I’m in a writing class at the moment, a weekend thing, and we had an interesting prompt in a recent class. We were supposed to choose from a pile of pictures cut out from magazines, and write a story about meeting the person in the picture. I seized on the one picture of a woman with a dog, and swiftly decided that I was more interested in the dog than in her. And who would be more interested in meeting a dog than a cat?
So I scribbled away a bit, and here’s the resulting short…
I sprawled out on my front steps, and surveyed the neighborhood. All was well in my domain. Those annoying squirrels were being quiet for once, instead of chattering at me (you should hear the language squirrels use when they’re upset), and the birds were flocking way off in the distance, at least two blocks away, where someone had spilled some crackers. Birds get excited about the silliest things.
Then a new presence entered the scene, and I tensed. It was That Dog. He was trotting jauntily down the street, tongue flopping in the breeze, at the end of a leash held by a woman I didn’t know.
But I knew That Dog. He lived in the yard behind mine. He didn’t usually walk onto my street, but we had met over the fence. We had not met amicably.
That Dog is a black and white brute who fancies himself quite the hunter. He’s also the smelliest, stupidest, creature in the neighborhood, barring possibly a particularly mangy pigeon who drifts through occasionally.
He spotted me as he and his owner (dogs have owners; cats do not) came down the street. The ears went back, the head went up, and the peaceful quiet of the afternoon was shattered by rude and uncouth barking. He bared his teeth and lunged at me.
I twitched the very tip of my tail, and gave one paw a lazy lick. You see, cats are observers. And I had observed how leashes work.
Sure enough, That Dog snapped to the end of his leash long before he got near me, and strained frantically against it, rearing onto his hind legs, barks taking on a strangled note.
“Bingo, behave yourself,” the woman said, tugging back on the leash. “You know you shouldn’t chase the nice cat.”
I smirked at Bingo. Nice cat, that was me. And that name—he told me his name was Spike. I wasn’t going to forget that one in a hurry, and neither would he.
That Dog was dragged off down the street, still yapping his fool head off, and eventually the neighborhood returned to its former peace. If I was lucky, I could get a good nap in before the birds got tired of those crackers.