Effing Feline says Beep beep! #wewriwa

Photos: DepositPhotos

I, Effing Feline, told you last week that I’m determined to become independent — which means I have to figure out how to open cat food cans. Being a wily, observant cat, I got plenty of ideas from one of grandson Wesley’s TV shows. I’ll tell you about them after this commercial break from our sponsor, The Solid Gold Aliens.

Tresky Buffrum is a naive young shepherd from the mountains of the colony planet Jones. When he visited the planet’s largest city, population 50,000, he met Ebbril and married her the very next day — but she got him drunk and he awakens in an open-sided hovel in a place called The Happy Louse Inn. Here he is the next morning.

But maybe Ebbril, beautiful Ebbril, hadn’t betrayed him — maybe she could explain and apologize. He had to remain nearby so she could find him, just in case. Had to, no matter what.

With bleary eyes, he searched for a calm haven amidst the market’s chaos. The restaurant next door had a slothporch, a sturdy, second-story wooden ledge with stairs leading up to it. It was perfect for watching the Happy Louse Inn, except for one little thing.

Big thing, actually; five hundred pounds, at least. A Sloth already lay on the slothporch, stretched out like a nine-foot sphinx.

No one went near a Sloth, ever; it simply wasn’t done; everyone knew that. It was a measure of Tresky’s despair that the idea meandered through his pounding skull.

Effing Feline here again. Here are some of the inspirations for opening cans that I got from Wesley’s show.

Do you think any of these great ideas will enable me to open cat food cans?

Be sure to visit the other great writers in Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday.

The Solid Gold Aliens

For 500 years, the aliens were no threat. But they were just waiting . . .

All Tresky Buffrum wants is a taste of adventure before resigning himself to the life of a shepherd.  What he gets instead is a mysterious wife, fiercely chaste, who drags him to the Midas Crater, where hundreds of the planet’s intelligent natives have been transformed into gold.

Everyone on the caravan has an ulterior motive — except Tresky, who just wants to make love to his wife. Spies are everywhere. An Offworlder hero runs mad and murders people. A grim policewoman becomes attracted to Tresky while struggling to capture the psychotic sniper.

Observing this bizarre trek across the desert is an old, mute, lion-like alien. After befriending Tresky despite stern taboos, Virtrillica seeks a reason for her people to spare humans from a blast of extinction. Can the two of them save humankind and defeat the interplanetary conspirators who seek to destroy the Midas Crater and its sinister yet liberating secret?



  1. Another great snippet, Ed, and this sounds like such a great story. Looks like it needs to be my next read! Effing, I think if you use any of those methods you’re going to spend about a week licking your food off the walls! 🙂

    1. So you think the walls will still be standing, eh?

  2. Author Jessica E. Subject · · Reply

    Tresky seems very naive. I do like the world details included in this snippet!

    1. Tresky was inspired by a couple of books I’d read.

      PK Dick’s The Man in the High Castle was written quite literally with the use of Tarot cards; at key points, the cards determined what would happen next. Although I’ve never used the Tarot, I was taken by the description of the Fool card (innocence, naivety, starting out, spontaneity) because I’m interested in a character’s ‘becoming’ rather than a static ‘being,’ if that makes sense. It’s what Tresky becomes because of his innocent naivete that’s important.

      Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot (I used to love Dosty’s work; over the holidays I reread The Brothers Karamazov for the 4th or 5th time) about a man who is perfectly good but whose goodness and open-hearted simplicity lead worldly characters to mistakenly assume he lacks intelligence and insight. He’s a Christ figure — and (spoiler alert) Tresky is The Innocent who will save his entire world.

  3. Hahaha! Why do I think that Tresky is about to go against common wisdom–way against it.

    Effing, don’t. Just don’t. You’ll have no better luck than the coyote had… Just sayin’

    1. You’re pretty good at predicting what will happen next, Teresa.

  4. Great excerpt. I can sort of picture the Sloth…

    Effing – how about switching to dry food? Those bags are no match for well-sharpened claws!

