A woman suffers from a blood curse that causes her to sometimes change into a cat. She slowly learns to live with it throughout different points in her life.
A Cursed Life: A Three Part Anythology
The First Time
It started out innocently enough. Linda was simply in her bedroom studying for an upcoming test. She was at her desk reading from a biology book but was having the hardest time focusing. She was feeling strangely antsy. There was just… Some strange energy she had never experienced before swelling up inside her. It made it difficult to sit still. And as she tried to ignore it she became aware of a light itching starting to occur over most of her body. Frustrated, Linda slowly got up and walked to the bathroom. She splashed a bit of water on her face to cool herself down… And it was then she saw her reflection.
Linda felt her breathing quicken as she realized what was happening to her. Growing up, she had heard stories about the family’s cursed bloodline but it had always seemed impossible to believe. She had been told her grandmother suffered from it, but it had skipped her own mother’s generation. She had never actually seen the curse in action before, and so had been actively dismissive of her mom’s warning as she grew up.
But in her 19 years on Earth she had felt nothing like this and had no other explanation for what was happening to her as she stared at her own reflection in the bathroom mirror. Her eyes were brighter than their usual green, almost to the point of being yellow. And now her pupils appeared as long thin slits. There was an uncontrollable excitement resonating somewhere inside her… As if some beast had stirred deep within her soul and was now clawing its way out.
Linda’s feet were starting to bother her, distracting her from the shape of her eyes. They were starting to fiercely itch as well as feel cramped confined within her shoes. She did her best to ignore it as she left the bathroom heading back for her bedroom. Right now she was just thankful that her roommate was out of town for the weekend. This would likely be a rather awkward situation to explain… Especially since the building had a pretty strict no pets policy.
Safely in her room Linda locked her door and sat down on the gray comforter of her twin sized bed. The itching on her feet was now unbearable. She tore her shoes and then her socks off; feeling immediate relief. Her feet were now covered in bristly little hairs, same color as her raven hair. They also appeared swollen… Or at least stretched out a bit. Linda could only stare and watch as the small hairs began to grow thicker over her feet.
Similar hairs were now appearing on her arms. Linda started to absentmindedly scratch at it only to wince as she pricked herself with a nasty scratch. She looked down at her fingers, noticing that her normally short and trimmed nails now resembled short black needles. They were claws. She stared at her hands for a few seconds, mesmerized by the image of the hairs slowly growing in over them. A growth formed on her palms, made of a black squishy substance. She slowly poked the right one with a finger on her left hand. It was surprisingly soft.
It wasn’t hard to figure out what it was. Linda pulled her legs up onto the bed so that she could try to get a better look at her feet. She did her best to ignore the fact that the itching sensation was now starting to appear at random spots all over her body. Small patches of black hair were soon everywhere and she found herself absentmindedly trying to scratch at them beneath her clothes. She shook her head to clear her thoughts and looked back down at her feet to confirm her hypothesis. Just like with her hand, a small squishy growth was forming on the bottom of her feet as well. There were smaller black pads also forming along each of her toes. She had pawpads.
The hair covering her feet was starting to look uniform, at this point the term fur was a better description of it. Now the foot was stretching out and shrinking at the same time. The large pads near the balls of her feet moved closer toes, while her heel was moving further away. Linda tried to stand up on top of her bed to see if her feet even still worked. Her balance was awkward at first, but she found she could stand upright while standing on her toes.
Standing up revealed to her that her clothes were starting to come loose. That was right… She wouldn’t be able to wear those much longer. Part of her considered stripping right there, she was alone in her room… Yet she was still partially human at least and wasn’t quite ready to lose that last bit of modesty. Yet… As the hair… or fur got thicker over her body her jeans and sweater became more and more uncomfortable, not to mention unmanageable. She was almost half the height she had started and had to hook her finger claws on the belt loops of her jeans to hold them up. She held the waistband out from her slightly and looked down at herself. Judging that most of her below the waist was now fur covered she went ahead and let the jeans drop, now standing in just a very large sweater that went down to her knees.
She didn’t have time to decide if she wanted to lose that. Her spine began to bend as her sense of balance changed. She wobbled back and forth for a few seconds before falling down and landing firmly on all fours on the bed. No sooner than she had than the tip of her tailbone began to poke out from here skin. It grew out in one fluid moment, moving like a graceful servant. It was a long black tail, and at full length was as long as her entire body.
