A male flea and a female flea met on my cat. We’ll call them Garth and Jules, respectively.
Or maybe they didn’t meet on her. Maybe they met somewhere on the ground that one day a couple months ago when Chevy ran off for several hours.
I prefer to think they each hopped onto Chevy, strangers, and met somewhere around her left ear and became fast friends.
Eventually, that friendship grew into something more between Garth and Jules. It wasn’t long at all before they were standing before a speck of dandruff (serving as officiant, witness and maid of honor), pledging their undying love to one another.
Garth had always wanted a big family. Though Jules was hesitant, she eventually agreed, and the two created nests of eggs all over their home — Chevy’s fat body.
Then began the pitter-patter of little feet, six feet at a time, in fact. Their offspring covered the land like a swarm, and Garth and Jules were proud, dreaming of their future with their crusty spawn.
Unfortunately, their dreams would be marred.
It began with the eggs. Though Garth and Jules continued to begat and begat and begat, the little eggs never opened.
Jules cried and blamed herself. Garth took to drinking more of Chevy’s blood than was really necessary.
Then, the children became sluggish and surly. Thinking it was just a teenage thing, Garth continued his drinking binge.
Jules had fallen into a deep depression and scarcely noticed.
One day, Garth found Atticus, the youngest, asleep on a cloud of white fur.
“Get up, Atticus!” an intoxicated Garth slurred. “Isn’t today a school day?”
Atticus neither responded or stirred. Garth soon made the grim discovery that Atticus was dead.
Thus, the beginning of the end.
It happened that way for the others, too. Over and over, Garth found them like that, keeled over, legs in the air. It roused Jules from her torpor and drove her to madness and desperation.
When Jules happened upon Il Bastardo, the oldest, (they rarely talked about the reason for her name) it seemed that a black cloud had descended on their family, determined to snuff them out.
To be continued…