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A Cat is a Girl's Best Friend

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There wasn’t enough Sauvignon Blanc in Ghost River County to make Nicole feel better, but that didn’t stop her from pouring another glass, curling up on her window seat, and watching as the sun set over the ridge.

Waverly still hadn’t texted back or answered any of Nicole’s voicemails. Part of her almost missed the attitude she’d given Nicole each time they’d seen each other since the incident at Shorty’s. Outright anger was better than the silent treatment, especially when things were all so unsure and there was danger around every corner in Purgatory.

Calamity, Nicole’s large orange cat joined her on the window seat, stepping up onto her owner’s lap, purring softly as she kneaded the skin beneath her paws.

“Hey sweetheart.” Nicole reached out, fingers running through the fluffy cat’s fur as the little creature circled a few times before taking a seat.

“I really fucked it up this time, Calamity…” Nicole glanced down at her phone. “She’s shutting me out, no texts, no calls and she’s just been callous every time we’ve been in the same room together.” She took a long sip of her wine, nails scratching at Calamity’s cheeks, causing the cat to purr louder.

“It’s not that I don’t deserve it, I do. You and I both know that. What I did… I regret it so much. I’ve told her sorry a million different ways, I’m just not sure what else to do.” The cat nudged Nicole’s hand, licking her a few times before standing to turn in a circle two times, settling back down once she found a new spot on the small geography of her owner’s lap.

Everything felt off when she and Waverly weren’t on good terms. Nicole had a hard time sleeping, eating, hell even thinking about anything but Waverly was a struggle. When her phone lit up, her chest tightened Waverly’s name on the lock screen.

Nicole froze as she read the text, each word punching her straight in the gut. Calamity was upset that her owner’s hand had stopped moving. She nudged it a few times, meowing once. A small tear rolled down Nicole’s cheek, dropping from her face to land in Calamity’s fur.


Dear control freak, I will talk to you when I want to talk you. Until then have a nice life hurting the people you love.

As the seconds past the words sunk deeper underneath her skin. Control freak? She wasn’t trying to control Waverly, she’d never want to do that and she certainly didn’t mean to hurt her. Nicole didn’t even try to hold her head high, raising her knees to her chest, Calamity moving with her. She wrapped her arms around her cat, tears pouring down her cheeks now. Most cats probably would’ve left, burdened by the weight of being so trapped, but Calamity stayed, comforting her owner the only way she knew how, gently nudging her face, purring and letting herself be held.

After what felt like an eternity, Nicole’s tears slowed. She raised her head, looking at her cat as the creature sat patiently in her lap, simply existing with her.

“Thank you, Calamity. It’s just us against the world again, isn’t it?” The cat seemed to purr louder as she moved to sit next to her owner, beginning to groom the salt water from her fur.

“Yeah….” Nicole glanced at her phone one more time before pouring another glass of wine. “Us against the world.