Pillars of thick acrid smoke rose from the oven as the fire alarm screamed its song of danger. Ketzio coughed and blindly fumbled from room to room opening every window and turning on every fan.
Bunny could not save the roasting beast in the oven. He coughed hard; pulling a pitiful black encrusted shriveled thing from the oven and dropped the mess in the sink as he turned on the cold tap.
"C-can you save it?" Ketzio asked; re-entering the kitchen with her shirt's collar protecting her nose.
"Well..." Bunny glanced back to the lump of former turkey in the sink which was dryly sucking up the water into its badly scorched flesh. "...Not really."
"I'm sorry! I thought I got a hang of the oven -- I could've sworn I put it on 300 degrees... honest." She whimpered in defense; trying to hide a cough.
At that moment, the blaring fire alarm had ceased its cry.
"No, no, it's okay. Honestly." Bunny shielded his mouth and twitching nose with his arm and strode from the kitchen into the living room. Ketzio followed his steps close behind.
She dreaded his wrath and anger. It was an expensive feast and she was certain that his perpetual calm and patience would be broken and, so, she walked with her head down like a prisoner.
"We don't have enough money for another one... and feast day will be over by the time we are done cooking it anyways." Ketzio said with a hint of dejection and soreness. Her voice was incredibly raspy from the lingering smoke.
She heard Bunny sit. Then the couch creaked. Then silence.
"Hey, love, will you step over here?" His voice was static; scaring the shit out of Ketzio. She paused for a moment, collected herself, and obeyed as if she were approaching her own demise. Suddenly he lifted her and brought her onto his lap; burying his wiggling booplesniffer into her hair.
"What are you doing, weirdo?!" she writhed as if he were tickling her; trying to break free from his grip.
"Everything right now smells like smoke except your shampoo." he took a huge and gross whiff and Ketzio ceased movement -- baffled by the strangeness. "I could smell it from across the room. I would rather smell honey and coconut than burnt death."
She let out a sigh of exasperation but relished the attention. After all, being bundled in the arms of her significant other had its perks over him being upset. She'd much rather he be sniffing her hair than throwing her out on the streets.
After a few long minutes of snuggling, he spoke; rattling her skull slightly as his voice vibrated against her hair. Both of her ears dropped.
"How about I take a shower and then we go to the store and make due with what we can find? Another roast and some veggies or something." his nose crinkled. "I really need to get the smell of fire off of me though. It's driving me nuts."
She nodded and cracked a smile as she heard him carry on.
"You can join me if you like."
Ketzio's ears perked up. He so rarely made... advances like that. "That sounds really nice... I'll clean up the kitchen as best I can and then join you" She insisted, disabled or not.
They simultaneously stood and, on their way up, met in a kiss. It was something casual and sweet but definitely mood setting. The warmth in his face and the eagerness of his kiss were tell-tale sign for her. As they had parted she followed his movement with her empty gaze; feeling suddenly less motivated to clean.
Still, she must.
The kitchen was oppressive to her senses and her eyes watered. Ketzio felt for the 'drawer of cleanliness' with which everything within was meticulously placed. She fished out the trash bags with her ears twitching as she heard the water go on in the other room.
Stay focused, girl.
She felt the pan the meal was cooked in: crusted potatoes and carrots now fused in the pans in some horrifying transformation of organic matter and metal. Ketzio laid hands on the beast which was now a mummified, putrid husk of a once proud meal. Both the pan and the food were first to drop in the bag.
Ketzio felt distracted, once again, thinking about a hot shower and 'recreations' so much so that her mind wondered and her hand knocked a pan from the stove top; fortunately long cold. Yet, to her horror, a mass of sweet potato mulch flew from the stove and all over her self and the floor. She was coated, from head to toe, in a thick, slimy casserole of sludge.
Rage clouded her mind as she cursed the fates, and her blindness, and even grew annoyed that Bunny would leave something handle-out like that. Surely he should know better when touch is her primary faculty and, sure, it could be argued that maybe he was distracted with the near-fire thing but... still!
A knock on the door caught her ears and after wiping off some gunk hastily -- she strode to the door to answer it; half-expecting the fire marshal.
If only it was.
"Oh my, look at you!" The sultry, sexy voice of the older Norwegian Forest Cat that lived downstairs spoke.
What a loathsome woman she was; this gross thing that seemed to always flirt with Bunny despite Ketzio being right there! This miserable, disgusting old freak that had the gall to suck the soul and light out of men's eyes. Clearly, this was more cow than cat. She even had a cow's name: Annabelle... no class and certainly no Ketzio.
In reality, she was married and had 3 children. She didn't really have the time or drive to be interested in Bunny.
"I heard the alarm and simply had to check on you guys!"
"We're fine." Ketzio mumbled.
"You're clearly not fine! Look at you, darling, you're covered in... filth!"
"I spilled potatoes because I was helping Bunny in the kitchen. I'm very helpful." her defensive tone was through the roof.
"I was telling Bunny this morning, when he was fetching the mail, I said: 'Bunny, you and that girl you take care of--" Ketzio shuddered; hating that phrasing. "--should really come to my place for dinner! I make more than enough and it's a home-cooked meal."
The stake drove hard in Ketzio's little chest; perhaps her weakest feeling was being unable to do wife-like things the way others could. She wants to cook and clean and yet that corny slice of suburbia would always be far away from her.
