Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back home!

Saturday morning, the Peep slept in. She and the Mommy hadn't arrived home until 11 PM on Friday night. As soon as Mary Rose opened the car door, Peep let out a howl - just to let Mommy know that she wanted out of the darn cat carrier NOW. Mary Rose laughed and opened the latch on the carrier and Peep was out of it like a streak of lightning. She ran into the house announcing her arrival, expecting to find Rudy and LT waiting to hear all about her adventures in Mary Land.

No one was waiting for Peep. No Rudy, no LT, not even the Daddy. Daddy was had gone out the back door as Peep ran in the cat door, and was talking with Mommy at her car. What a letdown, thought Peep. I go away for almost a whole week, have adventures, and no one even cares to meet me when I get home. She flopped down on the living room floor and decided that when Rudy and LT did come in, she'd just act like she'd never been away.

Daddy came inside, picked her up and crooned to her about how much he'd missed her and how worried he'd been that she'd been eaten by wild animals. "Peep, you are such a bad girl! You had me worried sick - I thought we'd lost you for sure. I am so glad you are back home." He carried her into the bedroom and settled down on the bed with her, scratching her head gently and cradling her on his chest.

Since Rudy and LT weren't around to hear about her trip, Peep decided she'd tell the Daddy, even though he probably wouldn't even understand her. "Daddy, it's so nice down there! Mommy has a big room to sleep in, and there's cats and a dog and lots of horses, and a great yard and a big playhouse. I think the dog there fell in love with me, but I didn't really love him. He was a dog and all. I was so brave, Daddy. I stayed outside for four whole days and wasn't even very scared. I mean, I did sleep in a playhouse, but it's not a real building - it didn't even have a kitchen or a bathroom, but it did have windows. The Mommy did find me out on Thursday, and I got to sleep in her room on Thursday night, and then she came back on Friday after work and she brought me home in her car. She made me ride in a cat carrier on the ride home. I told her that I didn't need one - I hadn't caused any problems on the ride down, but she put in me a carrier anyway. In any case, I'm really glad I'm home, Daddy. I love you." Peep walked up Jay's chest and nuzzled his face, giving him cat kisses.

Mary Rose came into the bedroom, and saw Peep on the bed with Jay. "There's our stowaway. First thing, what does she do? Of course, she lies on the Daddy. She's down in Maryland with me for four days and I don't even see her, but first thing in the door and she's lying on you. I guess I know who she loves best!"

Peep looked up at the Mommy and said in a plaintive tone, "Mommy, I couldn't let you know I was there. I was being a spy and figuring out about where you were staying. I would have rather been inside with you, although then I wouldn't have met Tippy and Beauty and Bucky and the horses. I'll go back with you some week if you want me to. Just put out the cat carrier and ask me to get in, and I'll go. I do love you, Mommy." She walked across the Daddy and settled between the Mommy and Daddy. This was the perfect place to be.

Photo courtesy of Jovino -

Thursday, June 11, 2009


When Peep awoke on Thursday morning, she found Bucky sitting inside the door of the play house. He'd stayed with her until she'd fallen asleep last night, and had even acted as lookout for her as she ran back to the house for food. He was a nice dog, and all, but she was starting to feel a little --- smothered.

"Good morning, Bucky," Peep yawned. "What time is it?"

"You slept really late, Peep. Mary Rose has already left for work. When you didn't come to the house earlier, I came to check on you, and decided to wait for you to wake up. I really like you, Peep. I've never met anyone quite like you. Tippy and Beauty are nice, but they're not brave, like you are."

Brave! No one had ever called Peep brave. Was she really brave? The past few days, she had acted very differently than she did at home, but it was because she had to. There was no safe place for her to retreat to with food and a litter box. The play house was okay, but it was just a place to sleep. Maybe bravery wasn't how someone was, just what they did. So, she was brave, at least here in Mary Land. In any case, what was she going to do about this dog?

She liked him, but didn't want to spend the whole day with him, as she had done yesterday, and most of the day before. How could she give him the slip? Maybe she could say that there were personal cat things that she needed to discuss with Tippy and Beauty. Female cat things. That would probably have him running, with his tail between his legs. Yup, that was the ticket.

A few minutes later, Peep was sitting on the porch with Tippy and Beauty, and Bucky had retreated to spend time with his people. "What is it with Bucky, ladies? I've never had anyone, much less a dog, follow me around before. It's a bit annoying, to tell you the truth."

"Peep's got a boyfriend, Peep's got a boyfriend," Tippy sang out, and Beauty joined in.

"No way - he's a dog. I'm a cat. That just doesn't work, you know!" Peep was indignant. How could they say this? Peep didn't feel anything like that for Bucky, and she was pretty sure he didn't feel anything for her.

Tippy became serious, and looked at Peep. "Love doesn't care about such differences, Peep. I think Bucky is in love with you."

Hiding her head between her paws on the floor, Peep said in a muffled voice, "Oh no. I don't want to deal with this. I never asked for this." The more she thought about it, though. the more sense it made. Hadn't she just been wishing last week that she could meet the love of her life? Maybe this dog was it. She shuddered a little bit. No, a dog was not the love of her life, and she wasn't his.

Since Peep was hiding her face and searching her soul, she missed hearing Bobbi come out onto the porch. "Oooh, look. Tippy, you brought a friend!" Bobbi bent down over her as she spoke and rubbed Peep's head.

