Chapter 1: A Cat and a Quandary

Did you know that futanari is a common fantasy for men? Not homosexuals mind you, but heterosexual men. You did not know that? Well, I did. Years ago I watched a presentation on these "femboys," as it were, and the presenter posited the idea that the penis, in the male's mind, primes the blood in the penis in the same way that the scent of a steak activates saliva glands in the mouth.

I watched in fascination, and a certain amount of - not relief - comprehension. I since invented my own ideas of why men might dress up as women or like the idea of these phallus-wielding girly-boys, but I knew that if I ever met one in real life, and by some brain malfunction he were interested in me, I would necessarily turn him down, irrespective of how cute he might be, how feminine or innocent or deferential.

A few months ago I was at some sort of comic or anime convention. I'm not sure. It took place in Louisiana. I have a general interest in anime, and animated films wherever they may originate, but my tastes are selective and I am far from a fanatic. That is why I was woefully ignorant of what type of place this would be when I went. I had not been to one prior to this, and when I got there I was more enamored with the high ceiling and large crowd than in the actual exhibits, such as they were.

There was a mix of anime, American animation, comic books and movies, particularly vintage movies. There was also live entertainment, from a band to various types of artists who would draw or paint your portrait for a few dollars. Some drew comical depictions, while another might draw you as a super-hero or in his own stylized fashion.

Before any of that, and almost immediately upon entering the large vestibule that preceded the "show floor" proper, my friends and I noticed the various persons dressed in outfits from anime or cartoons. My two friends and I had not dressed up – although we had discussed it, partially tongue-in-cheek – but many others had, and there was one in particular that caught my eye. Standing in one of the lines to buy the entry ticket was a girl, maybe five-foot nothing, wearing cat ears and a cat-tail. That is standard fair at an event like this, but it was hardly the thing that made her noteworthy.
She was wearing short heels. Those shiny black ones with the single strap and buckle. What are they called? Mary-Janes, I think. Her hands were adorned with black fingerless gloves that went midway up her forearm and ended in white fur. Her dress, though, that was the surprising thing. It was a tight little sheath, hugging every curve of her prepubescent-looking body, and the bottom was hemmed with more white fur. It closed around her neck, reminding me of a Chinese dress.

I did not know what was more disturbing: That such a young girl's parents allowed her to dress like that, costume or no, or the fact that I was attracted to her. I was strongly attracted. I began resisting the urge to pat my clothes in search of a pen and paper to give her my number. She couldn't have been older than fourteen, and I was not going to be a pervert anywhere except in my own head. I looked from her and intentionally disregarded her while she stood tantalizingly inside of my peripheral vision. I did not speak of her to my friends, keeping all I had saw and considered to myself alone.
Thereafter, for an hour or so, I had fun with my friends, joking and looking at the various trinkets and baubles for sale. I and one friend, Fin, made more than a few purchases between us. I bought something for my sister, too; a purchase I would later regret and it annoys me just thinking about it.

Anyway, at one point I look over and I see this little cat-girl browsing something, and I notice that her dress has a hole cut in the back for the cat-tail. The tail seemed to go straight down and disappear into her spine. It must have been some kind of belt, surely. It fascinated me because it seemed so perfectly attached. I noticed, too, that whatever she was using to attach the ears, which seemed to be a hair-band, was nestled deeply into her thick black hair, making it almost invisible and giving the appearance of genuine ears. Her hair was not quite shoulder length, and seemed to have been blow-dried somehow to get it to have astonishing volume.

So she's got her back this way and she's looking up at some pins or buttons or something, and she reaches back and scratches her bum. Her wrist catches on that white fur at the bottom of the dress and pulls it up. My heart fairly stopped. She was wearing some thin black panties. There was no belt, and her tail was definitely going down into those panties of hers. It was only for a moment and her dress was again covering herself. My jaw had fallen and it was several seconds before I caught myself.

I was struck with a sudden need to ask this girl on a date. To at least try. If she rejected me I would have no regrets. I had to say something. This girl was not typical.

"Guys, uh, I'm gonna go check something out," I said. Distraction was clearly evident in my voice, the way my words seemed to be directed at no one, yet everyone at the same time.

"Go on without me."

"Where are you going?" Fin asked.

"Um, I'm gonna go ask someone something about– something."

Colt, my other friend, said something behind me, but I hardly heard him. It was difficult to hear anything with my own voice yammering in my head, deliberating about how I should approach this situation. It was not aided by the explosive thump of my heart-beat pounding in my chest, and my pulse throbbing in my skull.

I had the presence of mind, it seemed, to find my pen and paper, upon which I scrawled my name and number. The cat girl was in something of an alcove, and no one was around. It was the perfect opportunity.
I approached. Entering the little stall I stopped and stared at her back.

This was the most difficult part. Just like working out or doing any number of productive things, actually starting was the real challenge. After that, inertia takes hold and it becomes easy. Finding an excuse to stop becomes more difficult than simply doing it. So here I was, staring at her as she scratched her head, as she pointed a finger at a pin she evidently liked, or shifted her weight and that tail would bob. No, there was no way that this tail was– that kind of tail. No way - but then, that's what really made me come over here, right? The idea that it was.

