Freak The Fur Out

A post-Falling Into College fic, by Brother Grimace

"I don't know who I should be more annoyed with – Jane, for mentioning them to you, you, for badgering me into doing it, my new uncle, for getting this as 'an extra wedding present', or my dear sister - for getting all of this started in the first place!"

"Well, Reese did warn you what you were getting into on his wedding day," Michael Fulton's voice sounded from the hallway outside their bedroom, where Daria Morgendorffer-Fulton was slipping on a comfortable pair of shoes. "A year of dance lessons – you know that he must have seen the DVD of your dance recital."

"Not to mention the video of your Senior Prom and your dancing," Daria said, tying the laces on her left shoe.

"Yeah – but I'm not afraid of looking foolish when I'm having fun."

Daria shook her head as she switched over to tie her right shoelace. "And that is why you will never be allowed to enter this particular room with any sort of video-recording equipment."

The chuckling from the hallway made Daria shake her head in annoyance, her trademark scowl crossing her face. "Hey," Michael said, "That was Jane's idea. Your best friend's a bit of a kinky girl."

"I'll be sure to tell her you said that."

"That's okay with me," Michael replied. "She's the hero of the story – but I got the hot, yet sharp-tongued best friend who's just waiting for the right guy to come along and let her get all of those 'feelings' released in a socially-acceptable way without killing anyone."

Michael stuck his head in through the open doorway. "To hear Jane tell it."

Daria rubbed at her eyes. "Ha, ha. Get your jacket on. I want to be there early this week, so we can choose the music."

Michael stepped into the bedroom, laughing at the look on his wife's face as he placed a pair of dance slippers at the center of their bed. "Where," Daria growled, breathing out her anger and frustration as she turned around and saw the pink slippers, "did you get those from?"

"Quinn said that you'd want them," Michael said, keeping a remarkably straight face as Sissy, the couple's tortoise-shell cat, hopped upon the bed and raised a curious paw to touch one of the slippers. "Look. Our baby girl is interested in your dance slippers."

"She certainly got that from your side of the family," Daria said, her urge to toss the slippers into the next galaxy dampened down as Sissy curled around the slippers, sticking her right front paw inside the right slipper. "With the way she sits next to the radio when you have it on, as if she's actually listening to the music... especially that pop crap, and that horrible dance-club music. I can't stand dancing."

"Personally, I want to know why it seems that every time I turn the TV on when I get home, it's on one of the music channels," Michael said, going up to his wife. "As for dancing - you can't stand having to actually get up to dance. Once you've started... you don't seem to have any problem with it at all."

Daria smiled as Michael pulled her close, and began to lead her in a very slow, albeit sloppy version of a waltz. "Yeah... see?" Michael said, enjoying the way Daria moved close to him and lay her head against her chest. "Once you start..."

"Shhh," Daria said, as Sissy lifted her head to watch. "Don't ruin it."

"Mew? Mew-!" Are you two going to mate today – again - and right in front of me-? You two are worse than dogs!

"I think someone wants us to leave so she can have a nap," Daria said, reluctantly parting with Michael. "Besides, the class starts at 6:30. If we get there on time, we can have time enough to stop for dinner at the Pear Grove."

"You just want to get an order of crab legs for the kids," Michael laughed, reaching down to scratch behind Sissy's left ear. "You behave yourself while we're gone."

"Mew." I'm going to take a nap.

"Aw, look at 'Daddy's little girl'," Daria smirked, as Sissy presented her tummy for rubbing and Michael willingly obliged.

"Who went out and bought a pair of bone china serving dishes for two small, furry folks?" Michael chuckled. "You're just lucky that she still lets you wear underwear."

Daria gave Michael a long, questioning stare that almost – almost – drew Sissy from her reverie as Michael kept rubbing her tummy. "Sorry. Just a dream I had about Bump, a year or so back."

Daria could barely keep from bursting out in laughter. "The Stargate dream, or the dream about that mountain of vanilla ice cream-"

"Daria!" Michael said, reaching down to cover Sissy's ears. "Not in front of the baby-!"

Shaking her head, Daria reached out to drag Michael from the front room. "Come on," she said, smiling as Sissy, enjoying her tummy rub, meowed in protest as Michael's fingers lifted away. "Let's go before Her Grace comes in and decides that she also needs to be tended to."

"Mew." Fine. I'll just take a nap.

"We really need to go before your buck-wild daughter decides to sneak into your bag and take an unplanned trip – again," Michael laughed, as he and Daria exited the bedroom.

"Trust me – there's nothing that Sissy could do that would surprise me," Sissy heard Daria reply in a mirthful tone, just before the sound of the front door closing and locking signaled their departure.

Sissy pawed at the softness of the mattress and covers for several seconds, before curling herself into a small, soft ball of fur.

Within five minutes, the small cat was asleep.


Ten minutes later, as Sissy slept, making an occasional movement or hiss that signaled that she was dreaming, the alarm clock - Daria's ever-present companion since her first day at Raft - went off.

Having needed to awaken that morning earlier than usual, Daria had set the clock for 5:45 a.m. – however, being overly anxious about the meeting with her graduate school faculty advisor, she had awakened at 5:30 on her own... and thought that she had turned the alarm off.

Instead, she had only pushed the switch from 'alarm' to 'radio' instead of off... and had accidentally pushed the volume up – not full-blast, but louder than one would usually listen to music when lying down.