Linda’s head got caught beneath the sweater. She could no longer see, but she could feel changes along her head and face. There was a stretching sensation near her nose and mouth, and meanwhile a sharp twinge in her ears, and suddenly her hearing improved. Linda backed out of her sweater backwards and sat on her haunches. She reached up her hands… no at this point they were forepaws… She reached up her forepaws and felt around her face, it was now shaped out in a muzzle… And her ears were shaped like pyramids! As she felt around, something else sprouted from her face, long and thin lines of hair. Whiskers, and with them she suddenly gained a new sense of awareness, as if she could feel everything around her.
Linda slowly stood up on all fours and walked around in a circle on her bed. The changes appeared to be done now. She glanced across the room to a mirror mounted atop a dresser. A small black cat stared at her from the other side. It was strange to think this was really her. Hearing about the curse growing up… And now actually experiencing it… It was just… Surreal.
She supposed those stories were the only reason she wasn’t panicking now. She had never been sure if she believed them before… But this was pretty solid evidence now… Still… At least that meant she already knew the change was temporary. After the night passed she’d be human again…
Well… If she was stuck like this for now, she might as well see just what this form was capable of. That inner animal she had felt when the changes first started… It yearned to run, to jump, to climb and to scratch. Perhaps… It wouldn’t hurt to let the beast out for a bit, might even be fun. Besides… she had to do something to kill the time. She’d just have to make sure she directed her animal instincts away from the good furniture.
With that Linda trotted to the edges of the bed and crouched. She began to wiggle her hind legs as she steadied herself… And then she leaped.
Linda was surprised to feel the morning sun on her face. She didn’t remember falling asleep… Most of the night was a blur of climbing, leaping and rolling. She must have worked herself to the point of exhaustion.
She opened her eyes, finding herself laying on her back on the bedroom floor. She was human again, and naked. She sat up and shivered. The world was a colder place without fur. Linda slowly rose to her feet, shaky at first as if being on two legs was suddenly unfamiliar. She quickly found her discarded clothes from yesterday and put them on. Then she found her phone. What was the best way to talk about something like this? Linda gave a heavy sigh, and then started a text to her mom.
‘So… I’m pretty sure I have the family curse.’ For some reason, Linda couldn’t help but feel the need to add a small sense of humor to the text, and so she sent a follow up. ‘Do I go to a doctor or a vet?’
A Practiced Shifter
Linda did her best to ignore the ever so familiar itching sensation that was forming over her entire body. She had been through this enough times by now to know what to expect… She had felt her inner beast swelling up inside her all day, but she understood that the physical changes always came later. That was why she had still gone in to work today, and still stayed through her afternoon meeting. She might have come off as a little on edge to her boss, but there weren’t any physical signs showing yet… Still, she had turned quite a few heads when she started walking around the office barefoot. It wasn’t uncommon on days where a change was coming and most of her coworkers were used to it.
But now on the drive home she could already feel the first changes taking hold. It took all of her willpower to keep her hands on the steering will and resist scratching at herself. She had to focus on driving… It would be pretty bad if she transformed completely into a cat while the car was still in motion. She SHOULD have had plenty of time… But of course there was an accident that left her sitting on the freeway for an hour waiting for cleanup.
She was almost home now… And the changes weren’t drastic. Not yet at least… The worst were her feet. Normal shoes were uncomfortable when her feet changed… But the heels she wore for work were just torture. She could feel her toes being squeezed as they were already stretching out… If she didn’t get them off soon they’d probably be torn apart… And a large part of her was okay with that. Why had she even put them back on to walk out to her car?
Linda’s house finally came into view as she turned the corner. She pulled into the driveway faster than was probably safe, threw the car into park and quickly got out and ran to the front door. One of her neighbors was out in the yard and called a greeting. Linda felt bad about ignoring them, but she was in a hurry. She’d apologize and make up an excuse later. Fumbling with her keys she opened the front door and quickly unlocked the front door and went inside.
Once the door was shut it took her almost no time to tear her shoes off. Her pantyhose had sadly already been completely destroyed. Her claws had torn right through the tips of them. She sat on the floor to pull them off and tossed them aside.
More of her foot was covered by fur at this point than not. She could also fill the patches fur growing in underneath her pantsuit and atop her head. She could still stand upright for now, but time was ticking down. Still… Having had dealt with this for ten years now she had a routine established.
