Concept Art Writing Prompt: A Cat's Eye View of a Spaceship

Illustration for article titled Concept Art Writing Prompt: A Cats Eye View of a Spaceship

Cats are the unsung heroes of space opera. Just look at Alien's Jones and Star Trek: The Next Generation's Spot. Cats get a perspective of spaceship life that's distinct from humans—one that's focused more on finding all the warmest spots onboard.

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This painting is titled simply "Ship's Cat" and was painted by Keith Spangle, via science & fiction. As always, we ask you to come up a story based on this image and post it in the comments.

Unfortunately, this week, I don't have a story prepared to accompany this image. I was hoping to have a guest writer in today, but it looks like we'll have to hold off on the guest until next week. I'll try to pop in and play with everyone else in the comments later today.

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DISCUSSION

Another first-timer here... I don't do creative writing (at all, TBH) but I just imagined my cat and his habits in outer space and, well... voila.

______________________

Awaken, stretch.

Downward cat stretch, upward cat stretch.

This is my ship. My home. My kingdom and domain.

They call me Canary. That is not my name, but that is what they call me. As long as I am alive, the computers and comms devices know it will be safe for the humans to be awoken from their longsleep. My food is preprogrammed, my litterbox vacuumed regularly. This is my kingdom and it serves me well.

I dislike the sound of my claws against the metal walkways. I enjoy the prodigious leaps I can execute in the lowered gravity. But despite the mastery of my domain, I feel an ennui. Sleeping can't fill the entire day, and without the sunlight the quality of sleep is muchly diminished.

I yearn for natural warmth, the heat of the sun or the heat of a human. Natural warmth that seeps into my bones like a blanket I can absorb. But we move further and further away from the sun, and the humans are in their longsleep.

The little red laser dot on the wall lost its appeal long ago. I recognised it quickly as a mere illusion of light and since it can neither be captured nor eaten, I ignore its flickering dancing presence. This is my kingdom, and I am bored.

I amuse myself as best I can. I patrol the corridors, I teach myself to leap and hit touchpads which open doors to other rooms. My territory enlarges, and I discover things with which to keep the boredom at bay. Objects such as papers and books for me to shred. Clothing and fabrics to claw at and pull apart. Plastic covered packages on which I use tooth and claw to see what may be inside. This is my kingdom, and I must know what it contains.

But the greatest pleasure of all is trying to wake a human. Jump on their bed and jab at their face. Poke. Poke. Poke. Are you awake? Are you awake? Are you awake? And every time I fail to awaken one, I console myself by biting through the tubing that lies on the floor. Bite through the right one, and air escapes, causing the end of the tube to skitter around delightfully, as if it were a scared creature. I could chase it and gnaw it for hours as the lights above the bed flicker and flatline.