Sunday, June 15, 2008

A perfect day (for frog hockey)

It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining, and a light, cool breeze just ruffled the leaves on the trees. Flowers bloomed in the beds around the house and the deck, their blooms turned to the sun’s warmth. Peep awoke in the living room, feeling the air moving through the open windows on three sides of the living room. She stretched and jumped down from her chair. After a few mouthfuls of breakfast, she ventured to the cat door and carefully pushed her head through. The air tasted delicious. Miss Rudy was perched on the deck railing and greeted her.

“Good morning, sleepyhead! We’ve been up and out for hours. You’ve missed the best part of the morning!”

“Well, I’m here now. Any sign of Fuzzy, Rudy?” Peep asked.

“LT chased him off about an hour ago, and by the noise of it, we won’t see him for the rest of the day.” Rudy chuckled at that. Although they were ally cats during the Cat Club meetings, none of them really liked Fuzzy, because he was such a bully.
“Oh, good! I really wanted to spend time outside today since it’s so nice. I haven’t had a good day in the yard since last fall.” Peep ran across the deck and down into the yard. Since she didn’t have to worry about Fuzzy, she took her time exploring about. The late spring flowers were all in bloom. She sniffed each of them, deciding that they had been chosen for looks and not scent, because none of them really smelled like anything. She really preferred flowers with good scents, but it’s what was there, so she might as well enjoy them.

After a quick visit to the poo field, Peep stretched out under a pine for her morning bath. It was so nice to be able to bathe outside with the air ruffling her fur. She groomed herself slowly and carefully, paying special attention to her long, sleek tail. She really thought it was her most beautiful feature. When she finished, she did a bit of claw trimming using the trunk of the tree, and then kneaded around in the pine needles, just because she liked the scent and the feel of them. By the time she’d done all that it was time for a mid-day nap, and she dozed off under the tree.

When she awoke, the sun was lower was well past the zenith, and she was hungry. She debated trying to catch her lunch but decided that since the kitchen always had a supply of food she would see what was there. Peep found a nearly full bowl of crunchies and some fresh squishy food. She ate the squishy food until she thought her eyeballs would pop out, and had a morsel of two of crunchies just for variety. She washed it all down with some clear water from a cleanly washed bowl and wandered back outside.

“Oh, Rudy, this is the life,” Peep sighed. “Fresh food, warm weather, soft breeze, sunlight and friendly companions.” She sat on the edge of the deck and looked around the yard, wondering what to do next. There were so many things she could do today….

A deep croak from the lily pond decided Peep on what to do. She stalked towards the pond, determined to surprise the frog. Sometimes she was successful in this – it was such a marvelous day, who knows, she might be again! Keeping to the shadow of the deck, Peep crept closer to the little pond. She could see the bullfrog, sitting on a lily pad, croaking for all he was worth. Peep listened, and wished that she could speak frog. She doubted that he was saying anything important, but still she’d like to know what it was. Perhaps he was singing a song about flies and algae. Or maybe he sang songs about lady frogs that he admired. Who knew? Certainly Peep didn’t.

The bullfrog croaked on, oblivious to Peep’s presence near him. She was less than ten feet away now, and with one good rush, hopefully she could catch him. She waggled her hind end, and sprang towards the pond, stopping at the sharp edge, surprising the frog. That had been her intention, and when he leapt from the lily pad onto the opposite edge, she jumped across the pond and caught him in her mouth.

Carefully, Peep carried him across the lawn and onto the porch. The bullfrog knew better than to struggle. They’d played this game before, and he knew that if he just stayed still he wouldn’t get hurt. Rudy saw Peep with the frog in her mouth and said, “Oh, did you catch him again? What are you going to do with him this time?"

Rather than answer, Peep walked past Rudy and pushed her way through the cat door. Once they were inside she opened her mouth and the frog hopped away. Now, the game would get fun. Peep had learned that it was a lot easier to place chase with a frog indoors, as the frog couldn’t really get away. He could run around the living room, and maybe even make it into the kitchen, but Peep would always catch him and bring him back right to where they’d started by the couch.

Peep tagged the frog with a velveted paw, pinning him for a minute without hurting him. Then she let him go, and he frantically hopped away, trying to fit himself under the baseboard radiator. Peep feigned disinterest as he did this and turned her head to do a quick lick to her back. Once the frog felt safe, Peep pounced again, chasing him the length of the radiator until he was cornered. She snaked her paw under the radiator and batted him out into the room. “Tag, you’re it!” she yodeled.

LT and Miss Rudy had come in to watch the show. They liked chasing things as much as the next cat, but had never understood Peep’s fascination with chasing the frog. You couldn’t eat a frog, so why bother chasing it, was their attitude. “Peep, the frog is not a hockey puck,” LT joked.

“Sure he is, and you’re the opposite team. Try to get him away from me!” With that, Peep knocked the frog again, but away from LT. LT gave a little hop and tried to bat the frog, but the frog had decided it was time to try and leave, and had hopped under the gas fireplace. He sat in the few inches underneath the iron, his little frog chest heaving with exertion and fear.

“Ah, I’ll give him a break for a few minutes, and we’ll play more later,” Peep said. “Frogs are so much fun. Mice and moles and voles only move left, right and ahead, but frogs jump and you never know where they’re going to land. They’re more fun than a barrel of mice.”

“Yeah, but you can at least eat the mice,” Rudy replied.

All three sat and watched the frog, which didn’t help the frog’s peace of mind. He was used to his one on one game with Peep, but if all three cats played, he might never get home to his lily pond. He figured his best option was to not move, and maybe they’d forget he was here.

The back door opened, and they heard the Daddy call out, “Peep, Rudy, LT – I’m home!”

Peep rushed into the kitchen to see the Daddy, and Miss Rudy followed after a moment’s wait. It’s never good to appear too eager when you’re a cat, was Rudy’s motto. The Daddy replenished the squishy food, and refilled the water bowl, saying, “I’m sorry I’m late with your dinner, but I lost track of time. I need to find some dinner for myself now, too.”

Peep watched as Daddy opened the refrigerator and took out food and began to prepare it. He eventually picked up a book and walked into the living room and sat down on the couch. Peep jumped up onto his lap, and sat on the page he was trying to read, begging for snuggles.

A loud croak made the Daddy jump up, spilling both the book and Peep to the floor. He looked around and saw the bullfrog under the fireplace. “Peep, did you bring the frog in here again? I wish I knew why you did that. The bullfrog belongs in the lily pond, not the living room. Well, at least you don’t eat frogs. Catching the frog is hard enough, but I’d hate to clean up frog guts.”

The Daddy caught the frog under a bowl and slipping a magazine under it, he carried the frog outside and put him by the pond. The traumatized frog quickly jumped into the pond and disappeared from sight. Peep sighed. She wished the Daddy had gotten home just a little later, so she could have had more frog play time.

They went back inside, and the Daddy ruffled her fur. “You look like you’re not missing Mary Rose as much these days, Peep. I’m glad you’re getting along alright.”

Peep started as though someone had pricked her with a pin. She hadn’t thought about the Mommy all day! She hadn’t even marked the day in the secret place! Was she forgetting her? No, it couldn’t be. She’d just been distracted by the beautiful weather. She dashed off and made her mark for the day, and came back to settle down near the Daddy and dream about frogs playing hockey.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

oh!!! How can the Peep forget the Mommy???? How sad. Can't wait for the next episode.