This Friday night meeting of the Cat Club had gotten off to a late start. Ginger was late and when she arrived it was obvious she had been in a fight. LT and Peep tended to her wounds and made sure she was okay. Ginger was pretty shaken up but calmed down after a few minutes. No one waited for LT to take roll. They all started talking at once about the new cats. LT called for silence and miraculously got it.
“I had the unfortunate experience of talking to those cats this afternoon and they asked me to pass along a message to all of you. They say that they are now in charge of all of the woods around here and that everyone else needs to stay out of them. They did say that if anyone wanted they could petition to join their gang but it sounds like it’s just an excuse for them to beat us up. They told me that I couldn’t go out of my yard or they’d get me.” LT shook his head. How had this mess happened?
Ginger raised her paw and asked to be recognized. “They said pretty much the same thing to me. All four of them cornered me on my way over here and asked where I was going. I didn’t know who they were so I told them I was coming to the Cat Club meeting. They laughed a lot at that, calling it a kiddie kitty club. I told them they didn’t know anything about it and a leader that Scratch, jumped me. He clawed my shoulder and pinned me and only let me up because I’m…a girl cat. They told me to tell you that this is our last meeting. As long as they’re here there will be no meetings. I don’t like these cats.
The others just stared at her. How could such mean cats exist? What could they do? No one said anything for a couple of moments. Rudy looked up at the sky, Peep just sat and trembled, Fuzzy looked uncertain and LT looked very, very sad.
“I don’t even know how I’m going to get home tonight,” said Ginger. “I am afraid that they will attack me again and this time really hurt me.” She started to cried quietly. Peep went to sit next to her and snuggled up close to her side.
“Don’t cry Ginger. You can stay here with us. I bet your owner will get worried and come looking for you after a while. Then you can get home safely.” Peep’s idea was a very good one. The others agreed the Ginger should wait for her owner to come looking.
LT looked at all of them and said, “Well, I guess this is new business. These new cats are very bad news. I’ve dealt with bullies before but never so many of them at once. Fuzzy, do you have any ideas? You’ve lived with a lot of cats and not all of them are very nice.” LT was nice not to say that sometimes Fuzzy was the bully.
Looking around at the others Fuzzy said, “The best way to deal with so many bullies is to get a lot more cats than they are and confront them. Unfortunately, there were four of them and there were five of us, and most of us aren’t as big and strong as they are. So, I’m not sure what we should do. I think I can get back and forth to my house but that’s because it’s so close. At the narrowest point I only need to cross about 15 feet of trees.”
Peep thought to herself that she wished it was Fuzzy who couldn’t get over and Ginger who could. She was very sad to think that this might be the very last meeting of the Cat Club. It was the only time that they all got together and were friendly. She wished she had a better relationship with Fuzzy, but seeing him at the Cat Club (and not being attacked by him) was the next best thing. And even though Ginger probably would be moving soon, she wanted to be able to see her until she left.
“Do you think we could get the Daddy to help us? He wouldn’t like to know that there were mean cats beating up on his cats. If he could see those mean cats he would chase them out of the yard and talk to their owners. I bet if we tried we could lure those cats into our yard when the Daddy was home.” The others looked at Peep. She was full of good ideas today.
Rudy gave her an admiring look and said, “Peep, you sure are smart today. First the idea about Ginger, and now this one about getting the Daddy to take care of those cats. Have you been taking your smart pills?”
Peep stuck out her tongue at Rudy. “You’re just jealous because you didn’t think of them.” The others laughed. It was good to have something to laugh at and not much had happened that day worth laughing about.
The cats heard a sound from out in the trees. It sounded like several cats moving through leaf litter. “Why don’t we go sit up on the deck?” said LT.
They all moved up onto the deck but covertly looked out towards the trees. There were eyes gleaming out of the darkness at them. They purposely turned their backs on the woods and sat close together. They were still sitting there when the Daddy came home.
“Is it the end of the world?” asked the Daddy. He couldn’t believe that Fuzzy was sitting quietly with his three cats and the strange ginger cat. “Are you all okay?” he noticed the scratch on Ginger’s shoulder. He didn’t think that any of the others had scratched her because they all seem to be very friendly. It was a mystery.
A voice was heard calling through the trees, “Ginger, Ginger.” Ginger stood up and meowed loudly. She walked to the edge of the deck and meowed again.
An older woman came walking down the driveway. When she saw the Daddy she asked, “Have you seen my ginger cat?” Before the Daddy could even say anything Ginger meowed again and ran towards her owner. “Oh, I was so worried about you.”
“I just got home myself and found all five cats sitting on the deck. The black with the fuzzy tail usually doesn’t get along with the others but there are all just sitting there together. Is it a full moon or something?” The Daddy bent down and scratched Ginger’s head.
“I don’t think it’s a full moon, but I have heard a lot of caterwauling tonight, and I thought I saw some strange cats at the edge of my yard today. This bunch may be banding together to protect each other. I think we need to keep an eye out to protect them. Up until yesterday I thought we’d been moving next week but now it looks like we’ll be around for awhile longer. I want to make sure my sweet Ginger is safe.”
“I’m glad you’re not moving yet. There are more and more businesses and fewer houses around here. Real neighbors are nice. Well, I think it’s time that I get my crew inside. Let’s go – LT, Rudy, Peep. Have a good evening.”
They all followed the Daddy into the house each trying to be heard. Unfortunately, all the Daddy heard was meows, and he thought they were just hungry. “Just wait a minute and I’ll feed you all. Tuna for everyone.”