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Benny Watts Gets Adopted

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Benny Watts woke up to a blunt thud sound. He tried to ignore it and go back to sleep. He even rolled to his other side and flipped the pillow to the cooler side. But the sound was so persistent that with each passing second, he was feeling more and more awake. He didn’t manage to fall asleep again, but he stayed in bed. He cursed every single one of his neighbors that he somewhat knew. Making such noises so early should be illegal. After who knows how long, the sound stopped. He was glad, but still, he was woken up at an ungodly hour of…

“... six AM?” He asked the empty apartment when his eyes landed on the clock. He wiped any remains of sleep off his face and ran his fingers through his hair. He thought about going back to sleep for an extra hour or two since it was quiet again. Eventually, he came to the decision to get up. The city would get busy and loud and he wouldn’t get much quality sleep anyway.




Benny Watts was glad to be in his small apartment again. He had just returned from a tournament and after the whole afternoon driving, he was glad he didn’t have to be on high alert. He set his bag down and went for the sink to pour himself a glass of water. The to-do list for the rest of the night was fairly simple. Drink some water, unpack, get changed, wash face, brush teeth, go to sleep. Anything else could wait until the next day. Of course, something had to go wrong again. There was that sound again.

He walked closer to where he thought the source was. It turned out that the sound was something hitting the windows. But he couldn’t see anything. He just had to figure out what that something was and stop it from disturbing his sleeping patterns.

He ran out the door upstairs and outside. When he got there, he found nothing. With an exasperated sigh, he walked back and carried out his plan for the evening. He didn’t hear the sound again that night.




It was around noon, the day was in full swing, Benny was doing stuff. He wiped the dust on his shelves, stocked up on apple juice, he was just about to go over a new game… There it was again. He ran to the windows to see what was causing the annoying noise. He opened one and stuck his head out as much as he could.

What he saw was not what he expected. He saw a cat, who looked just as surprised as he did, he assumed. It was black and its eyes looked bright green in the sunlight. It stormed off. Benny was relieved that he didn’t have to shoo it away. That is probably what he would have done, but he didn’t even get to even think about it.




The next time he heard the all too familiar banging on his window, it was days later. He knew it was the cat’s tail hitting the window. He opened it and looked at the cat. It didn’t run away this time. Benny expected it to take off and for a few seconds they stared at each other.

“Woosh! Go away! And stop hitting my windows!” He motioned with his hands aggressively, which probably scared the cat and it left. He did feel a little bit like an asshole, but he didn’t want the cat hitting his windows. What else was he supposed to do?




The temperature was dropping, the leaves on trees were falling and pumpkins were still in every display window, even though Halloween was a thing of the past at that point. The banging on Benny’s windows was also less frequent. Actually, he didn’t hear for days at a time. It was all that more startling when he did. He just ignored it, it always went away eventually.

It was early November, late evening and he was taking out the trash. The air was crisp and the cold felt ruthlessly bitter against his skin that night. One more reason he was surprised to notice the cat sleeping outside his window, on the concrete. If it wasn’t for the streetlight, he wouldn’t even notice. It was curled up in a ball, that was all he could see. 

If there ever was a moment designed for feeling like an asshole, it was this one. He didn’t like feeling like an asshole, at least, not in a situation like this. So he walked downstairs, looked for some old box and a blanket, and went back outside when he found them. He set up the box and placed the blanket inside. He just needed to get the cat there. Luckily he didn’t have to wake it up, it was sitting up and watching what he was doing.

He stood up and let the cat examine the improvised shelter. It seemed to like it. When it was in, Benny wrapped the blanket around the cat and made sure it wouldn’t get cold.

Half an hour later he checked on the feline and found it sleeping soundly.




The next day was the first time Benny had a proper encounter with the cat. He was just getting back from the grocery store and was trying to fish out the keys out of his pocket. He looked over to where he left a box and blanket the night before, but he didn’t see the cat. Then he felt something against his leg. A purring sound followed.

“Wha-” He looked down and there was the four-legged furry animal that seemingly wouldn’t leave him alone. He was used to having that effect on people and it filled him with a sense of pride that it transcended species.

The cat looked up at him with its green eyes.

“Goddamnit.” Benny cursed and scrunched down to pet the cat. He scratched its head, under the chin, and behind the ears. It plopped down on its side and rolled around in the snow, Benny continued scratching under its chin mostly.

“You’re actually kind of cute, you know.”

