What the Hell Are You?

Ellie Scott
May 22 · 3 min read
Photo by Erik-Jan Leusink on Unsplash

“They stole our name?”

“Yes, boss.”

“How dare they?”

“Their gall is astounding, boss.”

“And I suppose they expect to take over our turf?”

“We can’t say for sure, boss. But it’s a serious possibility.”

“I am incandescent with rage.”

“I’m sure, boss.”

“Bring one of them to me.”

“What the hell are you?”

“Uh… I’m a meerkat.”

“Oh no you’re not. I’m a Mere Cat. We’re the Mere Cats.”

“I think there’s a bit of a language barrier going on.”

“Do tell me more.”

“You’re a cat, right? A feline?”


“And I suppose that the body of water over there is what you would call a ‘mere’. Like a lake. Right?”


“So you call yourselves the Mere Cats. But my kind are the meerkats. M.E.E.R.K.A.T.S. Whole different species.”

“I see. And what business are you in?”


“Your gang. What type of business is it that you do? Is it drugs? Catnip, Whiskas, live mice? Or do you do assassinations? Of dogs? Or humans?”

“Oh. None of that. We’re in a zoo, so… we just hang out until feeding time and then we hang out with the humans for a bit while they throw us our grub and then… well, we just hang out some more.”

“You don’t have any illicit operations going on?”


“No shady dealings?”


“You have no power whatsoever?”

“Not one bit.”

“Right. Good. That’s very good.”

“So can I go home now?”

“I just have one more question.”

“Go ahead.”

“What the flying feline is a meerkat if not an actual cat?”

“We’re part of the mongoose family.”

“You’re birds?”

“No. Ha! Look… we’re from Africa originally. We’re kind of just our own thing, y’know? Unique.”

“Right. You remind a little of a big rat.”

“Excuse me?”

“Yes. The resemblance is definitely there.”

“I don’t think so.”

“You look quite tasty, actually.”

“How dare you?”

“I could make a lovely meal out of you.”

“Boss. We’re in trouble.”

“What now?”

“The rat’s gang have come for him.”

“Finally. I knew they’d rescue me. Stick ’em up, big guy! Meerkats versus Mere Cats. We may be small, but we are mighty.”

“I’m so glad we could come to a truce.”

“Absolutely. It’s been great getting to know you. You’re not as terrifying as you first look.”

“And you not as innocent.”

“Good of you to visit the zoo to see our enclosure. What do you think of it?”

“It’s awfully sandy. I’ll need a very thorough wash when I leave. But it’s certainly interesting. Exotic.”

“Yeah, we like it.”

“Sweet kittens above, what on Earth is that?”


“That great big spiky thing. It looks positively thuggish.”

“Oh no, he’s harmless. Very friendly, actually. We share the enclosure with him. He’s a porcupine.”

“A pork-e-pine, eh? Like a pig?”

“Bloody hell. You, mate, need to read an encyclopaedia every now and again.”

Ellie Scott

Written by

Writer of speculative fiction. Shortlisted for 2018 Bridport Prize. Author of ‘Merry Bloody Christmas and ‘Come What May Day’. https://www.elliescott.co.uk/