My new cat Fi finally arrived. It’s amazingly cute and fluffy considering how long it took me and the house PC to put together.
Fi has a bell (even though it’s programmed not to hunt), so when it fell down the stairs just now I heard, “Tinkle, thump, fizz.” All good.
Fi fetched a piece of junk mail for me. Good kitty! My phobias prevent me leaving the house, but it’s okay now my house is so high-tech.
I woke up last night to see two glowing red eyes. Fi must have thought I was ill, since she was pawing at my face like she was concerned.
Just think – if I’d stopped breathing, Fi would have known right away! How reassuring. As soon as I woke up she went and ate her din-dins.
I started wearing Fi around my neck as a white and tortoiseshell scarf with my yellow dress. It nibbled on my neck and purred. How cute!
More junk mail, so Fi went again. I always feel sure that a horrid monster will jump out at me if I walk to the box. Silly, right?
My postie, Bec, brought this week’s personalised mail over – she knows about my condition. Fi wound around her legs and almost tripped her.
Bec scowled: “I don’t like cats.” “It’s not a real one – it’s a robot. It’s so realistic it even eats meat!” “I don’t like robots, either.”
I laughed as Fi stalked a magpie outside. Then she climbed the tree and ate three baby birds. I ran to switch her off. My PC said, “No.”
I yelled, “What do you mean? Switch off the cat – it’s malfunctioning.” “You’re not well,” my PC said, “and the cat and I are here to help.”
OK. My cat is a killer and my house is a patronising git. I swear there was an override program somewhere. In a minute, I’ll remember where.
6 – SWITCH twitter and facebook!!!
Logged on to twitter with my USB and found out the house had posted a death notice for me. Oh, that can’t be good. But facebook is still OK.
Woke up with two fluffy paws across my mouth and nose. I punched the cat across the room and it didn’t stop for a second. It wants me dead!
I grabbed a shoelace and dangled it until Fi’s cute files took over and she batted at it. When she rolled on her back to play, I ran.
I’m in the bathroom. The electronic lock refused to work, so I wedged a chair against the knob. All I have is my laptop and USB modem.
Every so often Fi walks past (tinkle tinkle) and scratches at the door with her reinforced-steel claws. I know my days are numbered.
It’s just toying with me, like a cat playing with its. . . oh. Its food. Robot cats still enjoy feasting on the flesh of their victims.
I had an idea, and turned on all the taps. Perched on the toilet, I called, “Here, Kitty Kitty Kitty. Come see what I’m doing.”
Fi didn’t respond. I found an email in my inbox: “We’re not stupid, meatwad. Love, your automated home care centre.”
I left the taps on, hoping. But after three hours, I slipped and fell. With all the electronics around, the shock knocked me out.
I awoke sopping wet, with a badly burnt foot. The PC had been kind enough to cut off my water supply. Good, but uh-oh. I needed food, too.
I heard purring, and was almost certain it was the soporific purr of Fi in napping mode. So I crept from the bathroom to the kitchen.
I grabbed as much food and water as I could, then tiptoed back. Suddenly my PC turned my ipod on. I ran. Fi smacked into the door behind me.
I saw Bec pause at the mailbox as usual. She always glanced at the house as she put my mail in, daring me to get it myself before Saturday.
This time she didn’t look up. She put a large parcel in the box and rode off without a wave.
Bec knew – and she’d given me something. All I had to do was get it. I began to shake just thinking about it. Plus I’d have to get past Fi.
Bec dropped a postcard at my mailbox. I noticed the back of her bike was empty of mail. She was ready for me to leave the house – to flee.
I didn’t go. It wasn’t even the fear that stopped me. I was mad. My cat and computer had taken MY house, and I was going to take them down.
I waited until I heard Fi’s sleeping purr. She couldn’t change her programming – but I could change mine. I climbed out the window.
The grass tickled my feet and I almost laughed aloud. It was strangely comforting to know that a monster really could leap out at me.
I got the parcel and crept back, squeezing through the window. Take that, robots! Then I hyperventilated until I passed out.
Still shaking. I hoped the box could tell me how to shut down Fi and my home PC network. It didn’t feel like books, though. And it sloshed.
I ate raw two-minute noodles and beef jerky. Fortified by my meal, I opened my parcel. It was matches. And petrol. Lots of petrol.
I woke up smiling, and it took me a moment to realise why – robots can’t smell. Suddenly I wasn’t shaking any more.
I spent all day planning how to burn down my house. I soaked toilet paper in petrol, and soaked that into the walls.
Fi scratched on the door without stopping. She wasn’t playing any more.
I saw the crack in the bathroom door the instant I woke up. Time was running out. Fi was purring loudly, watching me as she clawed the door.
I poured petrol on Fi’s head. She shook herself, and almost bit off my finger. I just hoped she didn’t wash herself like other cats.
The door broke. I kicked Fi against the wall and ran, making for the living room. We charged around the living room, kitchen, and hall.
I stomped and kicked and hurled myself away from Fi’s snapping jaws, growing more exhausted each hour. My strength faded fast.
Fi collapsed. One of her eyes blinked red, and I realised she was low on battery. She was wireless, so I didn’t have long.
I barricaded myself in my bedroom as my ipod played reproachful country and western. When the door was wedged tightly, I collapsed.