They were too poor for that stuff anyways -- Ketzio couldn't just go out on a whim and buy hair-curlers with an apron that has a sunflower on it... not that the aesthetic would change anything for her, but it might've for Bunny.
"Where is Bunny, anyways? Maybe he'll reconsider my offer?" Annabelle asked as she mildly intruded on their property with one step; scanning the room.
Ketzio wanted to summon a storm of knives on this bitch.
"Taking a shower," Ketzio calmly stated -- her blank stare violently penetrating Annabelle's... midsection or something. "I'm sure he'll indulge in something else afterwards so he won't be available for the rest of the night." she summoned all of the big words she could think of in the rage of the moment.
"Well, if you guys ever need anything, I'm downstairs. I'll send over some leftovers tomorrow with my nephew... you know he's about your age and you two seem like you'd get along. You're... 11, right?"
Ketzio's left eye felt like it was going to fall off with how much it was twitching. "14 and a half... but... whatever..." she clenched her fists. "I wouldn't mind seeing your nephe- oh crud!" she rested her palms on her cheeks in faux disappointment. "I have an appointment tomorrow though. Shoot!"
"Oh, well that's fine! I'll still have to bring you guys some good food though. But, really, the fire alarm was no problem, right?"
"Yeah, yeah... false alarm. Ethiopian cooking, you know." it didn't make sense but Ketzio wanted to shove her non-blandness in this cow-cat-lady's face.
"Ethiopians have food?"
"I need to ... check... the thing.... so if that's all." Ketzio tried to ignore the previous statement.
"Yeah, you be safe sweetie! I hope your dreadful blindness goes away soon!" and with that Ketzio shut the door -- almost slammed it, really.
"Who was that?" Bunny's voice came from the other side of the room. She could smell the sweet scent of a freshly cleaned rabbit. Son of a bitch.
"No! Get back in the shower!" she ferociously shot her hand forward in a point.
"You're covered in potatoes. What the hell happened?"
"NOW!" She growled.
"But I just-"
"Bunny I will beat you up so hard!" She playfully sprung at him; smearing her potato coating on his clean, bare chest and knocking him back into the hall.
Now he had to shower again.
As they both disappeared into the bathroom, there was a brief moment of silence until repetitive fur-on-fur slapping noises, plus subdued mewing, could be heard across the apartment.
It was about 5pm now as they walked in the aisles of their local grocery store. Ketzio pushed the cart from between Bunny's arms; desperately asking him to describe and narrate everything. For each product he spoke of, she would nod knowingly; casting judgement before asking him to read her the nutritional values.
Their store trips where at the very least tedious as they went from aisle to aisle, back and forth, with one-part Ketzio eager to help and be involved and equal-parts Bunny passively going along with it.
Often other furs would watch from afar; perplexed at their surreal ritual. Some even offered assistance in the most awkward ways.
Today was the day Ketzio put on her big-girl-budget hat, so everything was "How much is that? How much do you actually get? How much do we save if we are a 'Won's' Club Member?" It didn't help that most of the holiday staples where picked bare save the most unusual specimens; sesame seed and cantaloupe stuffing. Yum?
Worst then the slim bones selection was Bunny's apathy, for every product Ketzio did suggest was met with a very casual "if that's what you would like, sweetie."
"Love!" She finally broke "If you don't give me a straight answer -- I will walk home."
"I know, it's an expression, but seriously why did we come here if you don't even care about what we buy? I just really wanted to do a special meal."
"They have canned eel."
"Sweetie- gah- listen! What do you want? What can we make?" she pleaded.
"I don't mind, honestly, any meal with you would be nice."
"Well, fine, what about pizza then!" She humphed; annoyed. "How does that sound, Mr. Bunny?"
"I would love that, Mrs. Bunny." the earnestness in his tone was jarring.
"Oh... that kinda does sound nice... but it's not traditional though!"
"So? We aren't traditional. We passed out mounds bars on Halloween instead of candy that kids like to eat. And last year we spent Thanksgiving just sleeping all day."
"I like Mounds... and that Thanksgiving was relaxing..." Ketzio huffed. "Also," regaining her train of thought. "What? You like that we're not... you know... all traditional?"
"Uugh..." Ketzio sighed. "That ugly..." she leaned in to whisper 'bitch', "...that lives downstairs came over asking if we wanted food probably because she thinks I can't cook a decent feast day meal or something."
"Whoa with the cursing, sweetie." he chuckled. "Annabelle?" Bunny knew how much Ketzio hated her. "She was just trying to be nice -- but yeah, I'd rather not eat her food because it's probably laced with cyanide."
Ketzio giggled. "Though, it does make me feel a little weird... I mean, come on, pizza on a turkey day? I'm sorry I burned the stupid bird thing... but uuugh! I hate that she assumes I'm not good at this stuff."
"Neither of us are good at this stuff." Bunny petted his little kitty cat. "I told a blind girl to set the oven at 300 degrees."
"I'M NOT BL-- WELL, I AM, BUT I CAN DO IT!" she nearly caused a commotion in the store before Bunny put a finger to her lips.
"It's okay. I'd rather have a carefree day today eating pizza with my best friend."
"'Best friend', huh?" she pouted.
"It's meant to be a sweet thing to say, dummy." he flicked her forehead and she winced in pain. "Fine, fine, I'd rather have a carefree day today eating pizza with my ol' lady."
Ketzio cringed... but it was better than 'best friend'.
And so, from that day on, the Day of Feasts would forever be home to 'Pizza Day' for the strange little couple.