Author : Joshua Reynolds

“Can I has cheeseburger?” the cat whined plaintively. It’s voice was an electronic squeal that grated on Jim’s nerves. Jim swatted the cat on the butt and pushed it off of the desk.


“Plz?” it mewled up at him, eyes unblinking. Jim shook his head.

“I said no.”

“OMG.” the cat yowled. Jim threw up his hands and tried to focus on his work. Schematics for cybernetic voice-boxes filled the screen of his laptop. EMP hardened as most things were these days. No help there. There had to be-

“ROFL!” a cat screeched, rolling onto its back on the desk, swiping at him.

“Shut up!” Jim shoved it to the floor.

“Happy cat is out of happy.” another cat burbled, laying flat on the floor behind his chair.

He glanced at it and went back to work, muttering, “Happy cat is out of happy because happy cat snorts catnip like it was going out of style. Happy cat needs to knock that shit off before happy cat burns out his teeny-tiny brain.”

“Plz can I has cheeseburger?” the first cat purred, leaping into his lap and rubbing its head against his arm.

“No, no, no! A hundred times no!” Jim banged his head against his desk. “Just shut up!”

“I has bucket!” a third cat yowled from the top of a bookcase. Jim whirled.

“Get out of that flower pot!”

“I can fix it.” a fourth cat mumbled, fumbling at Jim’s laptop. Jim turned back and swatted it away from him. His computer screen hiccuped.

“Don’t touch that!”


“No! No cheeseburger!” Jim buried his face in his hands. “No damn cheeseburger.”

It had seemed like such a good idea. People loved cats. People loved those stupid pictures. Just a slight cybernetic modification to the animal’s larynx and bam! Talking cats. Everybody who was anybody wanted one. For about ten minutes. Then nobody did. The fad ended and he was left holding the bag.

“OMG lurve you.” the cat on his lap grumbled. Jim sighed and stroked it.

“Thank you.”

“Can I has cheeseburger now?”


It wasn’t the talking that bothered people really.

It was the fact you couldn’t get the damn things to shut up.

The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
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