Sam Owen is a straight-laced, responsible neat freak, only too happy to accept the offer of free rent in exchange for taking care of his 'special needs' roommate.
Nyla is a human-shaped being with the furry ears, tail, and manners of an oversized housecat. A cat who loves stealing boxes and lying on personal belongings, and despises clothing of every kind.
Somehow, he's got to survive babysitting his catgirl roommate for an entire summer - preferably without losing his mind.
What people say about Catgirl Roommate:
While reading Catgirl Roommate, anyone who’s ever had a cat, or knows anyone who has a cat, will relate to Sam’s struggle. Imagine the brain of a cat in the body of an early-twenties female human, and you have a recipe for hilarity. From attempting to get Nyla to wear clothes, to understand the concepts of ‘time’ and ‘later,’ from an early twenties college kid with decidedly conservative social views, you won’t be able to stop laughing until the end, when something amazing happens to Sam. Want to know what it is? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out; I can’t spoil it for you. It wouldn’t be right."
- Scott Williams
- Scott Williams
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“Dude, it’s a trap.”
The words rang dimly in Sam’s mind, bouncing dizzily off the new blank spaces in his brain as he stared at the spectacle in the centre of a living room that was soon to be temporarily his.
“I mean, a whole summer of rent for free, when there are lots of people who could pay for the place? I’m telling you, it doesn’t matter how ‘friendly and beautiful’ the landlord says she is; if you’re getting free rent just to babysit her, this girl is gonna be bonkers.”
“I can handle it.”
At the time, the words had seemed perfectly sane. A reasonable assessment by a person who knew what he was getting into.
Now, they were just another echo in the cacophony of inane questions, obvious statements, tongue-tied spluttering, and random vowel sounds that was swirling through his head.
To his relief, his new roommate seemed not to have noticed him, which left him free to gawk at her in missing-minded shock. She was sitting with her back to him in the middle of the floor, entirely preoccupied with her current attempt at... yoga... or something....
She was completely, absolutely naked, and surrounded by chewed-up bottle caps and tinfoil balls.
In a spectacular display of flexibility, her long, slender leg was pointed heavenward, as if reminding her audience that it was probably time to start praying for his sanity. Her head was bowed almost completely out of view, and one hand draped itself across her hip while her remaining two limbs braced awkwardly against the floor beneath her.
Despite the existing absurdity of her contortion, she appeared to be trying to bend her head even closer to her thighs, as if by some feat of pure will she could get her nose beneath her waist.
Or maybe it wasn’t her waist she was aiming for.
“Not to worry.”
The man behind him suddenly spoke, reminding Sam of his presence for the first time since they’d entered the house. His elderly Japanese face crinkled in a smile, and his weathered hand gently stroked the tattered material lining the front door. “She may be hard on the weather stripping, but she will be very nice to you. As you can see, she will wash herself. And she is toilet trained.”
“That’s... great.” Now, at last, his brain reactivated enough to inform him that he should probably not be staring at his naked female roommate. Not that any of the usual rules seemed to apply to this situation, especially in light of the awkward fact that... “She has a tail.”
“Yes, yes, and cat ears, too, you will see when she lifts her head. Very pretty, once you are used to it.”
“Cat ears. As in, actually attached to her-”
“Yes, they are attached. Do not try to pull them off. That would hurt her, and she would claw you.”
“OK.” His voice was numb and distant, like it was coming from some far-off corner of his mind that had a lot to do with autopilot and absolutely nothing to do with coherent, conscious thought. “So, um... should I come back when she’s dressed?”
“Dressed? Oh, no. She hates clothes. I put them on, and she will not move until I take them off. Sometimes she bites at them, but she forgets how to walk. Except for when she runs. Don’t worry. She doesn’t mind if you see her like this.”
“O...K... um... does she speak English?”
“A little bit. She doesn’t always listen, though.” He gave the dazed college student a conspiratory glance and leaned close, as if they were discussing a secret that they alone knew better than anyone. “You know how cats can be.”
