Marvin slammed the book shut in disgust and tossed it at his feet onto the bed. It landed between his legs, narrowly missing the cat who was napping there. She lifted her head and gave him a glare, then settled back down.
“That bad, was it?” asked Shelly, his wife, also in bed next to him reading her own book before it was time to sleep. She folded the dust jacket flap over the page she had been reading to keep her place.
“I liked it well enough up until the last chapter. Then it all fell apart. It didn’t explain what really happened to the characters.” Marvin opened his mouth to rant some more, but could only get out the word “Ugh.”
“Perhaps it is left as an exercise for the reader,” Shelly suggested, with a sarcastic tone. “I did warn you that the author is known for that sort of nonsense.”
“I know you did. I just didn’t believe you. I had to see it for myself.”
“He does have fans who actually like that he does that. You should visit his website sometime. The forums are full of lively debates. People can be quite passionate about their entertainment.”
“Hmmph,” snorted Marvin. “I’d rather be entertained by my passion.” He leaned over and kissed Shelly on the back of her neck. “Care to debate that with me?” He wiggled his eyebrows and smiled at her.
Shelly smiled back. “I think I could win that one.” She set her book on the nightstand next to her and lowered the lamp brightness down two clicks. Marvin rolled onto his side, disturbing the cat again. She meowed, jumped down to the floor, and padded out of the room.
Out in the hallway, the cat could still hear the sounds of contentment made by the humans. She would have to go to her secondary sleeping location to find some quiet. The hall closet door was usually left ajar for her to crawl inside and settle down on a lower shelf where she had long ago claimed a towel as her bedding. Tonight the door to the closet was closed, meaning she would have to beg for human intervention. She stared up at the handle and meowed, loudly. It usually took several calls to get someone’s attention, so she meowed again, loudly. She kept her gaze fixed on the handle, so the human would read her thoughts and know exactly what was required of it.
Then an unusual thing happened. The handle moved, without the appearance of a human. The latch clicked aside and the door popped open a crack. The lack of a human presence did not bother the cat in the least. In fact, it was a lot less bother this way, without their yapping and complaining about doing her bidding. She tapped at the edge of the door with her paw and it easily swung open. She only needed a small gap to slither through, enough to access the bottom shelf. She climbed up and snuggled into the towel she had claimed as hers, and napped.
The door remained open for the night. Eventually the humans turned off their lights and went to sleep. The presence in the house drifted down to the kitchen to check on the level of the cat’s water dish. The humans had forgotten to top it off after dinner, again. The presence would have to think of a way to remind them, perhaps in their dreams.