Alvin the Chipmunk was a large short haired cat with ugly fur and a bad attitude—he liked to bite when petted. If Alvin had been human he would’ve had a sneer, a beer belly, and old high-school football trophies on the top shelf of the closet.
He’d have looked at them sometimes, not because he particularly cared about football, but because football had cared about him. There’d have been the memory of comrades, united in common purpose. There’d have been praise from teachers, students, and PTA members bumped into while with his mother at the grocery store. All that would’ve been demanded was that he learn the plays, follow his instincts, and work hard. So he would’ve worked hard. Hours in the weight room, hours studying plays, and feeling, seeing in games and practices and the numbers on the bench press, the results of it all. Decades later he would’ve stared at the trophies, wondering what would’ve happened if anything else had liked him so much as football had.
Anyways, the point it is that if Alvin the Chipmunk, who was a cat, had been a human, he could’ve borne witness at the murder trial, but he wasn’t, so he couldn’t.
His owner and the visitor got slowly louder till the visitor hit the owner twice on the head with a bookend, which startled Alvin the Chipmunk so much that he leapt onto the kitchen counter, but was carried off by his own weight onto the tile.
He crept to his owner as the visitor took deep breaths, trying to understand what he’d just done.
Alvin sniffed his owner’s head, and understood immediately, in an entirely unintellectual way, that whatever was right, this wasn’t it. He screamed. He sounded like a shrieking human baby, as screaming cats sometimes do, and he was very, very loud.
The visitor ran, and the woman three doors down, worried for the angry baby, poked her head out her door, and saw him leave. Later, she bore witness at the murder trial.
None of the relatives liked Alvin, so his owner’s sister put him in her car, parked by the football field, and gave him several cat treats before leaving him at the curb.