Felis Catus Bionicus by River Rivers

Well, I’ll tell it to you straight, my life has gone to poop. Here’s how I ruined it:

I was presented with major problems: First off, I smoked my entire cannabis ounce. All in about three hours. That was very unlike me, typically, I conserved my drugs. My excuse this time was because of the pain in my ankle, which was tweaked walking home from work. I am usually medicated due to my epilepsy. With the seizures severe enough to prohibit me from driving, certain strains like a CBD flower help relax my body. Cannabidiol is an active cannabinoid that relaxes the muscles, instead of producing a psychoactive high like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This ‘medicine’ was extremely difficult to purchase in an illegal state.

Second, I barely worked enough as a male stripper on minimum wage and tips to support myself.  The boss at the ‘Business Gal Club’ was stingy with hours and raises. This forced me to flirt often and dance more erotically than my co-workers for the expendable cash of hard-working older women. All this baloney to pay for my pricey rent, gas for the girlfriend’s truck, vegan food to keep my abs viewable, various insurances, phone bills, and the baby mama’s child support each month.

Third, my girlfriend’s most important rule is I forfeit a five-dollar bill to her each time I swear. She’s Catholic or something and would prefer me– her pot smoking, male stripping boyfriend, who moved from California to Georgia for her– to suddenly be wholesome. This predicament makes me flavor my language with replacement words. I sound like a flipping kid. I needed a cheap grower to conserve my ever-growing debt to the swear jar. Leading us to problem four; Bearcat, the local drug dealer, whose real name is Sylis Donahue. This lowlife took advantage of my gullibility and sold me something other than “Mary Jane.” He sold me the worst purchase I’ve ever made: Cybernetic, neuron transmitting cat appendages.

Also known as ‘Bionic Cat arms with fully usable hands and thumbs.’ I thought it technology and capitalism, gone too far. Human innovation and science mating to create a useless monstrosity. It’s the market equivalent of that hideous Crayola drawing every child makes that their parents reluctantly hang on the fridge to protect their frail adolescent ego. But, we, as a species, crossed this particular threshold years ago with telepathic fidget spinners.

To understand how I was swindled you’d have to get inside the mind of Sylis. If a sentient tinfoil hat suddenly manifested itself into a fully personified human, it would essentially be Bearcat. That says enough of about him as an individual. Normally, I was the one taking advantage of him. I pretended to be his friend because he has access to a wide variety of markets on the dark web. My drug dealer bought a majority of his personal products this way and made a fortune selling whatever was in his possession. His home was a cove of treasure and useless junk rolled into a cheaper than dirt townhouse. I felt dirty as soon as I stepped onto his front lawn. During my last visit, I acquired treatment-resistant fleas. That sure was a female-dog-and-a-half to deal with.

This Bearcat was a man torn by extremes. He loved drugs, he hated the war on them.  He loved the free market, hated governmental interference. He loved his cats and hated other people’s cats with an utmost passion. To him, they were inferior felines on an anatomical level. If you listened to him speak his lies, you’d think he was the best furball owner on the planet, be darned if you say otherwise.

“I literally don’t care about cats in general. Like as an entire species,” I’d tell him the moment he brought up his cats, “I’m strictly here for that Butane Hash Oil. I smoked the bud way too quickly.”

Sylis stopped playing his outdated Wii bowling game for long enough to go, full salesman, “What I’m saying is: you love your girlfriend. She loves that expensive ass hypoallergenic, hairless cat, or whatever, that you sold your American Fender for– the least you can do is buy a pair of ‘Bionic Cat-arms.’ for the rodent. I got my long hair Persian hers, and she’s picked up knitting for a hobby. It’s delightful, I tell you. She’s made me enough scarves to last my family several winters. Do you want her last scarf? I’ll give it to you for free, it’s cashmere.”

Sylis waved goodbye to the Mii on T.V. that looked nothing like him, it was a different sex and skin color than his own, and turned off the game. Then he prepared to get the product off his hands. Bearcat slammed a big white box onto the table. Magically fitting it between the beer cans and ashtrays, “The stores don’t stock these bad babies. Not yet, at least. This is my second personal pair. I don’t need it since the other cat I own is a bit simple. Look, Diego, I’ll give you a deal. Feast your handsome male model eyes because you are looking at the future of feline entertainment and human to pet interaction.”

