On Tuesday Peep sat down to think about what she could do to become a grown-up cat. What was different between her, LT and Miss Rudy that made them grown up and her, a kitten cat? Well, she thought, both LT and Rudy can be bossy. They take my favorite seats and make them smell like them and then go and take my new favorite seats. That may be grown up, but it’s not nice and Peep decided that even if grown-up cats were bossy, she wasn’t going to be like that.
I groom myself perfectly, thought Peep, as she took her morning bath. I wash my ears and clean between my toes, even if there’s icky stuff in there. So, I am grown up in that way. I don’t need a mommy cat to groom me, although I do love it when the Daddy brushes my coat until I shine. That’s extra special, and besides, I don’t have thumbs to work the brush and it’s too big anyway.
I don’t track nearly as much dirt into the house. LT and Miss Rudy drag in way more, but the Daddy drags in the most. The Mommy won’t like it when she gets home and the floor is dirty. I don’t do it - I hardly even go outside.
Peep thought about that for a minute. She didn’t go outside as much as she had in years past. Sometimes the other cats out there scared her, especially since the Daddy trimmed the bottom of the tree in the poo field. I used to be able to run out, use the field and run right back in, if another cat was around.
Maybe that’s what LT was talking about. Maybe Peep needed to use the poo field instead of the litter box. Peep’s ears and whiskers drooped at that thought. I may be old enough to be a grown-up cat, but I’m not sure I’m big enough. To go outside every time she needed to use the litter box? That was a lot to ask of Peep, but if it would make the Mommy happy then she’d try it.
Peep ran up to Miss Rudy, who was sitting by the back door waiting for the Daddy to let her out. “Miss Rudy! I’ve decided what to do to become a grown-up cat! I’m going to use the poo field outside instead of using my litter box.”
Miss Rudy looked at Peep. She’d heard LT and Peep talking about growing up yesterday, but didn’t get what all the fuss was about. Either you were a kitten or you were a cat - what’s up with that? So she just said, “Whatever” and went back to staring at the door.
Peep ran out the cat door full of enthusiasm. She’d go use the poo field right now, since she did kind of have to go anyway. When she felt the flap close behind her she had a moment’s worry, but thought that if she was grown up she’d better just get moving. “Mommy will be so proud of me,” Peep thought.
As Peep moved away from the house, she saw a dark shadow of another cat in the trees. She hoped it was LT and rushed to do her business. As she was scratching up pine needles to neaten up, she saw her brother Fuzzy move out of the woods.“You leave me alone, Fuzzy! I’m being a grown-up cat and using the poo field. I won’t let you scare me anymore. You’re just my age, and no bigger than me, so I won’t let you chase me into the house.” With that, Peep kept scratching.
Fuzzy rushed towards her and meowed loudly, “Nyah, nyah, you’re just an overgrown kitten who needs a wittle witter bwox. Go back to your box little Pweeper!” With that taunt, Fuzzy charged Peep and grappled her, digging his claws into her shoulders.
Peep screamed for help, and LT came charging out of the woods and the door opened and the Daddy and Miss Rudy ran out. Fuzzy saw he was outnumbered and let go of Peep and ran to the woods. LT sniffed her and gave a tentative lick to Peep’s ears. Miss Rudy sniffed at her side where Fuzzy had clawed her. The daddy knelt down and held out his hand to Peep. She stood up carefully, and all her parts seemed to be working all right. Feet, check. Legs, check. Shoulders - one ouchy but, check. She walked up and snuggled into the Daddy’s hand and purred. He picked her up and carried her into the house, speaking softly to her. Miss Rudy followed them in and LT stood guard to make sure Fuzzy didn’t come back.
The Daddy looked Peep over and made sure that bad old Fuzzy hadn’t hurt her, and then fed her some squishy food, right up on the table. Just like LT, Peep thought. That is grown up, to eat on the table like LT, but I don’t think I can use the poo field. It’s too dangerous out there for a little cat like me.
Peep purred and the Daddy picked her up and carried her into the living room. He lay down on the couch and placed Peep on his chest. That was Peep’s favorite place to be in the world, so she felt a lot better.
LT came in and sat near the gas fireplace. Peep said to him, “I tried to be grown up and use the poo field just like you, LT, but I can’t do that if Fuzzy keeps attacking me.”
LT flicked his tail and said, “Being grown up is different for each cat, little Peep. You are smaller than me, and Fuzzy even tries to pick fights with me. There must be other ways you can be grown up. I think you should use the poo box. It’s more important that you’re safe than use the poo field.Peep just purred and let the Daddy love her some more. Sometimes it’s nice to be a little cat, Peep thought as she drifted off to sleep.
Photo courtesy of Donna Cazadd - http://www.flickr.com/photos/9588236@N02/843937321/