Peep looked up into Bobbi's face with a little fear. She'd been caught! She knew that Mommy had shown pictures of her to Bobbi. Peep trilled softly, and rubbed her head against Bobbi's hand. "Please don't tell my Mommy I'm here, Bobbi. This is supposed to be a secret visit - she can't know. Please keep my secret."

"Hmmm, I wonder. You look like Mary Rose's little cat, and she says that her cat has been missing since she came back on Sunday. Are you Peep?" Bobbi had a very kind face, and she looked like someone who loved cats (and dogs, and horses, and birds).

Peep trilled again, that sound that the Mommy said sounded like she was peeping. "Yup, I think you're the Peep. Your Mommy has been so worried about you. You've never even been away from home for one night before, and Jay hasn't seen you for four nights. He's been visiting the neighbors and driving up and down the streets, praying that he doesn't find your body, run over by a car."

With a horrified look on her face, Peep got up and wreathed around Bobbi's legs. If Mommy was that worried, she was going to have to come clean and let everyone know she was here. When Bobbi sat down in a rocking chair, Peep jumped up on her lap and settled down and purred loudly.

Mary Rose returned from work that evening and ran up onto the porch, where Bobbi sat with Tippy, Beauty and Peep. "Peep, how did you get here? Do you know that we have been worried sick about you? Jay thought you were dead! I am so glad to see you, Peep." She scooped Peep up and sat on a chair, setting Peep on her lap. Peep looked up at her and trilled.

"I'm sorry, Mommy. I never meant to make anyone worried. I just wanted to see where you lived. I was worried that you'd want to stay here, and wanted to see it myself. I didn't really plan this, I just jumped in your car, and didn't tell anyone. I bet LT and Rudy are worried too." Peep rubbed her head against Mommy's hand as though she couldn't get enough of her.

They sat there while Mary Rose called Jay and let her know that Peep had taken a car trip. Peep trilled into the phone to prove to Daddy that she really was here, jumped off Mommy's lap and settled down for a nap. Tomorrow she'd go home and tell everyone about her adventure.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Meeting more of the family

Peep awoke on Tuesday feeling refreshed and brave, if a bit hungry. From the sounds of the birds, it was still early morning, so Peep peered carefully out the door to make sure the Mommy wasn't in sight before she headed over to the house to bed for some breakfast. She was pretty sure that Tippy would let her eat some of her food, and since the coast was clear Peep headed for the back porch.

She didn't get halfway across the back yard before a smallish dog ran at her. "Intruder, intruder, intruder," howled the dog at the top of his lungs. Terrified, Peep streaked for the porch as fast as she could run, yelling for Tippy as she ran.

Tippy poked her head up from the chair she sleeping in, and said, "Oh, hi Peep. Bucky, this is Mary Rose's kitty. Don't bother her, and she's not an intruder."

Bucky immediately sat down, and looked sheepish. "How was I to know, Tippy? No one told me that Mary Rose brought her cat with her. I think she would have told me, at least!"

"That's because Mary Rose doesn't know Peep is here. She's a stowaway. Peep wanted to check out where Mary Rose was living. Now, please introduce yourself and be polite about it!" Peep was amazed to see this half-grown kitten bossing a grown dog around. Bucky politely introduced himself, and asked if there was anything he could do for Peep, because any friend of Mary Rose's was a friend of his.

"Some breakfast would be nice, if you don't mind. I realize that someone may have to go a little short, but I'll try to eat just a little bit." Peep's stomach belied what she said, growling loudly.

Giggling, Tippy said, "Bobbi always puts out lots more food than any of us needs. Help yourself. The bowl will get filled up again as soon as she notices it's anywhere near empty." Peep ran to the foodbowl and gobbled down as much as her stomach could hold. She then settled on the floor below Tippy and began to groom.

"Can someone show me around today? I'd like to meet the horses, since Mommy loves horses. Are there other animals here too?" Peep had recovered quickly from her scare, as Bucky was now sitting and looking at her adoringly. He was obviously nothing to be scared of.

"I'll show you around," Bucky announced. "No one knows this place as well as I do. There are some other animals, but they're mostly indoors. There are birds in the room next to Mary Rose's but no one pays much attention to them. We're not allowed to play with them anyway, because we might eat them by accident. Then there are the indoor cats...."

"I told her about them, Bucky. I think she mainly wants to know about the outdoor folk. You might want to introduce her to the groundhogs, but she has to promise that she won't chase the baby ones. The groundhogs are friends, not food." Tippy gave Peep a stern glare, so as to make her point.

"I've never met a groundhog, but I've seen them around. Even the little ones are nearly as big as me by now, so I don't there is any chance that I'll try to eat them. The only things I chase much are frogs, and the occasional mouse. That's mostly for sport. I kind of prefer the food that comes in cans and bags, rather than fur. Much less messy." Peep tried to look earnest, so that Tippy and Bucky would trust her. Just then, she heard the Mommy's voice, so she hightailed it back across to the play house.

"Good morning Tippy, Bucky! How are you this very fine day?" Mary Rose was dressed for work, and holding a cup of coffee. She started to sit down, but Peep's movement across the yard caught her eye. "What was that? I would have sworn I just saw a little black cat running to the play house." She shook her head. "Jay says that Peep hasn't been seen since I left on Sunday, but that couldn't be her, could it? You two would let me know if Peep was here, wouldn't you?" She reached down and scratched Bucky's head, and then gently fluffed the fur around Tippy's ears. Both animals stared at her in silence. "Or maybe you wouldn't. Oh well, I'm sure Peep will turn up." Mary Rose gulped down her coffee and headed into the house. "I'm off to work for the day. See you tonight!"

