Katelynn and the Hummingbird

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Empyreome, Volume 3: Issue 1, January 2019


“The hummingbird wasn’t exactly speaking, but Katelynn heard its words in her mind. She could also see a cacophony of confusing images, perhaps memories, of flying through space on a giant metal spaceship, exploring a wide range of differently inhabited planets. It was enough to make any tabby go crazy.”

The magic in the air whispered through Katelynn’s whiskers like a summer breeze, and the fat tabby purred.  The ley line that ran under her owner’s house was perfectly aligned with the orientation of her brown stripes whenever she sat under the oak tree in the backyard and faced the hummingbird feeder hanging in the neighbor’s Japanese maple — as she was now.  The rising sun glinted off the windows in both houses, giving them shining eyes in their architectural faces.

It was the perfect moment for casting spells. Continue reading “Katelynn and the Hummingbird”

The Fog Comes On Little Cat Feet

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, April 2020


“See, he loved turning into a shadow and a storm cloud and being filled with lightning. But he hadn’t always been able to.”

Edgar Allen was a grumpy cat.  He had the sleek black fur you’d expect from a cat named Edgar Allen, but his whiskers shone like slivers of moonlight.

He wasn’t grumpy about his black fur or his shining whiskers.  When he thought about them, he was rightly proud to be such a fine feline specimen.  Humans who saw him lounging on the warm pavement on the street in front of the house where he lived invariably called out to him, begging for a chance to pet him.  He rarely obliged.  Though he would sometimes flirt with younger children, trying to lure them into dashing off of the sidewalk in hopes of reaching him.  He never let them reach him.  But he did enjoy listening to them get scolded by their parents.  “Stay out of the street!  It’s dangerous!” Continue reading “The Fog Comes On Little Cat Feet”

Fish Heart

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, April 2020


“She no longer wanted to eat the little fish, only to gaze at her and talk to her and share every thought that crossed her mind while the fish blinked at her with adoring eyes.”

The surface of the decorative pond in the neighbor’s yard shone like a mirror, smooth and bright, reflecting the overcast sky in shades of pale gray and silver.  Cora wanted to know what was hidden underneath the mirror, so she jumped down from the fence and stalked over to the stone ledge around the pond, tail lashing behind her.

Keeping her paws braced carefully on the stone ledge, Cora lowered her head towards the water, sniffing.  The angle changed, and suddenly the reflection of the sky and her own orange and black splotched face disappeared.  The calico cat could see directly into the underworld of water as clearly as through a pane of window glass.  Green, silty, and mysterious. Continue reading “Fish Heart”

Where Have All the Mousies Gone

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, December 2021; recipient of the Ursa Major Award for Best Short Fiction


“My grandmother died ten years ago when the cats invaded our world, landing their flying saucers on top of our cities, crushing our skyscrapers, and then chasing our people like we were nothing more than animated rag dolls.”

Does it matter what your last thoughts are when you die?  If you could choose them — they would be hope, wouldn’t they?  A bright future.  Waiting.  Ready.  And you’re going to miss it, but wouldn’t you rather die looking out on a shining expanse of golden sunlight, reflecting off ocean waves and filtering through leafy forests?  Cities full of smiling people, whiskers turned up in happiness.  Bare paws dancing on the concrete streets, and long tails tied together, turned like skipping ropes as adults, filled with laughter, act like mere kits. Continue reading “Where Have All the Mousies Gone”

Catacomb’s Orchestra

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, April 2020

“Mice minds were so small. So easy for Catacomb to read.”

Catacomb laid her paw across the tiny heaving belly of the almost drowned mouse.  The poor thing was frightened out of its mind; she could feel its fright through her paw, prickly and tingly.  Mouse emotions were so funny.

“I saved you from the koi pond, Little One,” Catacomb purred.  “Now your life is mine.”  Never mind that the mouse would never have fallen in the koi pond if Catacomb hadn’t been chasing it.  She could see herself through the mouse’s eyes:  massive, terrifying, death-personified.  The asymmetrical orange and black splotches that had inspired her human to name her Peaches (after a bowl of peach cobbler) looked like a devastating Halloween mask to the mouse.  No sweetness.  All murder. Continue reading “Catacomb’s Orchestra”

The Fire In Her Claws

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Daily Science Fiction, April 2020

“How could they ask someone to take her claws away? How can hate look so much like love?”

Apricot dozed in her cat-carrier, enjoying the warmth of the sunlight pouring through the car window and down through the grated metal top of her carrier.  She had an old, rough towel to sleep on, and she was extremely comfortable.  The occasional bump in the road roused her out of her semi-sleep, and she heard her humans in the front seat of the car talking.  Continue reading “The Fire In Her Claws”

In a Cat’s Eyes

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Dancing in the Moonlight: Rainfurrest 2013 Charity Anthology

“But, as he stared, he felt himself drawn in deeper, down into the tiny, reflected world inside those blue eyes.”

Jason’s brushy tail wagged like a flag as he trotted down the sidewalk in front of his house.  He strained his neck against the leash, just a little, to help his master out.  His master was always reluctant to go on walks, and the only explanation Jason could think of was that she must tire out easily.  Heaven knew, Jason had energy to spare, so it was only fair that he help pull her along. Continue reading “In a Cat’s Eyes”

Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Anthropomorphic Dreams Podcast, November 2011


“Glowing eyes looked into the night, and what Shreddy saw made his fur stand straight on end. Puppies rose from their graves.”

When Shreddy was a young cat, he and the Red-Haired Woman lived alone.  Shreddy enjoyed his youth and, in later years, he often daydreamed of those days before the Red-Haired Woman declared:  “I think I’ll take up a hobby.”

Shreddy wasn’t worried at the time.  She’d taken up a hobby before, growing orchids, and he’d found her pastime perfectly delightful.  Delectable, even.  This time, the Red-Haired Woman decided to grow something that Shreddy couldn’t eat. Continue reading “Shreddy and the Zomb-dogs”

The Wharf Cat’s Mermaid

by Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in ROAR Volume 5, July 2014


“If Mari had been a less patient kitten, she might have failed. As it was, the race between her slowly growing skills and her rapidly growing hunger was a close call.”

The scraggly white kitten crouched, trembling, behind the crates of fish.  The smell was thick, but the scraps were thin.  She’d been skittering from one stall to the next at Fisherman’s Wharf all day, mewing for bits to eat.  Few of the vendors favored her with more than a glance.  One had chased her off with a broom. Continue reading “The Wharf Cat’s Mermaid”

A Real Stand-Up Guy

by Daniel and Mary E. Lowd

Originally published in Allasso, Vol. 3: Storge, April 2014


“Topher tried a few more routines, but he felt the audience growing colder and colder. He preferred to steer clear of the cat jokes, but he really wanted that money.”

Topher checked his watch and peeked out around the dusky red stage curtain.  There was a full house in the bar tonight.  If he played them right he could get all the tips he needed, and tonight could be the greatest night of his life.  Continue reading “A Real Stand-Up Guy”