First up was the kitchen, that’d be the hardest to take care of once she lost her thumbs. Once there she retrieved a bag of chopped salmon chunks from the freezer, threw it into a frying pan and got to cooking. She could tell her sense of smell had already improved, because the scent of the cooking fish was intoxicating. She supposed… She could have technically eaten it raw if she wanted to… After all she was about to become a cat… But regardless of her form, eating raw food just didn’t sit well with her mentally.
Linda’s grip on the pan was getting unstable. Her pawpads were growing in on her hands and her fingers were getting shorter. After a few seconds she couldn’t hold the pan together at all, her thumb had moved further up her arm and lost all flexibility. She could at least turn the oven off by pushing her new forepaw against the button. To get the fish out of the pan she had to press both paws against the handle and lift up. She managed to dump the fish onto the counter… It was a shame she hadn’t had time to find a plate. But at least she had food. She had felt like she was starving after the time she ever changed. She had always made sure to have food on hand since then… And after having tried both crunchy and wet food had settled on cooking her own cat appropriate meals for her changed nights.
With the food for later taken care of… Next was just getting all the doors open. She could with great effort work a doorknob in cat form… But it wasn’t easy. As Linda moved around the house, opening all the doors she felt her gait begin to shift. Her feet were changing size and shape now. It was actually kind of nice… Once the pawpads grew in on the bottom at her feet they were always a far more comfortable form of protection than any human footwear. As the pads formed Linda shifted her weight so that she walked on her toes.
The last door to open was the bedroom. Once here she took the time to quickly strip off all clothing. Any second now she’d start shrinking and she’d rather avoid getting tangled up in her suit. Plus, this way she could set her pants and shirt on the bed so they’d avoid getting wrinkled.
There were still quite a few areas of exposed skin visible now that she was naked. It wasn’t a big deal, no one else was home, as her boyfriend Tom was still at work and the amount of times this had happened to her had helped her become slightly less modest in some ways. Besides, she still had two things left to do.
One item on her list was in the bedroom. She pushed the closet door open with her forepaws and pulled a large cardboard box out. The box was covered in scratch marks, scars of her previous transformation. The box was full of cat toys, various small balls she could bat around, toy mice to chew on, and cardboard pads to sharpen her claws. She kept it all stored away whenever she was human… Mostly to avoid questions about why she owned so many cat toys when she didn’t have a pet.
She tipped the box over, spilling most of toys onto the floor; she’d have no trouble getting to them in cat form. There was only one thing left to do. She was starting to shrink now. As she passed the bedroom door she was no taller than the doorknob. That was fine, the last item on the list was easy. She went to the living room, ignoring the sound of her claws tearing against the carpet. She was starting to wobble back and forth on her hind legs, there wasn’t much human left in her.
From here there was a door leading out to her fenced in backyard, and more importantly a small doggy door in the back door. When asked about it by friends Linda usually lied and said it had been installed by the previous owner. In truth, it was entirely for her benefit. Sometimes she needed to prowl around outdoors in cat form… Besides, it was go outside or buy a litter box for herself, and her pride simply wouldn’t allow for the latter.
Pressing her forepaws on either side of the latch was all it took to pull it out and unlock the doggy door. Now she’d be able to come and go as she pleased. Everything was ready. And just in time.
Linda fell forward and landed on all fours with practiced ease. She bent forward to stretch just as her tail decided to sprout and grow to its full length. The only change left was her face and ears. She felt the familiar twinge as her muzzle stretched out, the sudden improvement from hearing when her ears grew, and of course the spatial awareness that came with whiskers. And now… She was a cat again.
And as a cat, all sense of urgency was now gone. Linda began to lick one of her forepaws lazily before grooming her ears. Everything was in order… Now she might as well enjoy herself. There was plenty of food and toys to keep her inner beast entertained for the next night so she wouldn’t get bored. Everything was fine now. It was cat time. And cat time is Linda time.
Linda finished grooming her ears before looking in the direction of the kitchen. The smell of tuna was still coming strong and she wanted to get into it while it was still warm. Tail held high she started off in that direction. As she did, she thought to herself what a shame she wasn’t as good at treating herself as a human as she was as a cat.
Well… She supposed that just meant she should make the best of her night.
With Age, Maturity
It was about that time again. But Linda had been expecting it. After dealing with these little transformations for most of her life she had gotten a hang of the cycle. She could recognize the signs of a coming change days in advance now. It made it a lot easier to plan around them. Her sense of hearing and smell always improved slightly a few days before it started. Not to mention she would routinely start to find most clothing, especially footwear outright uncomfortable. And now she could detect the exact moment her inner beast started to awaken, from that first sudden spike in playful energy. It was easy to see the change days in advance.