Once Mary Rose's car drove away, Bucky ran to get Peep, telling her the coast was clear. He led her off towards the paddock and the horses. Peep admitted as she approached the fence that although her Mommy had a horse, that she herself had never been around horses, as the horse didn't live with them. Bucky considered what to do, and called, "Cocoa, will you come over here please?"

A somewhat shaggy small pony ambled towards the fence. "Good morrrrning, Bucky. Who is your frrriend there?" Peep had never heard horses talk before, and was surprised to hear him.

"Hi, my name is Peep, and I'm visiting here, just for the week. My Mommy is staying here, her name is Mary Rose. Have you met her yet? It's very nice to meet you, Cocoa." Peep wanted to make a good impression, so she was as polite as possible. She walked up to the fence, so that she was mere inches from Cocoa's nose.

"Of course, I've met Mary RRRRRose. She's quite a horse person, isn't she? A proper good woman, she is. She told me how much she misses herrrrr animals and her husband. I didn't think she'd bring any of them down with herrrr, though." Cocoa lowered his head so that he could look closely at Peep. "I must say, you arrrrrre a lovely young cat, Peep."

Encouraged by the compliment, Peep actually slipped through the bars of the fence and entered the paddock. Cocoa reached over and whuffed into Peep's fur and then gently nudged her with his nose. Peep was startled, but it felt rather nice, actually. Cocoa's head was still down, and Peep turned and wreathed herself around the horse's muzzle to return the gesture. She wasn't sure that a horse would appreciate being groomed by a cat, and thought this would be the best way to express her appreciation of the little pony.

Bucky said from outside the fence, "See, Peep, Cocoa isn't a bad sort, right?"

"I never said he or any of the horses were, Bucky. I just was a little nervous, never having met a horse before. Especially since Rudy came to live with us after the grey horse stepped on her." Peep shuddered at the memory.

"Ohhh, none of us have everrrrr stepped on any of the cats here, Peep. We trrrry to be verrrry careful around the small animals and small people. They come here to see us and take carrrre of us, and we know that we can't step on them or knock them overrrr." Cocoa ruffled Peep's fur again with her nose, and Peep bravely reached up and licked Cocoa's muzzle. It didn't taste very good, but Peep didn't want to say anything.

Some of the other horses came over to see what was happening, and before Peep knew it she was in a nine way conversation with the six horses, pony, Bucky and herself. She found the horses to be quite polite, but very different in personality from each other. They chatted about their families and backgrounds until a truck pulled up and a woman jumped out and started unloading bales of hay. Bucky took that as a cue to leave, and led Peep back towards the house.

"You know, Peep, it's probably better if you don't spend too much time on the porch during the day. Some people are home, and you don't want to be found out, do you? Why don't you grab a snack, and I'll go back to the play house with you and we can talk or explore a bit. There are great places to explore around here!" Bucky seemed to have decided to be her guide for the day, and Peep was fine with that, even if he was a dog. She had a bite to eat and the two headed back to the play house, where they chatted and finally napped for a bit. As she dropped off to sleep, Peep decided that if Mommy couldn't be home for the summer, this was a pretty good place for her to be.

Photo courtesy of Nikki Tate -

Monday, June 8, 2009


Last night had been a very long night. Peep hunched under the bush until she didn't hear any noise from the house, and then slowly crept out, looking to either side as she moved towards the back of the house. No sign of the dog, thank the Celestial Cat. She moved from one bush to another, trying to be as silent as she could. She rushed under another bush - and ran headlong into another black cat.

"Excuse me, can I help you?" asked the other cat. "My name is Tippy, and my sister is Beauty, but she's not here right now. Did Bobbi bring you hear to live too? Are you going to be one of the inside cats or the outside cats? There are a bunch of cats that live here that never come outside at all, but we really don't know them. We only see them from the windows sometimes. What's your name?"

"Uh, Peep." Peep was so flabbergasted by all these questions and information that she barely managed to squeak out her name.

"Are you a chicken? You look like a cat, but cat's don't say 'peep'. Little chicks say 'peep'. I know that because when I was a tiny kitten I lived on a farm and there were chicks that said peep all the time. You really do look like a cat - are you sure you're not a cat?" Boy, could this other cat talk .

"No. I'm Peep. I mean, my name is Peep." The other cat was almost as big as she was, but was obviously still a half-grown kitten. "It's very nice to meet you, Tippy. I'm not here to live, at least I don't think so. I stowed away in my Mommy's car and came down here. She's living here for the summer, and her name is Mary Rose."

"Oh! I know her. She's a really nice lady. She loves all of us animals. She pets me and scratches me, and she loves Beauty too, and Bucky especially - he's the dog. She likes the horses too, but she spends more time with us. She likes to sit outside on the porch while she burns the papers in her mouth. I don't understand why people do that. Do you?"

"Tippy - I'm tired and hungry Can we talk in the morning? Right now I just need to find a safe place to sleep, and maybe a bite to eat." Peep was exhausted, and she looked it.

Tippy apologized profusely, and led Peep to her own food dish, where there was a generous helping of dry food. Peep ate a bit, and then Tippy led her to the covered porch, and offered her a chair to sleep in. She settled down and was asleep instantly.