Now, at last, a shadow was falling across the elderly landlord’s face. “You said you knew about cats, Sam.”
“I do, um... I just... don’t usually expect them to be shaped like... that.”
“Ah, yes – it is shocking at first, but don’t worry, you get used to it.” He glanced at his watch, then smiled at the boy. “I have to go – it was very nice meeting you, Sam! You have fun with Nyla, and I will call you tonight. OK?”
In some vague corner of his mind, Sam was aware that the door was sliding closed. It was easy enough to escape from, but somehow the sound of it clicking shut felt like a signal that he’s just been locked in an asylum and was expected to run the place.
The word left his mouth before he could quell the social reflex, and panic began to set in.
No! What am I thinking?! “Hi”?! You say that as if you WANT to draw her attention to your- oh, no...
He’d drawn her attention to himself.
The yellow mane of hair twitched upward, and a brownish-orange triangular ear flicked as it lifted into view. The woman’s neck twisted farther than he would have thought possible, and as her face swivelled into his line of vision, Sam found himself staring numbly into a pair of vacant jungle-green eyes.
For a moment, the two of them stared each other down, the human with his jaw slack, and the catgirl with her small pink tongue still sticking out. She seemed to have forgotten it was there, and her face remained perfectly still while her ears swung around to target the newcomer.
“You don’t smell like food.”
The comment brought Sam out of his reverie with a startled blink, and for a moment his mind raced with panicked speculations.
What if I DID smell like food? If I spilled pizza on myself, or sweated, or something...
“You don’t eat people, right?”
I did NOT just ask her that.
Her right ear flicked twice, and her reply was as matter-of-fact as it had been the first time. “You don’t smell like food.”
A few contemplative sniffs wrinkled her nose, then both of her furry brown ears flattened against her hair. “You stink.”
That probably wasn’t the right mental response to being informed that he stank, but at least it hopefully meant that he wasn’t about to come under attack. Could I take her? Pound for pound, cats do tend to be more dangerous in an unarmed fight, but she doesn’t seem to have claws...
“You should lick yourself.”
“You stink. You should lick yourself. I’m not going to lick you. I don’t know you.”
“Oh. Um... I don’t... wash myself the way you do; I use water.”
“Can I watch?”
“The water. I like falling water. I like to watch it.”
The sharpness of his incredulous voice caused her head to duck away from him, her eyes widening and her strange feline ears flattening further. In the back of his mind, he made note of the potential for a sonic defence in case of a hungry catgirl attack, then forced his mind onto more immediate concerns.
“Anyway, um... do you eat the same things humans eat?”
“Eat? Yes. What are we having?”
“Uh... chicken. You like chicken, right?... WOAH!”
She’d begun to turn fully toward him, her eyes bright and ears perked forward, but the startled, awkward cry that broke from his throat at the blatant display of frontal nudity made her jerk back.
Sam, meanwhile, ducked his own head, averting his eyes from the egregious display while silently scolding himself.
OK, Sam, stop yelling at her. I know your mom taught you not to look at naked girls, but it’s not like she doesn’t consent or anything.
He began to turn to look at her, and he almost managed to resume eye contact before nearly two decades of social conditioning caught him by the throat and his eyes retreated to the wall.
No. This isn’t right. I’m not even sure if she’s human. I’m not even sure if it MATTERS if she isn’t human.
“I need to find you some clothes.”
“Yes. Clothes. I’m a guy, you’re a girl, and we’re not ‘together’, so you shouldn’t just be... wandering around naked like that.”
She frowned, and he forced himself to set his eyes on her face and keep them there as she protested, “I don’t like your floppy cages.”
Right; Mr. Michi said that, but surely there must be exceptions.
“I’ll find something loose, OK? Something not... cage-like. As soon as I finish unpacking.”
“Unpacking? From boxes?” Her entire body perked up, and he nodded.
“Yeah, boxes; they’re sitting just out...” Oh, crap, look at those eyes; I’d forgotten how cats are about boxes... “...side.”