Linda was currently lazing about on the living room couch in just a house robe. It was a useful garment, it was easy to shrug off as she changed, and made a pretty comfortable and soft bed once she had gone entirely cat. Finding a place that was soft and warm was pretty much her top priority anytime she changed now. Just like her, her inner beast had gotten older. Sometimes, she’d still want to run around a bit or play with a few toys, but now it was mostly about finding the best possible place to nap. It was actually rather nice. She never ever felt quite as rested as the day after she changed back to normal.
The first signs of the change were appearing. Linda felt the ever familiar itch that came with the strands of black fur first starting to grow over her body. Dressed in only a robe, it wasn’t too bad. The robe was loose so that the fabric didn’t constantly rub against the growing fur. The fact that she was barefoot also made the experience more pleasant. She had lost more than a couple pairs of shoes over the years to the change, and so many socks.
Linda stretched, and slowly stood up from the couch. This was more just to avoid winding up in an awkward position while she changed, she didn’t actually have anything she needed to do. Her daughter was out of the house, at college now, and if something came up while she was in cat form her husband would handle it when he got home.
Just as it had happened so many times before her feet began to stretch as small pads began to form on their bottoms. Linda could still remember what that was like going through it for the first time… It was back when she was the age her daughter was now… That was a thought… If Debbie inherited the curse she could be going through her first change now… The truth was Linda suspected exactly that. Linda had called earlier, and Debbie seemed unnaturally tense and excitable, a sign that her inner beast may have awakened. She had come to visit this weekend, but took off with friends before Linda could get a word in edgewise. Linda hadn’t gotten to talk much or give anything in the way of advice. Debbie had just been so restless and ready to get going. Well if she was going through the change… Perhaps she’d be more willing to talk about it tomorrow after returning to normal… She only hoped her she found a safe place to change. And Linda would do her best to give some motherly advice on how to handle it then in the morning.
Linda was roused from her thoughts as she caught herself attempting to bend down slightly to lick her hand. It wasn’t… Quite the right time for that. Her hand was changing, and was mostly covered in black fur at this point. Her nails were short claws, but didn’t have sheaths yet, and her pads were not quite to full size. But the main reason to hold back was the fact her head and face always seemed to be near the tail end of the changes… And that meant she still had a gross wet human tongue.
“Just be patient a little longer…” Linda addressed her own inner beast. She doubted she’d be very happy once in cat form if she was covered in human saliva. She distracted herself by pacing in the living room. With practiced ease she shifted her gait to walk on her toes as her feet became more and more paw-like, the fur now completely uniform over them.
Linda let out a yawn, which would have shown off far more pronounced canines had anyone else been able to see them. She was ready for a catnap. It would have been nice if the change could hurry up. Still, she supposed she was mostly there. The itching over most of her body was getting less intense, a sign that the fur had stopped growing in most places. And now the robe seemed to be growing larger on her. That meant any second…
“There you are.” Linda remarked as she felt something protrude from her tailbone. Limited in its movement by her robe, her tail instead snaked downward curling between her legs. Now her head was finally changing shape as well. There was the always present sudden improvement of her hearing as her ears slid to the top of her head and stretched into pyramids. They twitched as she became aware of the sounds of small scratching noises that had been inaudible moments before. Were there rats in attic again? Well… She had a pretty good idea of how to handle that situation if it were true.
Linda stared down her own nose cross-eyed as she watched the muzzle grow out. It always felt like the strangest part… Perhaps because it was the part she could actually watch completely without a mirror. As soon as it reached its full length she felt her whiskers sprout as her spatial awareness increased.
Linda’s robe fell to the ground as the dwindling figure disappeared into it. After a few seconds the now fully transformed black cat climbed out of the pile of clothes, sat down on top of it and began to fiercely look her forepaws and then groom her ears. It was frustrating she never could clean them as well in human form. This was basically the first thing she did after every change now. She touched up a few other spots on her body, noticing a few patches of fur, especially near her muzzle that were starting to gray. A bothersome sign, but there was nothing she could do about it. Even if she dyed her hair in human form it wouldn’t affect the fur that grew in. For now she just chose to ignore it and finish her grooming.
