Sailors and longshoremen alike love a tall tale. Whether the stories are of the enormous fish that got away or the storm that wrecked their last ship, taking all hands save them, tales are made to be swapped. One such story is the the tale of the Cat from the Briny Deeps. The Cat is a hideous creature. It’s fur is matted and tangled with seaweed and bits of flotsam. It’s eyes glow, as any cat’s will in the moonlit dark of night. Sailors say that if you are good to cats – feed them, house them, care for them – you have nothing to fear. However, beware the Cat from the Briny Deeps if you should harm an feline; especially if you harm a cat with water, for that is the Cat’s element.

Amos hated cats. If he’d been asked, he could never have said why. All he’d say was that they were horrid creatures. They couldn’t be trained. They shed everywhere. They smelled. He’d give all these reasons and more but none of them really truly fit.

Thus, the last person who should have found the bag of kittens was Amos. He was exiting the creek-side bar and heading toward his boat when he heard a soft cry. Where many people would have taken the kittens to a pet store or vet; others might have kept the kittens or given them to cat-loving friends. Amos scooped up the mewling bag, tied it tightly shut and hurled it into the creek.

He huffed out a breath and directed a kick at a kitten that had escaped the bag before he found it. The baby cat scurried under a dumpster and hid until he’d disappeared. She listened the cries of her brothers and sisters as they faded away and the bag disappeared beneath the water.

Amos stomped down the dock and stepped over on to his boat. He’d sleep on the boat tonight. The water was cooler than his house on a summer night. He undressed and got ready to climb into bed. He was almost asleep when he heard a loud splash, as if something had fallen in the water.

He peered out the porthole and, seeing a small pool of water on the dock and nothing else, he shrugged and laid back down. He flipped the radio on and laid there listening to the music. He was starting to drift off when he realized that there was a sound that was rhythmic but contrary to the beat of the music.

Amos jerked awake. He flipped off the radio and a soft sound like sopping wet footsteps reached his ears. It sounded like something was on his boat. He stood and climbed up onto the deck. There was nothing there, but the deck was wet. He looked around the boat. He looked toward the front of the boat. He even looked over the edge. He was alone.

Shaking his head, Amos headed back down to the cabin. He laid back down, listening to the water gently slapping on the side of the boat. He was nearly asleep when he felt something join him on the bed. He tried to rouse himself but he was too relaxed. He felt the intruder’s hands on his chest. Now, he finally woke.

At first he didn’t know what he was seeing. Then he realized that he was gazing into the glowing eyes of a cat. There was a soft low growl and then Amos screamed.

In the morning, Frank, whose boat was next to Amos’s arrived. He was planning to head out with his family for a picnic on the islands. He saw that the door to Amos’s boat’s cabin was open and, frowning, climbed on board. He crept down to the cabin and looked around. There was nothing and no one in the cabin. However, everything was covered in cat hair. As for Amos, he was never seen or heard from again.

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