I lifted the paper, then lowered it, then floundered mentally. My mouth opened to speak and I believe I released a choking sound. She glanced at me over her shoulder. Over her shoulder! She didn't turn around completely, she just looked at me across her shoulder, out of the corner of her eye, like a bloody character in a cartoon, like she had practiced the motion in the mirror. My heart thudded once, hard, and then seemed to stop entirely.

I suppose time must have stopped for a moment because when I finally spoke, we were both in the same physical positions.

"Hi."

"Hello," she responded, and her voice was peculiar. It seemed feminine, but it had a certain inexplicable quality. It was endearing, I thought.

"I saw you over here alone–" as I said these words my mind screamed that this line of dialogue sounded like a preamble to sexual molestation. I tried to keep the words flowing to get as far from that impression as possible, "– and I thought it would be a good chance to speak to you."

She turned then, brown eyes continuously fixed upon mine. I doubt if I could have looked away had I wanted to. "Speak to me? About what?"

I was not certain if she was being coy or absolutely sincere. Did I look like an employee? I didn't wear a costume or anything, nor was I wearing any media-specific merchandise. Well, there was only one tool in my arsenal at the moment, and that was talking.

"You're cute, and I like your style," I said, trying to just be honest. "I never know when the appropriate time is to talk to a cute girl, or where is the appropriate place, so I decided to just have at it and hope for the best."

So saying, I lifted the piece of paper. "It's my number."

She looked at the paper and I wondered if it would hurt more if she rejected the paper, or if she took it and threw it away when I left. I decided that I didn't want to think about it. I watched her.

She lifted a small, gloved hand, and plucked the paper from me with her dainty forefinger and thumb. She tilted her head down and seemed to be reading it. At this point, I had nothing better to do, so I just took a look at her. I noticed that she seemed to have absolutely no breasts at all. I suddenly remembered how young she looked.

A certain fear began gnawing at the back of my mind, and a horrible suspicion was slowly tightening my chest. She was very short. She was dressed as a cat. She had no breasts. How young was this girl?

"Thank you," she said. She was smiling, I think. It was a slight smile. I don't know if it was forced or just delicate.

"Hey, don't thank me yet. I'm happy to take you out for coffee, or a walk in the park, but I haven't done anything yet. If you uhm," I swallowed, wetted my drying throat and steeled my resolve. "If you call though, then you can thank me."

I gave her a smile that I felt was warm and confident. To my dismay she looked down. I noticed then that she was digging in her pocket. She pulled out a cell-phone. An hundred thoughts with an hundred possibilities of what she was doing darted through my mind like an eight-lane highway. Was she going to add my number to her phone, or was she going to give her phone number to me? After all, many persons these days did not know their own cell numbers because it is so easily researched.

She began punching the touchscreen pad. If there were key-tones I would have counted them, but it was likely just the little ticking sounds and the room was too loud for me to hear. The girl lowered her phone to her side and let her arm dangle. She took a step toward me and I nearly bolted, but stayed put. She looked up at me. I looked down at her. Maybe three seconds passed. I opened my mouth to say something. My phone vibrated in my thigh pocket.

Again, my heart throbbed, sending this wave of – of something throughout my body. It was like a combination of anxiety, dread, and cautious optimism. I would be lying if I did not admit that mixed in with all of those emotions was sheer elation.

"O-one moment," I stammered as I patted every pocket on my rave-pants (don't worry, I keep the tassels hidden in the pockets) even though I always keep my phone in the same pocket. I pulled it out and looked at the screen. The number showed, but the name said "unknown." I simply dared not hope at this point, though there was little doubt in my mind who was calling. I tapped the green "answer" button and put the phone to my ear, but I looked directly at the little cat-girl, and she looked at me, and I saw that she had her phone to her ear, too.

I questioned into my phone while looking at her, "Hello?"

She responded into her phone, looking at me, "Thank you."

This time, the smile on her face was more obvious, and I'm sure my eyes must have looked wild. I was in. I was in! She – this was good! Right? Doubt sneaked in. No, no, she had called me. That could mean nothing other than that she had just intentionally given me her number.

"I'll call you, then," I said into the phone.

"I'd like that."

I turned slowly to walk away. Three paces in I stopped and whirled around way too energetically, and I saw she was looking at me. Her gaze jerked away for a moment, then returned. Was that – bashfulness? Had I caught her staring?

"Oh, I forgot to ask. What do I call you?"

"J–" she skipped a beat. "Jess."

"Jess," I repeated and gave her what I hoped was a warm smile. "Perfect." I looked at her pointedly when I said it, and I think she blushed, but I could have imagined it. I turned and walked back to my friends who were watching me. Their mouths were fairly hanging open. Fin spoke first, "Did you just do that?"

"That's not a girl," Colt said.

For the third, or fourth, or maybe the fifth time that night, my heart pulsed, and took all of the oxygen I had with it.