A Day in The Life of Archibald Archibaldovich
Archibald Archibaldovich is thirty minutes away from his own execution. Archibald's three unclipped claws are going to find their way to an empty electronic socket to the left of the credenza in the flat where he lives with Maisy St. Claire and their keeper, Thomas Tommletom. Tom-tom won’t call it a suicide, he’ll call it his big mistake, Archie’s tragic end. He’s going to order those plastic covers that plug the outlets as a safety precaution for the next one.
For these past three months Archibald’s new favorite game is taking Maisy St. Claire out of her terrarium and flipping her shell down. Maisy is simply helpless when she’s shell down, and Archibald spins the hell out of her with a happy little flick of his paw. Maisy retreats into her own soft underbelly. He likes to watch her feet and hands disappear, likes to watch Maisy’s scared little ancient face turn white. Archibald spins Maisy almost all the way until he creeps over to the socket and surrenders himself.
Tom-tom found Archibald in an alley. Back then he was chasing an alley cat scrap named Harriet around dumpsters for most hours of most days. They fed on hamburgers, pizza slices, fish bones, and flies. It was what they described as a boff-o sock-o setup. Fly infested dumpsters and graffiti covered bricks and the occasional battle with a little army of fleas.
The worst thing that could happen for Archibald, who was then called Rick, was being chased off by a pack of rascals. The rascals were forever breaking up dates between he and Harriet, their tongues hanging out of their snouts, their one gold tooth glistening from the streetlights, their greedy paws coming after all their scraps, their pinkies pointed out, ready to scrape a kitty cat. Harriet is what Archibald will think about when the electric current runs through him.
Tom-tom swept him up on a day Harriet was on an expedition. The night before they’d both been chased by rascals after a feast of delicious fish bones (the silly suckers left the eyes and eye meat, the sweetest bits). They made a bed place inside an old rooftop water-tower, they stayed up late into the night pawing at one another, both slept in the nook of their partner’s body. In the morning Harriet was off and Rick was hungry, so he followed his stupid nose down a new fire escape into an alley he’d never been before.
Then a net. Then a prick. Then a woozy wake up, and he was kept, Archibald, the house cat. He spent most of his first day staring at Maisy St. Claire through her glass box from inside a human’s place, Tom-tom’s flat. Then he looked out the windows, looking for Harriet, looking for Harriet, looking for Harriet.
Archibald lasts three months spinning Maisy St. Claire and looking out the window before placing his claw into the electric socket. Archibald is discarded into a paper bag and thrown down a metal shoot. It is unclear whether it is the smell of fish bones and old burger meat, or the familiar buzzing and twitching of so many dumpster flies, or the thud of his body against the pile, but just then Archibald Archibaldovich’s heart beat again.
He claws his way out of the paper bag, claws his way into a plastic bag of fresh fish bones, gobbles up the scraps, and exits the dumpster. His claws touch the concrete. That familiar click and clack of his walk against the stone is immensely pleasing. He is free, free to roam the alleys again, free to find his Harriet, be the Rick she once met, the Rick he was always meant to be.