The next thing Peep knew, it was morning, and she heard the Mommy's voice. Peep jumped off the chair, and scurried underneath, thankful that the chair sides were low enough that Mommy wouldn't see her, even if she did come out on the porch. Mommy came out on the porch, sat down and lit up a cigarette. She reached down and scratched Bucky's head, bidding him a good morning. She sat for a few minutes, drinking a cup of coffee and chatting with the animals. Finally, she bid them good-bye and headed off for work.

Peep crept out, thanked Tippy for not calling attention to her, and headed out to explore the yard. When she thought about what she was doing, she couldn't quite believe it. At home, she barely ventured out of the house, but here she was in Mary Land, exploring a strange place. She found a house on the other side of a playground that seemed to be empty, and Peep climbed the stairs and went inside. It was empty except for a large grey pillow on the floor, and Peep decided it would be a safer place to sleep at night - no way would the Mommy find her here. She settled down on the pillow for a nap - she'd explore more later.

Photo courtesy of Micheal BL -

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Where's Peep?

All weekend long, Mommy kept talking about the animals down in Mary Land. There were the cats, Tipper and Beauty, Bucky-the-dahg, the horses: Cinnamon, Diablo, Toughy, Foxy Lady, Shadow, St. Casper and Cocoa the pony. There were so many of them, and they seemed so marvelous from what the Mommy said that Peep was frankly worried. What if Mommy decided she liked them better and stayed down there and never came home again? Here in New Jersey it was just the Daddy and the cats, and the grey horse over in Howell. How could they compete with all those animals? It seemed like Mommy especially liked the Bucky-the-dahg. She didn't even call it a dog - it was a dahg. What was up with that?

Peep paced the house while Mommy and Daddy went out to the movies on Sunday afternoon, wondering what to do. How could she compete with these unknown animals? Back and forth, back and forth - and Peep still didn't know what to do. Maybe if she could communicate with them, and tell them how much she, Rudy, LT and Daddy needed the Mommy then they wouldn't be so nice to her, and Mommy would definitely want to come home.

Maybe that was what she needed to do. Communicate with them. She doubted that they had email like she, Rudy and LT did, so that wouldn't work, and she didn't know their phone number, and since the animals didn't live in the house anyway it wasn't like she could call them. What to do? She looked around for Rudy and LT, wanting to ask their advice, but they were nowhere in sight.

Peep jumped up into the window and looked to see if Mommy and Daddy were coming back yet. They weren't back, but the sight of Daddy's truck gave Peep an idea. Maybe she could stow away in Mommy's car very quietly and go down there for the week with Mommy. It would be the perfect way for her to get to meet those animals and assess how much of a threat they were to her, and to talk to them. That's exactly what she'd do - be a stow-away.

When Mommy and Daddy returned from the movies and came into the house, Peep streaked out the cat door to examine the car. If luck was with her, one of the windows would be open, and she could jump in the car. The driver's side windows were closed, but it looked like the front passenger window was open, at least part-way. Peep ran around to the other side of the car, and yes, it was open part way. Peep jumped up on the hood, walked on to the top of the side view mirror and squeezed herself into the car. She's seen LT do it lots of times, and knew from him how to best get in without falling on the ground.

Peep squeezed under the front passenger seat, starting from the floor in the back. It was a tight fit, but as long as no one sat on that seat she'd be fine. A few minutes later, Mommy came out with some clothes and bags and put them into the trunk. She went back into the house, and Peep could hear the Mommy calling, "Peep, Peep - where are you? Mommy wants to say good-bye to you." Peep felt bad, but she couldn't be two places at once.

Mommy came out and got in the car and started it up. Peep was never fond of riding in the car, and doing it on top of the workings for the seat wasn't comfortable. She eased out slowly, and while Mommy wasn't looking she sneaked over so that she was on the floor behind Mommy's seat. She figured that there was no way that Mommy could see her there.

It was a long ride, and by the time Mommy pulled into the house where she was staying in Mary Land, Peep was in a bit of a state. She didn't like the motion of the car, or the smell of all the cars on the road. Mommy had to keep the windows open to keep the car cool, and it smelled terrible.

As she pulled into the driveway, Mary Rose said, "Here at last. The traffic was terrible, and I'm so glad to be back and off the road. Hello, Cinnamon! Hello, Diablo. Hello everyone! Oh, and here's Bucky - oh, good dahg, Bucky! You are such a good dahg! Mary Rose opened the door and ruffled Bucky's fur. By this time, Peep had retreated back under the passenger seat and was wondering how to get out of the car.

The opportunity came almost immediately. The Mommy left her car door open, and opened the trunk to get things out. Peep scrambled out from under the seat and streaked out of the car door and under the car. Bucky, who had been keeping Mary Rose company, saw the streak of black and smelled the odor of an unfamiliar cat. "Whooof are you? Whooof are you?" he barked at the undercarriage of the car.

"Bucky, leave my car alone! Bucky - come on boy!" Mary Rose grabbed an armful of her belongings and headed towards the house.

Peep felt abandonned. Mommy had just walked off and left her - and with that darned dahg. She was about to cry when she thought to herself, "Duh, of course she walked off. She doesn't know I'm here, and can't know I'm here. This has to be a secret." Peep looked out from under the car, scoping out what she could see of the property to find a place to hide and observe. There were some bushes around the house - that was a good place to start. She ran, belly low to the ground, from the car to the bushes, and hid under a particularly thick one.