He took in the cat’s appearance for the first time. It had no collar, its fur was black, but appeared a few shades lighter because of the dirt. It was a boy and looked a little thin for its size too. He figured he should probably feed it something. But by the time he entered his apartment and found something suitable for a cat to eat, it was gone. Benny looked out his window and the feline was nowhere to be seen.




Three days later he caught a glimpse of black fur outside. He opened the window as swiftly as he could and there he was, the cat.

“Hey.” He greeted the cat. it didn’t say anything back. “Stay right there, I have something for you.” He ran to get the one can of cat food that he bought. He rummaged through his cabinets. When he finally found it and turned around, the cat wasn’t outside. Instead, he was sitting in his apartment, the middle of his living room, to be exact.

He opened the can, put its contents on a paper plate, and put it in front of the cat. Benny watched as he ate every single bit, he even sat down and stroked the cat’s fur. It was messy and tangled.

“Okay…” Benny thought out loud. “I guess you can stay here.” The cat looked at him. Benny didn’t know when he grew so fond of the cat, but he didn’t want it to spend another night out in the cold.

“You’re going to need a name.” His name had to be something majestic. Something that would tell people that this is Benny Watts’ cat and no one else’s. The cat needed a name that would be simple and memorable, but also meaningful.

Benny looked at the cat, as it ate fish-flavored cat food.

“Wait… that’s it. I’ll name you Bobby Fisher.” He laughed and the cat looked at him, unamused. “I’m a genius, I know.” When he finished eating, the cat made himself comfortable in the dark corner under Benny’s window.

“You know, you remind me of this other stray that I know.” He thought about certain Beth Harmon, who once fell asleep in the very same corner, while he was explaining something to her. He was a little offended, but he did bring her a blanket too.

He picked up the empty paper plate and threw it in the trash. “We have a vet to visit, little buddy.”




Beth Harmon was supposed to stay at Benny’s for a few days before Christmas. They were supposed to study together, prepare for tournaments that would take place after New Year’s. Benny was awaiting her arrival all day. When he finally heard a knock, he sprinted out of his seat to open the door. And there she was.

“Hello, Beth.”

“Hello, Benny.”

“Come on in, you can put your stuff in my bedroom.” He stepped aside so she could walk in. Beth went to his room and put her suitcase next to his wardrobe. She would unpack later. What caught her attention was a pile of clothes on Benny’s bed, that seemed to be moving . The first thing that crossed her mind - that all the jokes Benny had made about getting a rat, ferret or raccoon became reality and she was about to be face to face with one.

“Benny?” She called out, with obvious panic in her voice. Benny came rushing.

“Is there a problem?”

“What’s that?” She pointed to the clothes.

“Oh, that’s just Bobby, he likes to hide." Beth was getting ready to see the worst. But then she saw that the pile was hiding a cat and she was confused. She just watched as Benny picked it up effortlessly.

“Beth, Bobby. Bobby, Beth. You can shake hands or paws or whatever.”

“You didn’t tell me you had a cat.” She wasn’t looking at Benny. She stepped closer and scooped the kitty’s face in her hands.

“We’re still getting used to each other, he basically bullied me into taking him in. But I love him, he’s a friend.”

“He’s adorable. Also, Bobby?”

“Actually, his full name is Bobby Fisher.”

Beth burst out laughing and petted the cat more. “Oh, kitty, I’m so sorry.”

“Hey, the cat is actually nice, and… now you can say you’ve met Bobby Fisher.”

“Thanks for the offer but I don’t think anyone would believe that.” She scratched some more and felt proud that she made the cat purr.




Benny Watts and his cat companion, Bobby Fisher, became an inseparable duo. They would go on road trips together, sure, usually to where Benny was supposed to play a tournament. The cat would usually be napping in the passenger seat or the backseat. At first, Benny tried to hide the cat, because a lot of hotels had a no pets policy. He would go around, sneaking the cat in and out of hotels, secretly bringing it the finest pieces of fish when he could. He couldn’t hide him forever, someone was bound to notice.

Benny Watts was on a roll, winning tournaments and collecting prize money, doing interviews and photoshoots. The cat appeared on some magazines covers alongside Benny. At some point, the cat was more popular than the tabby cat from Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

Benny didn’t care about the publicity and how much coverage his furry friend was getting. He was happy that he had someone to share his small apartment with, whose size wouldn’t make the place seem smaller and cluttered. A friend who would eat meals with him and catch bugs. Someone who would curl up with him in the evening and wake him with little meows and gentle pats every single morning.

He found himself the purrfect best friend.