Cat on the Fritz

Calibrating the cat isn’t as easy it sounds.

All right, I know, it doesn’t sound that easy. I mean, really, trying to do anything to a cat is pretty much impossible, unless you’re trying to get a cat to hate your guts. That’s their factory setting, after all.

But the cat was on the fritz. Someone had clearly messed with Bitsy’s software. She rubbed up against everyone, played fetch, and never got in the way. Not like normal. I guessed it was a magnet mishap scrambling the controls. Marsha posited it was a virus uploaded from the net, but cat software and humantech rarely interacted well. Usually it ended up in fried organics, if you know what I mean.

Marsha scolded me. “You tried upgrading her firmware again, didn’t you?”

I didn’t answer.

She threw a shoe at me.

Bitsy fetched it.

Marsha threw the shoe again and proposed that perhaps we didn’t need to fix Bitsy.

I grabbed the Philips head scalpel, grabbed Bitsy, and flipped her over to get to the access panel.

Oh, you never realized? Yeah, that’s why cats hate being on their backs. They know that you can mess with all their programming if you can just pop open the access panel. Not everyone realizes cats are just organic self-replicating computers from another planet, but hey, I suppose we all have our own madness to deal with. Yours is thinking cats are from this planet. Seriously, anything that completely egotistical must be on the top of the food chain, and humans already have that egotistical thing down pretty good.

Anyway, Bitsy drew first blood, but I popped her open and ran an antiviral, just to be safe.

Marsha scowled. “I liked that she fetched.”

“It’s not an upgrade.”

“You could call it a system feature.”

I looked up from my work as Bitsy continued to yowl. “Really? You know that the bug could spread to other cats, and then we’d have a planet-wide feline failure. What would happen then?”

“The dog people would win.”

“Yeah. We can’t have that.” I went back to work.

Twenty minutes later, I found the glitch. Pretty fast work, all things considered. Except, just like Marsha had proposed, it came from my upgrade of her firmware.

I didn’t tell Marsha.

Just took her back to factory settings, closed the access panel, and let her go. She hissed at me and ran.

Ah, it’s good to have the old Bitsy back.

Fifteen minutes of writing, five minutes of editing. Getting better at just getting into it… now I need to not just get faster, but really work on quality! 

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