Mommy came back out and got a few more things from the car, closed the door and went inside. She could hear the Mommy's voice calling out hello to various people or animals - she didn't know. She could see some of the horses, had seen a quick glimpse of the dog, and suddenly realized that she had no guarantee of food until she could get back home again, and worst of all - didn't know how to get into the house to find a safe place from mean animals.
Oh, what have I gotten myself into, thought Peep.

Peep sat under that bush for another hour, wondering what she should do next. Finally she heard the Mommy's voice again, and it sounded like she was talking to the Daddy. "What do you mean, you can't find Peep? She's probably just hiding from LT or Rudy. I wouldn't worry about it. I love you...."

It could be a very long week for everyone, thought Peep. She couldn't let the Mommy know she was here, so she and Daddy would worry all week, and she herself would be hungry and possibly miserable, particularly if it rained and she couldn't find anywhere safe and dry. Oh no....

Photo courtesy of Martin LaBar -

Saturday, June 6, 2009

No one loves me

Well, the Mommy got home, and Peep was relieved. She was afraid that something at the last minute would keep her from coming home, and the later it got on Friday, the more Peep worried. She knew that the Mommy wouldn't be home right away, because she had to drive all the way from Mary Land, and that was who knows how far away. But Daddy was there waiting for her, so Peep was sure she'd come.

It was touch and go as to whether the Cat Club would even meet for a while. With all the rain, LT thought that maybe no one would even show up - but eventually cats started arriving. Mr. Snuggles and the bunch from down the street were first. The rain had slowed down, but they were still pretty wet when they arrived. LT met them on the deck and suggested that the meet in the garage, as it was the only dry place aside from the house, and since Daddy was home he didn't want to invite everyone in.

Peep didn't really want to get wet, but she did want to go to the Cat Club, so she braved the weather and streaked over to the garage. She ran so fast that she bowled Rudy over and knocked her into Ladybug and Bunny, who yowled in protest. "Sorry, everyone. I just had to get out of that rain. Brrr. It's cold out there!"

Ginger arrived next - sauntering in langorously. "Hey, y'all. Howdya like this weather?" She sat down and carefully started grooming. Mr. Snuggles and Snoogums rushed over to help her, and Fuzzy made a disgusted sound in his throat. Peep noticed that no one had come to groom her when she came in, and she was wet too.

"Oh, I know what you mean, Ginger. It's so hard to get clean and dry with all this rain!" Even with that broad hint, Mr. Snuggles and Snoogums continued to groom Ginger. LT did come over and gave her tail a grooming for a few moments before he opened the meeting.

There wasn't a lot of business for the Cat Club this week - news from their various households, warnings about the geese down the street getting loose, and plans for a Fourth of July picnic. Considering the cold, damp weather, no one seemed wanted to prolong the meeting, and once business was concluded, the cats got up to leave.

"Ginger, may I walk you home?" Snoogums asked.

"Snoogums, I was going to offer to walk her home!" Mr. Snuggles said.

"Boys, boys - you can both walk me home if you like, but it's in the total opposite direction of your house and you will be completely soaked by the time you finally get home!" Ginger tried to be gracious. She appreciated the offer, but thought they were both being silly.

After they all left, Peep plodded back to the house, completely dejected. What was wrong with her? Fine, she didn't have a southern accent, and she didn't have long, luxurious fur, but she was an attractive little cat, wasn't she? She turned to LT, once they were inside and asked him, "What's Ginger got that I haven't got, LT?"

Some questions have no good answers, and LT knew this was one of them. No matter what he said, Peep wasn't going to like it. He tried to come up with something neutral, or something flattering to Peep that would explain why those Bozos followed Ginger around and ignored Peep.

"Well, Peep - consider who was doing the following. Mr. Snuggles and Snoogums are nice cats and all, but they aren't the smartest tools in the shed. I think it's just that Ginger was raised to act attractive to males, but you're just yourself, not someone who spends most of your time practicing enticing things to say and grooming yourself to look perfect." LT thought that was a good answer.

"I guess you're right, LT, but it would be nice to get some attention from time to time. I am a lady cat, you know." Peep hunched down on the living room rug.

"I think part of it is that you're such a petite cat. People sometimes think of you as a kitten, especially with your sweet little voice."

"Well, thank you, LT. That's the nicest thing anyone has said to me in the longest time." She reached over and licked his ear, and then snugged down next to him, purring.

They heard a car in the driveway, and Rudy was out the door like a shot. She ran to the cars, and sure enough, there was the Mommy. She was home again. Peep met her at the door - purring a welcome to her. It would be a good weekend.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mommy's coming home tonight!

Peep was so excited - Mommy was coming home tonight! It had been a long week without her. She was so relieved that Mommy wasn't gone for the whole summer. The house looked fine - Peep had done a walk-through to see if there was anything to straighten up and found everything in its place.

The weather had been pretty awful this week. It was raining today, and didn't look like it was going to stop any time soon, and it had rained off and on for the last three days. Peep was so glad she wasn't an outdoor cat. Rudy had come in a little while ago looking like a drowned rat and was still grooming her fur back into place.

Peep wondered if the Cat Club would meet tonight, and if they did whether she would go. If Mommy was home, she wanted to spend as much time with her as she could. On the other hand, how would she figure out if one of the Cat Club cats was her soul-mate if she didn't go to the meetings? Oh well, she didn't need to decide yet. If it was still pouring, the meeting might even be canceled. Cats weren't big on getting wet.

With these thoughts circling around in her head, Peep settled down to wait....

