into her cheek and met his growl with one of her own.

A human that growled.

She brought her strange legs up, wrapping him in warmth, but kept her hands firm around him. Firm, but not hard. He could still breathe. He could break free if he wanted to.

The shivers died away. The warmth she offered finally started to seep through his mangy grey coat.

The growls and other sounds she issued softly in his ear comforted him in a way he’d never experienced before.

The feel of her teeth as she gently bit his ear after he’d attacked her face. Gentle biting. Foreign.

Without releasing him, she shoved something inside his mouth. He had no idea what it was. The thing tasted like a dirt encrusted butt.

Milk poured from it.

Warmth. Food. Kindness.

Tesla didn’t know what to do with those three things. He wanted them, but was scared of them at the same time.

But this woman, this human woman, refused to let him go. She raised her head and spoke empty human words to the other humans that came in, but she never let him go. She made sure he had enough to eat, and then, when he’d stopped shivering, she wrapped him in a blanket warmer than the purr unit. And it didn’t smell like dirt.

It smelled like…her.

He didn’t know when she would throw him out to the cold again. He knew it would happen one day. Humans didn’t keep cats. Not really, anyway. At least, he hadn’t met a cat a human kept.

But for that moment, that one day, his belly full, his limbs warm, he’d stay.

Just for a little while.

Just for a little while.

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