The Quantum Cat by C.K.Gurin
Alyssandra Lawrence was perfectly content. She had a career she loved,
and she owned her own home. She dated, but there was nobody special in
her life, that is, until a stray cat showed up at her front door, exhausted
and clearly bewildered. She invited him in, fed him, and on a whim, decided
to call him "Boyfriend." She wasn't dating anybody at the moment,
and she figured his name would allow her to honestly and tactfully avoid
events she didn't particularly want to attend. She could just say "Thanks
so much, but I'm going to be spending that weekend with my Boyfriend."
So the cat stayed.
She cuddled him and talked to him, and just generally enjoyed his company,
until one day a couple of weeks later, when he answered one of her rhetorical
questions in perfect English. She found this fairly disconcerting.
is a brilliant scientist who has come up with a whiz-bang invention the
government would very much like to get its hands on. His former high school
classmate Alyssandra Lawrence, whom he hasn't seen in years, has rescued
a stray cat who turns out to be a wise-cracking Theoretical Physicist
from a dimension where felines are the dominant species. He's also royalty,
a titled feline billionaire who owns a Time Share on Mars, and during
a research project he accidentally tumbled through a dimensional portal.
A mischievous kitten
named Schrödinger who can walk through walls, and a gender-selectable
android named Dimitri previously owned by the Mars counterpart of the
NSA, round out the crew.
The five of them
have suddenly found themselves thrown together, forming a most unusual
nuclear family, forced to combine wit and wisdom, in an attempt to hang
on to Jeffrey's invention, avoid a particularly determined assassin, and
secure the future of planet Earth.
but curiously decorated 6500 SF Zeus suite aboard the newly built luxury
"The suite was
. . . strangely fascinating, even weirdly beautiful in its own way. It
had sort of a StarWars Hogwarts Disneyworld Titanic thing going for it.
Jeffrey simply burst out laughing.
Possibly they changed interior designers three or four times while it
was under construction.
And truthfully, until after nearly having a heart attack when a colorful
school of parrotfish suddenly materialized underfoot and swam up the sweeping
staircase to the second floor, I didn't even know that animated three
dimensional virtual reality floor art even existed."
Arms folded, Dimitri casually leaned against one wall of the 30' high
foyer. He gazed upwards, to where the massive winding staircases met the
A bloodcurdling shriek from young Schrödinger suddenly pierced the
silence, yet Dimitri didn't move.
Panic stricken, Jeffrey and Boyfriend burst out of rooms located on opposite
ends of the suite and each barreled towards the foyer at a dead run.
Jeffrey brandished a deadly looking weapon that nobody knew he had, and
Boyfriend had transformed into full warrior mode.
The pair skidded to a halt in front of Dimitri who still had yet to move.
From somewhere on the second floor Schrödinger shrieked again, and
this time her voice was followed by my own piercing scream.
Boyfriend and Jeffrey shared a brief glance and began to charge up the
stairs. Dimitri's arms shot out and restrained the both of them, dragging
them backwards and pinning them against the wall.
"Wait," he said quietly.
The two of them struggled angrily, trying to break Dimitri's hold. "What
the hell is the matter with you?" Jeffrey demanded with a furious
snarl. "Let me go you miserable pile of scrap metal!" he shouted.
Boyfriend's claws were sharp enough to penetrate Dimitri's armored body,
but just as he was about to do so he caught sight of a blur of motion
in the second floor hallway and froze.
"Wait!" Dimitri commanded again, and the two of them ceased
resisting. They followed Dimitri's upwards gaze.
"Wait for it," Dimitri said, "Wait. For. It. In . . . 3
. . . 2 . . . 1 . . . "
I hovered a foot above the floor, whizzing down the wide hall, doing my
best Superman impression, while Schrödinger hovered six inches above
my back, clutching my long braid between her front paws like a water-skier
grasping a tow rope. We were closely followed by the missing pair of virtual
penguins who apparently couldn't resist the opportunity to come out of
hiding to belly slide down the stairs behind us. An entire contingent
of multi-color virtual fish brought up the rear as we all plummeted down
the stairs, skimming the floor mere inches above the marble steps. Schrödinger
and I were shrieking and laughing hysterically.
We skidded around the corner, and whizzed past Dimitri, Jeffrey and Boyfriend
as we tore down the long hall, whipped a U-turn in the master bedroom
and retraced our route. "Whoop! Whoop!" yelled Schrödinger,
lifting a paw to wave as our colorful little parade passed the three of
them on our way back upstairs.
Dimitri gently released his grip and Jeffrey massaged his arm where he
had been restrained.
"This morning's lesson was Levitation," Dimitri said quietly.
"It turned out to have been a remedial lesson for Madame. According
to 'Aunt Buggy', Madame's original instruction transpired when she was
seven years old. She excelled in this subject," he said dryly.
"The kid is going to give me a heart attack," muttered Jeffrey,
shaking his head.
He wordlessly turned and headed back to his makeshift laboratory.
Boyfriend sighed and retracted his claws. "Did I injure you?"
he asked Dimitri.
"No, Your Grace,"
More shrieks and laughter echoed from somewhere near the ceiling on the
"You've got this, I presume?" Boyfriend inquired.
"I've got this, Your Grace," Dimitri assured him.
Boyfriend looked upwards and his whiskers twitched with ill concealed
"Carry on," he said.