    1. Your suggestion is very practical, LIsabet. Any normal cat would follow your advice. Effing, however, has a touch of the grandiose about him, and aims much higher than mere dry cat food.

  5. I wouldn’t want to go near a huge sloth anywhere unless I were desperate either!

    1. These slow-moving ‘sloths’ are the intelligent natives of Tresky’s planet. Humans are rightfully afraid of them.

  6. Love the idea of a “slothporch”–without the sloth. Great descriptive word. Can’t wait to see how he de-sloths it! I didn’t sign up this week but my snippet is posted at https://wp.me/p1gshm-2Ri.

    And Effing, try FreshPet meals–I’m sure you can tear right through the plastic covering with a single swipe of your claws!

    1. De-slothing a 500 pound creature who is fully sentient? Good luck with that.

  7. Ed, you have me reading every word. Fascinating snippet.

    1. Thanks, Charmaine.

  8. Love this kitty’s story — and adding in sloths and sphinxes paints a wonderful and accurate picture!

    1. Effing came about by accident, but he’s been narrating these Sunday posts for four or five years now.

  9. An impressive sloth, and Tresky’s mind is clearly still addled.

    1. Yes, he’s definitely hung over. Otherwise, he wouldn’t dare do what he does next.

  10. LOVE the addition of the sloth! Your hero is naive to the core apparently. I hope he can make peace with the guard-sloth at any rate. Terrific snippet, love the unexpected twists.

    1. This sloth is one of the main characters of the story. As for Tresky, see my response to Jessica’s comment, above.

  11. Just like I think Effing should not be playing with dynamite, I think Tresky should not poke the sloth. But cats and characters tend to get into trouble no matter what, don’t they?

    1. Hey, I love the parallel you drew between Effing’s dynamite and Tresky’s sloth. Very appropriate.

  12. Nice snippet. Loved the ending of how no one had ever attempted to do that before.

    Keep smiling,

    1. As we learn a bit later, other people have indeed approached sloths before . . . and they all vanish in the middle of the night.

  13. A 500 lb sloth!!! I wouldn’t go near it.

    1. It’s an alien creature that humans call a sloth because they move so slowly.

  14. Wonderful imagery of the Slothporch and the creature lounging there. I wouldn’t approach it, but I’m sure that’s not going to be the case.

    1. Absolutely not — and that’s a turning point, because this particular (intelligent) creature is one of the story’s main characters.

  15. Diane Burton · · Reply

    Great snippet, Ed. I can just see a 9′ sloth stretched out on that porch.

    BTW, every time I read Tresky’s last name, I see Buffoon. Sorry.

    1. That’s quite all right, Diane. As I’ve said above, the mythical role he’s patterned after is The Fool. But, and it’s a big butt, he grows to become so much more.

  16. Elaine Cantrell · · Reply

    Poor thing. He just won’t give up yet. The sloth sounds scary because it’s so big.

    1. Sure is. BTW, I don’t think Effing made it clear enough that this isn’t an earthly sloth, but an intelligent native of this planet. These sloths move very slowly, hence the name sloths.

  17. A long, dangerous, and interesting journey. Meeting and marrying Ebbril kicks off the journey, but it hasn’t really begun.

    Unless, of course, you consider the wheelbarrow ride as part of his mythic journey.

  18. Cathy Brockman · · Reply

    Very good snippet. A sloth? I think he needs to not wake the sloth.. effing, maybe you should watch all of the cartoons, I don’t think it worked well for the coyote us then there is smoke, ash and tin And debri in the food

    1. Not only that, a cat food can is NOT a roadrunner.

  19. “But maybe Ebbril, beautiful Ebbril, hadn’t betrayed him” … Oh dear. Well, maybe his head will clear in a bit and he’ll come to his senses. Hopefully.

    That’s a huge sloth. I’m guessing they’re not as friendly as normal sloths, either. Probably best to let it be.

  20. It takes most of the book for his head to clear, I’m afraid.

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