Satisfied that she was clean, she thought about what to do next. There was that scratching noise… But she couldn’t get into the attic on her own. Would have to get her husband to open the door once he was home. That meant playing a very fun game of charades later. But that was for later, and she didn’t feel like dealing with it or worrying about it for now. Right now both her and her inner beast wanted exactly one thing. A nap. Linda began to knead the fluffy fabric of her robe beneath her, and then curled up on top of it for a nice long nap.
This robe really was such a useful garment.
Linda was woken rudely from her nap by the front door slamming shut. She let out an annoyed yawn as she slowly stood up and stretched. The source of the interruption appeared in a second, her daughter Debbie, with patches of black fur growing in all over several parts of her body. It appeared she had inherited the curse.
“M-mom!” Debbie shouted, but paused as she quickly tore off her sneakers. There was a brief pause here as Debbie seemed to realize just how much more comfortable she was now. She then looked around the room frantically before seeing the elderly cat standing atop a robe. “Mom!” Debbie knew her mother’s cat form by sight and knelt down to address it. “I was out with friends! And I just had the hardest time focusing on anything. My entire body won’t stop itching and I have hair everywhere and I don’t know what to do! I panicked and came back here and-”
“Meow.” Linda said as calmly as possible.
“And you can’t talk at all because you’re already a cat…” Debbie fell onto her bottom and rubbed her head. It was clear she was frustrated. Linda wished she had listened earlier instead of going out. It was clear Debbie’s panicked state was causing her to resist the change. It wouldn’t stop it, but had made it take longer. Perhaps a small blessing, as it meant she had gotten home rather than transform in the middle of some night club.
“Mow!” Debbie held up a paw and placed it firmly on Debbie’s knee. She did her best to give her daughter an understanding look. It wasn’t easy… Cats had naturally sarcastic stares.
“I know I’ve seen you change so many times…” Debbie replied just… I never thought it’d be me too…” She let out a sigh, but she seemed to stop fighting it. Her feet were stretching out faster and she was already starting to get shorter. Linda did her best to provide what comfort she could as a cat. She rubbed against her daughter’s legs and purred loudly to try and be a calming influence.
Debbie’s changes sped up. The only reason she was still human at all had been her own mental state… And now her own inner beast wasn’t going to wait a minute longer. It wasn’t long before paws grew on both her hands and feet, or before her nails became short black claws. Debbie let out a yelp as her tail started to grow. Her jeans were still on, and it wound up stuck going down the leg of her pants.
Even as she began to shrink, the girl didn’t think to actually try to remove her own clothes. Instead she was trying to hold on to her belt right up until her fingers became toes and she fell onto all fours. She disappeared beneath her tank top and began to let out excited shrieks as she became tangled up in her own clothes.
Lindad rolled her eyes at this, bit down on the tank top and pulled it off Debbie revealing the now slightly smaller and more in shape black cat. She then grabbed her daughter by the scruff and pulled her out of the tangle of clothes so that she was free.
“M… mew?” Debbie looked around in confusion with wide eyes. It was clear she was a bit more timid as a cat than Linda had been. She seemed so alarmed by the now much larger world.
“Mrowl!” Linda gave Debbie a playful bop on the nose to get her attention. Maybe her daughter didn’t quite take to being a cat quite as well as her… But at least Linda was there to show her the ropes.
The next morning when the two awoke human again they had very different reactions. Debbie, realizing she was naked in front of her own mother panicked and began to desperately try to pull her own clothes back on. Linda on the other hand was calm, took a moment to stretch, and managed to get her robe back on while Debbie was still struggling with her jeans.
“So… That’s… Going to happen every month?” Debbie managed to finally ask.
“Sometimes twice.” Linda smiled.”It’s not so bad once you get used to it. I always treated is as a bit of a vacation myself.”
“Turning into an animal isn’t so bad?” Debbie stared at her mom in disbelief.
“Not at all.” Linda smiled. “There are plenty of things you can get away with as a cat that you can’t do as a human. Try some of them, you might even have some fun.” She paused. “But always be careful around the good furniture. Your father and I had a heck of a fight after I destroyed his favorite recliner.”
“I… I think I remember that…” Debbie laughed.
“Come on, let’s get you some breakfast.” Linda started towards the kitchen. “I’ll do my best to answer any questions you have on how to handle things while we eat.”
The curse had passed to a new generation. Linda supposed it was unlikely it would ever leave her family. Still… As much as she enjoyed her cat nights she questioned if it even counted as a curse anymore. Hopefully, her daughter would accept it as she did, and hopefully as would any future descendents.