Marilynn Byerly

 

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JUST ASK FLOPPY

 

Interview by

 

Marilynn Byerly

 

Floppy, the sentient alien kitty, from STAR-CROSSED was kind enough to let me interview him. His interpreters were busy, but, fortunately, he is quite proficient at writing human Basic so he typed his answers on my laptop.

 

Floppy is a bit larger than the average Earth cat, and has a solid black, smooth coat, emerald green eyes that dance with intelligence and mischief, and elegant long ears that resemble a rabbit's. Those ears move with the elegance and grace as he speaks in his own silent language.

 

"Thank you for letting me interview you."

 

I am always happy to talk to my biographer.

 

"Biographer? STAR-CROSSED is Mara's story."

 

No, it isn't. It's the story of how I helped her find happiness with a true mate and children of her own.

 

"I guess it is. My error."

 

She deserves every happiness, and I could not find my own happiness until I knew she was happy. I kept her safe through our adventures.

 

"I thought Tristan did that."

 

He helped as did others.

 

"Very gracious of you. I'll start with some questions others have asked me about you. Here goes. What's with the bunny ears? Cats don't have bunny ears."

 

Humans call my race rab-cats, but we are not Earth cats, and we're not rabbits. We're the sentient cat race on the planet Arden.

 

"Cats from another planet? That's ridiculous."

 

The cat is the perfect predator. Why shouldn't it evolve on more than one planet? Many planets have a vermin similar to a mouse so many have some form of cat to keep it in check.

 

"That still doesn't explain the ears."

 

The most feared predator on my world is the tyrlin. Tristan compares it to the Bengal tiger on Earth. It kills and eats every creature which crosses its path, and if it is not hungry, it kills for the pleasure of it. It hunts more by sound than scent or sight.

 

"So its prey evolved into absolute silence."

 

Yes. No cries or songs, and stealth in its movement.

 

Rab-cats also hunt prey so we had to evolve with excellent hearing as well as sight and smell.

 

"So the big ears help you hear quiet mice?"

 

Exactly. We also developed intelligence, and we created a silent language by using our ears.

 

"Clever kitties. What do you think of Earth cats?"

 

Mara is owned by a cat. Sheba was very kind to me when I first came to Mara's house from the vet hospital. She licked my face, purred, and slept curled around me to comfort me.

 

"You were nearly killed by a tyrlin when you were a kitten."

 

Yes. It killed my mother and was trying to kill me when Mara lured it away and blasted it. She took me to human doctors then brought me to her home to live.

 

"I'm sorry about your mother. Why were you two alone in that meadow with tyrlins about?"

 

An earthquake destroyed our home and killed my father, my brothers and sisters. There was nowhere safe to live or seek refuge. The earth would not stop shaking so no den was safe.

 

Our only choice was to cross that meadow and reach the rab-cats who lived in the hills beyond. My mother hoped the tyrlin would be busy looking for the dead of the quake.

 

"How horrible! I'm so sorry."

 

It was a long time ago, and my heart mother healed me and loved me after my fur mother died.

 

"Heart mother?"

 

Her heart chose me although she is not rab-cat.

 

"Back to Sheba and Earth cats. Do cats talk? And what do they say?"

 

They are not as evolved as we are. They talk, but they have little to say to others. Feed me. Hold me. Leave me alone. That is all they feel they need to say to humans. They speak with their voices and with their bodies. A slight twitch of the whiskers and a flick of the eyes in a certain direction can say volumes.

 

"I know. Pan, the cat who owns me, will twitch his ear to beckon me toward him, then glance down at himself then up to me when he wants me to pick him up and hold him. He's only vocal when he's starving to death after being away from his food bowl an hour or so. If he's silent, I know he just wants to be held."

 

He doesn't need to be vocal for most of his needs because you read his body's language. Some humans only understand a loud meow, and others don't even understand that.

 

"Some humans are pretty blind."

 

Yes. You did not know I was sentient when you began my story.

 

"No, I didn't. I thought you were an alien pet, there to make Mara's first scene obviously not on Earth. But you set me straight when you jumped up on Mara's lap and took over the plot."

 

I do my humble best to set humans on the right path to happiness.

 

"One thing I don't understand. After I realized you were sentient, I wanted to change your name to something more dignified than Floppy. Why wouldn't you let me?"

 

Floppy is a perfectly dignified name. In fact, in my native language, my kitten name meant almost the same thing. My ears were quite long, and I hadn't quite developed the strength to control them completely.

 

My parents never lived long enough to give me another name so Floppy I will stay to remember them.

 

"I can understand that. It's amazing that Mara chose a name for you so close to your real name."

 

Mara sees with her heart so she sees truly. I forgot that for a time when Tristan entered our lives.

 

"She is an extraordinary person. Thank you for this interview."

 

You're welcome. If others have questions for me, I will be happy to answer.

 

Do you have a question for Floppy? Email me and ask.

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