Photo courtesy of Paul Goyette -

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Jay noticed that the floor was a bit muddy as he left for a job on Thursday morning. It had been raining off and on for the last two days and he’d tracked in some the results. Shaking his head, he muttered, “I’ll have to clean this up before Mary Rose gets home tomorrow night.”

Peep looked up from her breakfast when she heard this and looked around the kitchen. Sheesh, he was right. There were muddy footprints on the floor. Most were right by the door because the Daddy usually sat down at the table to take off his shoes when they were muddy, but there was a path leading towards the bath and bedroom. Mommy wouldn’t like that.

She toured the house after she finished eating, and discovered a few other things that needed attention. There were a bunch of papers on the floor around the Daddy’s chair – almost as though he read them and then just tossed them over his shoulder when he was finished. The bed hadn’t been made, but that wasn’t a big deal – the Daddy would sleep in it again before Mommy came home anyway. There were also a bunch of dishes on the counter and in the sink. Not enough to fill up either, but he obviously hadn’t washed his dishes after breakfast.

The Mommy would be home in a little over a day and Peep didn’t want the her to come home to things that needed doing – it might make her want to not come home on the weekends at all. She’d heard Mommy and Daddy talking on the phone this week, and the Mommy was staying in someone else’s house, so she probably didn’t have to do any cleaning. Peep didn’t want her to stay down there all summer, so she decided that she needed to do some cleaning herself.

Last summer Peep had learned that cats can’t wash dishes. They just don’t have the body parts, nor were they large enough to handle dishwashing. So, the dishes would just have to stay. The floor on the other hand, she could do something about. Peep ran into the bathroom, and found that Daddy had left a towel hanging within her reach. Reaching up, Peep dug her claws into the towel and pulled it onto the floor, and then grabbed a corner in her mouth and pulled it into the kitchen.

It seemed logical that dragging a towel over a dirty floor should clean it. It was the same principle as mopping, or at least dusting, and those got things clean, didn’t they? So, Peep dragged the towel over the muddy parts of the floor – back and forth, again and again. When it started looking smeary, she checked the towel and determined that one side was just too dirty, and turned it over and dragged it some more. Finally, it looked almost as good as it had before the rain started. Peep knew she couldn’t do a perfect job, but she’d done the best that she could and was satisfied. She dragged the towel back into the bathroom, and carefully draped it over the edge of the tub, since that was where she’d got it from.

Now for the office. All those papers! Were they garbage, or were they important, and the Daddy had just become frustrated and tossed them all? Peep didn’t know, and she couldn’t take a chance and throw them out. She’d have to collect them and stack them on the desk. One by one, she carefully grabbed the papers in her mouth and put them on the desk. This involved jumping onto the desk chair and then the desk, and then trying to put the paper squarely on top of the ones she’d already placed. Peep thought the job was going well, although she hoped Daddy didn’t mind the teeth marks in the corner of each page. When she’d picked up the last page, she batted at the stack, trying to make it neat, but it wouldn’t quite line up. For one thing, some of the pages had become a little crumpled, because she’d kind of landed on them as she jumped up on the chair. She sat on the pile to try to flatten them out, and decided she’d done a good day’s work. She certainly was tired enough.

The next thing Peep knew, the Daddy was petting her head and talking to her. She must have fallen asleep. “Peep, what are you doing on my desk? You never sleep up here. Under the desk, yes, but not on top.” He picked her up and then noticed the pile of papers. “What are these doing back up here? I thought I threw these away last night. Darn junk mail – sometimes you can’t even tell that it’s junk until you get it out of the envelope.” He scooped up the pile and tossed it in the trash.

The Daddy carried Peep into the living room and settled down on the couch. She dozed off again, as he read his book, awakening only when he thumped down on the couch again, shaking his head. “Weird day, Peep. First my papers are back on the desk, and now the towel in the bathroom is filthy. It doesn’t look like anyone used the shower though. With the towel that dirty, the tub would also be filthy. I guess it’s just another one of life’s mysteries.

Photo courtesy of notoriousxl -

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


LT looked out across the back yard towards the house. He was feeling a little peckish, but didn't really feel like walking inside to check the foodbowl, and he definitely didn't want to go to the effort to catch something. He sighed, feeling his age. He didn't know exactly how old he was, but knew that it was harder to do things than it had been when he was a kitten, and each year things got a little harder. He used to be able to leap from the ground onto the top of the porch railings without even thinking about it. He hadn't tried that in years, afraid that he'd look like a right fool if he jumped and had to scrabble to get a hold as he fell.

He looked up at the sky, and saw the clouds gathering. He didn't much like getting wet, but that was no different than he'd always been. Even as a kitten he'd hated rain. Luckily the daddy didn't make him stay outside when the weather was bad. He even had his special cat house to use to keep dry or warm if he didn't want to go inside. LT stretched and got up, figuring he'd better get in before the rain started. It might not be much, but you never can tell, and anyway, any rain was too much in his mind.

The inside of LT's cat house was dark as a cave. He didn't even bother peering in and just bent down his head and squeezed himself through the little doorway. As he entered, he was surprised by the noise of claws scraping against the wood floor. "Who goes there?" asked LT.

"Um, just me sir. I'm sorry to be in your house, but the black cat carried me in here and told me I'd better not leave or she'd come and eat me." LT didn't recognize the voice, and wondered who or what Rudy had hauled into his house. The nerve of her! As LT's eyes began to adjust to the darkness, he saw a small huddled shape in the corner.

