I found a can of beets in the cupboard. That was the highlight of my day.
It's been some time that it was hiding back there and it wasn't probably any good any more. Neal must have bought it way back when, because I never would have. I hated beets. We both hated beets. Doesn't everyone? If it was during our days as vegetarians, it would not have been such an odd thing. Neal would have thought the colour of the beets would be nice in a salad or something. He could be so... Martha Stewart, sometimes, it drives me crazy.
It could have been back there years, for all I knew, so I tossed it in the garbage. Of course, not that I would have been able to eat it anyway. I was a canine morph now, and unlike most people, I didn't get to keep my human digestive system. Neither had Neal.
We had that much in common, at least. Otherwise, we were complete opposites. I was a dog. He was a cat. We didn't fight as much as you would think a dog and cat would, but when we did, it was tooth and nail. Jaws and claws, if you will.
From under the sink, where he been waging war on the plumbing, Neal was ready to start another fight. He'd been doing that a lot lately and it was getting harder not to growl at him.
His little orange head popped out from beneath the sink. As a housecat morph, he could easily fit under the sink and still handle the tools he needed to. He glared at me as the lid on the garbage can settled. "What did you just throw away?"
"Nothing," I said, meaning nothing important. I should have realized he'd take it as a denial of the fact that something had been thrown away.
He sighed and stepped out from beneath the sink. He was maybe two feet tall and, soaking wet, he might weigh 25 pounds. He was only slightly damp from the leak under the sink so I would have to guess he weighed 20 pounds, having been ever so lightly misted with water.
Neal brushed past me and opened the garbage can and looked inside. At his housecat size, he had to stand on his toes to look inside. "We agreed you weren't going to throw anything away unless you checked with me first."
His clinging to the past had always driven me mad, even before the Change. His paranoia had only increased since I'd thrown out his lucky boxer shorts (not that they fit him any more).
I've been accused of over-rationalization for years and recently I had decided that those who knew me, probably knew me well enough to be at least partially correct. So I was taking great pains not to explain every little thing that I did.
Of course, sometimes this leads to over-compensation.
I kicked the garbage can away from him and he fell forward gracelessly. The can managed to stay upright. My feline husband had no such luck. I felt guilty enjoying his look of shock more than I felt guilty about actually causing his pain. He'd been a pain all week, and it was about time he got a little payback.
He fell on all fours, as I knew he would. He was a cat afterall.
"What the hell did you do that for?" He yelled. The voice that had been cute days ago was now grating on my nerves something fierce.
"I threw out a can of corn, you stupid freak!" Actually, it had been beets, but did that really matter? No, I don't so. I dared him to contradict me with my glare. "A lousy can of frikkin' corn!"
"Why the hell would you kick me over a can of corn?"
"I didn't kick you," I shouted back as he stood up again. "I kicked the can, you freak!"
Then Neal kicked my left paw. At his size, it didn't hurt. What got me pissed was the nerve, the audacity, and the sheer balls of kicking someone more than twice his size. I snapped and threw the bread box at him (we only used it to pile junkmail in anyway... neither one of use having had bread since the Change). He took off on all fours into the livingroom.
I really could have let things drop there, but instead I howled in rage and took off on all fours after him. I can only shift myself a little towards a true canine, just enough to run, but it was uncomfortable and it only pissed me off more.
All we needed to make the chaos complete would have been a cartoon mouse running in front of Neal. Chairs were upended. Pictures fell off the wall. I swear I even saw a piano mover drop a piano down the front stairs onto his unlucky partner during the frenzy, but they weren't due until next Thursday. All I cared about was my husband's elusive tail.
Finally, with one final pounce, I tackled him in the laundry room before he could escape up the laundry chute. I hated when he did that.
I had him pinned, his hind legs stuck under me and my hands leaning onto his tiny shoulders. I was all set to start ripping into him when he started to giggle. It was like being hit in the face with cold water. "You picked a fight on purpose!" I accused him. "You sammied me!"
I got up in disgust. He looked up at me, properly apologetic, and sighed. "I guess so, sorry. I liked what we were doing, Rita. Ever since I've been this size, I've been thinking and thinking about it."
I hurrmphed. I wondered if this was my fault. Maybe I hadn't trained him properly. He always was a bit of a "Sammy," especially when there was something new he wanted to try. I guess I always found it too cute afterwards to really come down on him. Or maybe I never should have listened to him when he wanted me to slide him to a housecat morph.
After all, he was a big tiger morph normally. My recently discovered power to type-shift men, but never woman -- and, therefor, myself -- needed to be tested. We'd never heard of anyone able to do it to anyone but themselves, so we figured it was pretty rare. Well, of course, some people can "reset" teens, but that was a one time thing.
"And I kept thinking about how big you seem now." Neal smiled. "And thinking about it and thinking about it."
I sighed. "Kneel, boy!" I said, taking charge of the situation. Neal assumed the position and tried to wipe the smile off his face like a good sub. Before the Change, I had stood 6 foot 7. Now I was a 4 foot tall French poodle morph. It was hard for a big tiger like Neal to feel dominated by a poodle, I suppose. I was just going to have to be tougher on him.
I took him by his shoulder and pulled him thru the series of odd changes that ended up with him back to normal. Normal for the world as it stood today, at least. On his knees, he towered over me. Standing, his cute little feline ears would brush up against the top of door jams. It startled him and he looked up from the floor at me, hurt. He still had to look down a little, so he cowered a bit.
"No Sammies," I told him flatly. "You're to fix the sink like you were supposed to. Then you are going to straighten the house. If you're good, I'll slide you back down to housecat and we'll see what happens, then. OK?"
He smiled expectantly, got up off the floor, and walked back to the kitchen, moving the garbage can back in place as he did so. I watched, enjoying the show. I hated a lot of things about being so much shorter, but it gave me a good view.
He squirted himself in the face with a water bottle and then crawled under the sink to curse at the pipes. A real plumber had taken care of the pipes months ago, there was no need for him to be under there other than I told him to be. Something about that turned us both on.
Of course, now Neal could only get his head and shoulders under the sink, rather than his hold body. This worked out better for me. After a moment of cursing and clanging, he called out. "Hey lady, I found the source of your leak... you're going to need a new set of pipes. Very expensive pipes."
"I can't afford that," I yipped.
"Well, you can't afford to have the water eaten away at the cupboards and floors, here. Sooner or later the pipes going to burst, you know."
I stepped forward and placed my right foot gently on his loins and gently put a little weight on it. "Well, maybe there's something else you want besides money. Have you considered barter...?"
Neal sighed. I howled in annoyance and put my hands/paws on my fuzzy hips. "What is it, now?"
"I miss the high heels."