“No sir, I do not like that color,” Martha looked at George and shook her head. “I’ll have to get 3 more lamps in here just so I can read my books. Where on earth did you ever think you could use the color Mahogany, to paint our bedroom?”

George looked as if he had carried the weight of the world on his shoulders for decades, or since the day they wed. “I got the idea from you dear. Did you or did you not say, ‘we need to tone down this room, something earthy might be nice.’ Did you not say that?” This would be the last time George would try and surprise Martha by listening to her. From now on, he’d wait till she repeated herself ad nausaum.

She leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. “I love that you tried to surprise me, and, Oh God! Did you ever. But Mahogany?!!” Martha chuckled to herself as she walked around the room, inspecting the paint’s coverage. She had thought a nice buttery mocha would be a nice departure from the pastels of the past. “look here George,” she said as she pointed into the far corner, where daylight and lamplight could not penetrate. “Do you see Muffin? She blends in with the color and thinks lurking in the shadows will bring the mice and cat toys right to her.”

George could see Muffin’s golden eyes reflect the sun’s dying rays. She sat where she always did, keeping a watchful eye on Martha. In fact, never letting Martha out of her sight. When she was a kitten it spooked George to have the cat watch their every move in the bedroom, but now after 10 years he never gave the cat a second thought. Between Martha’s less than enthusiastic reaction to his hard work and the cat’s ceaseless witness of bedroom activity, George snapped.

Martha was still pointing to the dark corner where Mittens was when George reached down and gently picked up the cat by the scruff of the neck and began to, literally show him the door when he heard Martha gasp “Oh God, that’s not a cat!”

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