"What is your name, and what manner of critter are you?" LT wanted to know who he was talking to before he said anything else. He didn't want to get to know whoever this was and then eat him, her or it for dinner. That was just bad manners.

"I'm a fox, sir. I just left my mother's den a few days ago, and was scouting out around my new den, and that black cat caught me. I'm just glad she didn't eat me right off! Oh, and my name is Reynard. It's a traditional name for the eldest male fox in a female's first litter."

"Well, it's good to meet you, Reynard. We don't get many foxes around here. I thought they liked areas that were a little less developed." LT was intrigued. He couldn't recall having a conversation with a fox before, and decided that he wouldn't eat this one, even if he was just the right size for a hearty meal.

Reynard went to great lengths explaining how the development in the area had squeezed the foxes down into smaller and smaller territories, and that this year, the young foxes had to really travel to find their own territories. He'd even crossed several streets before he came to settle here.

"Where exactly is your den, Reynard? Don't worry, I won't come and haul you out of there - as a matter of fact, I'll warn the other cats in the area away, if you like." LT felt the youngster was quite knowledgeable and respectful and deserved a little help.

"Back through the trees across a yard or two and into a patch of trees. I found a nice den that probably belonged to a fox years and years ago. There are some old gnawed bones with fox teeth marks, but no scent of fox at all. It's quite cozy."

The rain started to fall, and LT eased the rest of him into the house and sat down next to Reynard. The two of them passed a pleasant hour watching the rain and chatting about the area and their respective families. Reynard didn't know any people, and said that he doubted he'd want to meet Mary Rose or Jay, since some his mother had told him that some people hunt or poison foxes.

"Oh, they wouldn't do that. They like animals a lot - except mice. Mommy really hates mice. You don't look anything like a mouse though, so that shouldn't be a problem." LT wasn't even sure how much Peep or Rudy would like Reynard. Rudy was a fierce hunter, and she'd be more likely to eat him than chat with him. "Wait a minute - you said a black cat told you to stay in here, right?"

"Yup - a cute little thing - smaller than a full-grown fox. All black, from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail. I didn't really think she'd eat me, but I thought since it looked like rain, I might as well stay in here."

"That must have been the Peep. She's a nice little cat, and although she eats mice and such, I doubt she'd really want to take you on. Why did she want you to stay here?"

"She said something about getting an eltee. I don't know what an eltee is, though."

LT laughed and shook his head, realizing that he'd never introduced himself to the fox. "That's my name. L-T. Short for Little Tiger. She probably wanted to introduce us."

As the rain continued, the two animals chatted less and less, and began to doze. When LT woke again, he was alone. He was disappointed, but didn't blame Reynard. He'd have done the same thing.

The rain had stopped, and LT decided that he was definitely hungry enough to go inside for something to eat. As he entered the house, Peep ran up to him. "LT you won't believe what I found!"

"A fox." LT headed straight for the foodbowl.

"How did you guess? We never had foxes here before." Peep was disappointed that her surprise wasn't a surprise at all.

"He's very nice, and he liked my house quite a bit. We had a nice chat while we waited for the rain to stop. I just hope Rudy doesn't eat him. We'll have to tell her about Reynard, and threaten to shred her if she hurts him." LT spoke all this around the food he was eating as quickly as he could get it in his mouth.

"Taken care of, already. Rudy wants to meet him, and promised not to eat him."

LT finished his dinner and decided that although he might be getting old, he was never too old to make new friends.

Photo courtesy of Eric Begin -

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Peep was restless this afternoon. She walked from room to room, looking under furniture, poking into narrow spaces and piles of papers and burrowing into blankets. By the time Rudy came in for an a snack, the house looked like it had been searched by a team of professional thieves.

"What's with you today, Peep? You're pacing like a caged tiger and the house is a mess. I know the Daddy didn't do this - he's been gone all day." Rudy settled down in her favorite spot on the couch, after pulling her special afghan back where it belonged.

"Rudy - have you ever been in love?" Peep didn't look at Rudy when she asked this. She stared at a spot on the floor, as though it might burst into flame at any moment.

"Love, me? I don't think so. Well, I loved my cat mother, and I love the Mommy and Daddy, but that's different." Rudy gave Peep a sharp look. "Are you in love, Peep?"

"No, I'm not in love, but isn't it a bit odd that I'm an all-grown up cat, and I've never been in love? I mean I know I can't have kittens because of Tibet, but I could still fall in love, couldn't I?" Peep continued to stare at that spot on the floor, but now she was wiggling a little in embarrassment.

Rudy looked carefully at the Peep. "Is there somecat you'd like to be in love with?" She searched her memory for cats that they knew that maybe Peep had a crush on.

"Nope. I just wish I could be in love. Look at Mommy and Daddy. They love each other so much. They do things for each other, and care about each other, and miss the other when one is away. I wish I had someone special like that." Peep gave up staring at the floor and flopped on the floor bonelessly.

"Hey love isn't all that, Peep. You watch TV - remember the time that Mommy fell asleep and Jerry Springer came on? Those people said they loved each other, but all they did was scream about how lousy the other person had been." Rudy searched her memory for other tails of bad love. "And sometimes on that show that Mommy loves, Saving Grace, bad things happen when people love each other. I do like that show...."

Peep sighed. Last summer she'd seen how much LT and Ginger cared about each other, and she wanted that for herself. She wondered if something was wrong with her - she'd never even had anyone ask her out on a date. Then again - did cats date? She wasn't sure. LT and Ginger didn't go out on dates, but she had been busy with her new kittens.