“I don’t know, man. This striper gig I got doesn’t pay jack-feces. Then there are corporate automation programs coming around the corner. I’d rather spend my money on weed.”

“I’m going to ignore the fact you said, ‘feces’ instead of ‘jack-shit.’” He continued his hard sell, “Don’t be selfish. Give your cat the life it’s always deserved. She’ll be self-sufficient. Able to feed and clean after herself. Think of all the precious memories these arms will bring your family. If something like this actually exists, you might as well use it. If not, I’d say you’re doing your cat and every cat in the world a miscarriage of justice.”

His ridiculous argument astounded me, I became too dumbfounded to properly respond. This happened often with Bearcat, “I’m already broke, there’s no need to push it.”

“Not for long once the cat-arm related videos you take go viral.”

“Highly unlikely.”

“It’s the future, come on! You’re not shooting for the stars, Diego! This is America. Be bold! Be innovative! The only way to make it in this land of riches is to indebt yourself. Saving money makes you a nerd. Think of this as an investment.”

“An investment? No way. You mean an impulse buy.”

“What’s the difference? Anyways, If I talk long enough, you’ll buy, you always buy.” Bearcat smiled with a cackle and took a gulp of warm milk from a carton that had been sitting there yesterday when I came by. “These arms are soft robotics, mimicking the muscle tissue in humans, it’s biologically accurate. You attach the strap to the back of your feline companion. Hook up the brain sensors, then turn on the catnip spray to reward good arm behavior and the bitter spray to punish bad arm behavior. Program it to your phone and wallah! There you got yourself a cat with freaking arms dude! Christ was put on earth to make miracles and the way I see it, this is one of them. A small problem with the product is a nonexistent lifespan on the battery. It also requires high voltages to operate.”

I wanted him to shut up, to have an out-of-the-blue aneurysm, to be wiped from existence by some omnipotent being. The best I could do to end the conversation was to say, “How much?”

Bearcat’s eyes became dollar signs, “Your 1960 Les Paul. Then you can have free weed for the next year.”

I was ready to walk the frick out on Bearcat, “I can’t. I love the guitar more than my girlfriend, I’ll admit. Losing my band and that was the toughest part of my move and here you are taking advantage of it! You have some nerve.”

“Duh. That’s why I’m your drug dealer and not the other way around. What I will say is once you give the cats gelled hands and thumbs, the game’s over. Anamorphic robots are where they belong; in the past. They’re too costly for menial tasks. These cat-arms being on market tells me that the men in suits and lab coats have moved on to bigger and better technology. Innovations in A.I, advanced automation, swarms of insect nanobots, 3D world printers, private and public serviced drones, cheap self-sufficient factories, entire electronic based grocery stores, virtual prostitutes, the list goes on, my friend. Bionic cat arms are a part of that future. Besides, it’s your girl’s birthday coming up. Even I know that, and I also know you haven’t bought her a single gift.”

Behold, my friends, this is Bearcat. Convinced me to agree to the bionic cat arms; with the promise of free weed, not shutting his mouth, and guilt-tripping my failures as a boyfriend. I then took the gram of marijuana and boxed cat arms home with me, promising Bearcat he’d have his guitar as soon as I could arrange. Something inside of me died as I left Sylis’s front yard.

In short, it really was the worst purchase of my life. My broke butt owed my girlfriend since the cat did use her bionicle thumbs within the first hour to open our front door and leave. Getting run over by a logging truck in the process. That funeral was more depressing than my brother’s. She then made me sell said dead brother’s drum kit so we could afford a replacement cat. Bearcat is now no longer my friend, I was forced to block his phone number. In the weeks after the swear jar overflowed, much to my girl’s delight. Though, it hardly made up for what happened when I decided to trust Bearcat.

I’m currently in the market for a drug dealer who won’t steal priceless guitars and kill cats.

 

River Rivers

Banner Image: Pixabay.com

 

4 thoughts on “Felis Catus Bionicus by River Rivers

  1. Hi River,
    This was as entertaining as it gets.
    Brilliant imagery with the guilty pleasure of a snigger at the end.
    I’m looking forward to reading more of your work.
    Hugh

    Like

    • THANK YOU FOR THE KIND WORDS AND REVIEW HUGH! I LOVE YOUR WORK IVE FOUND ON HERE! I WILL FOR SURE RETURN WITH ANOTHER STORY IN THE NEAR FUTURE! THANK YOU SO MUCH LITERALLY!

      Like

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