Daria and Michael's bedroom was suddenly filled with the fast-paced, rhythmic beat of dance music.

Unlike her sister Bump – who would have immediately sprung up in arms against the offending sound, ready to strike down the hated noisemaker her sister seemed to adore (to Michael's amusement and Daria's dismay – "There's one in every family!" she would say, rubbing Sissy's head before letting the cat continue to sit in front of the radio) – Sissy's body actually went slack, becoming more relaxed as the cat slipped deeper into her dream, propelled there by the music...


The nightclub was packed with animals having a good time; dancing, listening to the music, and just enjoying the party atmosphere.

This was where Sissy really felt alive - where she could just cut loose, and let everything she had off the chain for the party crowd...

Wearing her over-the-ear wireless mike, the tortoise-shell cat strode out onto the dance floor with a vengeance as the crowd parted; Sissy could feel the eyes of every animal there, and the cameras the club had wired to the large mounted flatscreen monitors on the walls, focused on her and only her.

On stage, a cockatoo wearing huge bug-eye sunglasses took his place on the mixer and turntables as a honey-brown Pomeranian on the keyboards began to play, along with a plump raccoon on lead guitar, a snow-white rabbit backing him on rhythm guitar, a jet-black female Manx on bass, and a honey badger that played drums like he was at war with all percussion.

Sissy began to sing and dance:

Are you listening?
Here me talk - hear me sing
Open up the door – is it less – is it more?

Several animals began to dance around her like satellites – Zachary, the slender Blue Point Siamese, moving his slender form across the dance floor with as much confidence as she had; Fluffy, her full white mane seeming to billow in the wind as she 'vogued' across the dance floor in true diva fashion, and Taylor's yellow tiger-stripes lit up the area as he did his 'pop-and-lock' routine.

When you tell me to be where - are you here? Are you there?
Is it something I should know – easy come, easy go?
Out of your head - don't hear a word I said.
I can't communicate - when you wait; don't relate.

Her friend Augustus bounced across the floor, the slender white cat doing a flip and diving to the floor where he did 'the worm' before spinning upwards to his feet and 'moonwalking' in a perfect circle as he spun as if on an axis; the petite dog they called Zoie gyrated and twisted like a belly dancer, perfectly adapted for a street-dance battle; even Bump got on the floor, doing that wild 'half-spin-then-jerk-half-spin' dance she called the 'tuna can-opening'...

I try to talk to you
but you never even knew
So what's it gonna be?
Tell me - can you hear me - hear me?

Twin female Irish Setters, directly behind and on opposite sides of Sissy, began to dance in perfect sync with the cat as a pit bull terrier with brown and white splotches, and a bulldog with a Union Jack bandanna tied around his neck, pumped their front legs and danced along directly in front of the Setters several steps in front of Sissy.

I'm so sick of it - your attention deficit
Never listen - never listen;
I'm so sick of it – go and throw another fit
Never listen - never listen!

Standing on her hind legs, Sissy shot a look directly at the camera that she knew would be directly on her; her close-up on every single screen in the place as she belted her song out at the universe...

I scream your name!
It always stays the same!
I scream and shout – so what I'm gonna do now
Is freak the freak out!

Sissy threw her front legs outward and her head back as she spun about, belting out her song: the animals dancing around her began to bounce and leap in rhythm with her as she continued to sing.

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, whoa-oh - whoa-oh-oh!
Easy come – easy go!

The crowd gasped, 'ooh'-ing and 'aah'-ing as Sissy did a long graceful back-flip that catapulted her through the air and upon the stage, setting her down between the Manx and the raccoon as easily, and as neatly, as if she'd been rigged with wires for just that effect.

Can you hear me...?

Sliding over to the cockatoo, Sissy threw her front paws into the air, the audience waving their paws and wings along with her as she continued to sing, the Manx providing backup vocals:

I scream your name!
It always stays the same!
I scream and shout – so what I'm gonna do now
Is freak the freak out!

Whoa-oh, whoa-oh, whoa-oh - whoa-oh-oh!
Gonna freak the freak out, freak the freak out, freak the freak out
Freak the freak out!
Gonna scream your naa-aaa-ame – but you never listen!
Freak the freak out - freak the freak out - freak the freak out!
'Cause you never listen!
Freak the freak out - freak the freak out - freak the freak out!
Cause you never listen-!

The club was alive with animal calls and sounds of applause as the band looked around, totally charged up by the great number; Sissy, stepping forward to the front of the stage, all but soaking up the applause, the cheering – the audience's love - as if it were the first rays of sunlight after days of clouds and storm...


"What the hell-?"

The sound of Daria's voice immediately drew Sissy from sleep – and she found herself facing the headboard of the bed, standing almost fully on her hind legs (propped up by a pair of overstuffed pillows)!

Sissy turned around, drawing back a bit as she saw Daria, Michael and Bump (who was standing on her hind legs, front paws upon the end of the bed) – their wide-eyed expressions almost identical as they stared at the small cat.

Not taking her eyes off Sissy for a moment, Daria went over to the clock radio and turned it off – and then, reached into the nightstand for a set of keys.

The tortoise-shell cat watched as her mistress went back to Michael, and then, turned back to look at her.

As silence reigned in the bedroom, Sissy sat back on her haunches in the most prim and proper of manners, curled her tail about her, and cocked her head slightly to the left as she looked up at her family.

"Mew?" What?





24 November 2010