"For one thing, Peep, you spend most of your time in the house. How are you going to meet anyone other than us if you spend most of your time in here? It's not like anyone but Fuzzy comes in, and he's your brother!" Rudy did have a point there.

"But it's scary out there, Rudy. Fuzzy chases me, and there's cars and big animals and who knows what. Anyway, I see other cats at the Cat Club meeting every Friday." Thus far, she hadn't fallen in love with any of them, but she hadn't considered then as possible suitors. "Maybe I just need to get to know those guys better. Who knows, maybe one of them has a grand passion for me, and is too shy to show it?"

Rudy doubted that, as the other cats in the Cat Club, the males at least, were a pretty rowdy bunch, and didn't keep anything inside. "Well, who knows, Peep. Keep your eyes open, and maybe love will find you. It's not like you can chase it like you can the bullfrog." With that wisdom, Rudy shut her eyes, signaling that it was time for a nap.

Peep thought about that. She didn't want to be seen as some brazen hussy, chasing the male cats around. She'd keep her eyes open though. The love of her life might be out there somewhere, just waiting for her.

Photo courtesy of Evan Ravitz -

Monday, June 1, 2009

Turnips - internships?

Peep and Miss Rudy sat in the living room discussing the Mommy’s absence. At least this year they knew what was going on, so neither was worried that she’d never come home again. Still, her being gone from Sunday to Friday every week wasn’t going to be fun.

Laughing, Peep said, “We won’t have to plant turnips this year, at least.”

“Okay, so I misunderstood her. Internship, turnips. They sound similar, and besides, I didn’t know what an internship was, so I guess my brain just found a word I did know that sounded right. Come to think of it, why did my brain know turnips? I’m a carnivore.” Rudy shook her head.

“It’s okay, Rudy. It was a lot of fun to watch the Mommy and Daddy try to figure out where all the turnips came from. I didn’t know that there were so many different ways to cook turnips. Mashed turnips, turnips au gratin, pickled turnips, creamy turnip soup, glazed turnips…. “ Peep shuddered. It wouldn’t have been bad if the Mommy didn’t keep trying to feed it to them. She never wanted to see another turnip as long as she lived.

“Mommy will be back every weekend. That’s one paw and one claw, counted every morning when we wake up.” Last summer Peep had learned how to count, creating what was probably the first and only cat counting system. Four claws made a paw, four paws made a cat, four cats made a house, and four houses made the world. After further consideration, she wondered about that last one though. Between the cats she knew and had heard about, there were probably more cats in the world than that.

Both cats were worried about the Daddy, though. He didn’t like it when the Mommy went away like this. He got sad, even with all the attention the cats gave him. He did seem to be working a lot though. Maybe that would keep him from missing the Mommy so much.

“Do you think we need to do something special for Daddy today, Rudy?”

“Hmmm, I don’t think so, Peep, other than making sure that one of us is around all the time when he’s home. He didn’t like it when we brought him mice and bunnies, and when we decorated the house, he thought it was a mess. We just need to make sure we love him a lot.” Rudy was practical. Last year Peep had come up with lots of schemes, most of which hadn’t helped at all. The Daddy had just needed to do a lot of cleaning when it came down to it.

“Well, places to go, people to see, squirrels to catch. See you later, Peep.” Rudy headed out the cat door to begin her day, leaving Peep to keep the Daddy company when he came home.

Peep sighed. She was glad that Mommy would come home every weekend, but still thought that she’d miss her every day she was away.

Photo courtesy of Julie -

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Alone again...naturally

As Jason walked from his radio room back to the house he heard Peep crying. She wailed in varying tones, and each one grated on his nerves. It had been a hard enough day and now Peep sounded as though either she was being tortured or her heart was breaking. Since Mary Rose had left for Maryland that morning, Jay figured that it was the latter, but he didn’t really want to deal with a heartbroken cat right now.

Miss Rudy had abandoned the house and was lying by the pond, hoping for a frog to come by and distract her, and LT was off who knows where. Peep was alone in the house and she was obviously miserable. Jay found her sitting in the middle of the bed, howling.

He sat down next to her pulled her onto his lap. “What’s wrong, Peep? You’re going to wake up anyone asleep within a three-mile radius.”

Looking him straight in the face, Peep began singing again. “In a little while from now, if I’m not feeling any less sour, I promise myself to treat myself and visit a nearby tower…”

Jay began petting her. “I don’t know what’s wrong, Peep. Are you hurt? Hungry? Sick? What can I do to make you stop crying?”

Peep kept on singing. “Leaving me to doubt talk about God and His mercy, or if He really does exist why did He desert me. In my hour of need I truly am indeed - alone again, naturally.”

Picking Peep up, Jay brought her into the living room and settled on the couch, hoping that a change of scene would quiet Peep, but Peep just started singing the song again from the top. It suited her mood right now. The Daddy liked to listen to old radio shows and music from when he was younger, and Peep had heard this song on the WABC MusicRadio Saturday night show a few weeks ago. The tune was catchy, but the lyrics were awfully maudlin, Peep had thought when she’d first heard it, but tonight they fit her mood perfectly. “Alone again, naturally,” she warbled, ending the song for the second time.

Rudy burst in through the cat door. “I can’t stand it anymore. Shut up, Peep. You’re not alone, and that stupid song is about a guy who got left standing at the altar and wants to kill himself. If you want to throw yourself a pity party, do it SILENTLY!” She jumped up on the couch and swatted at Peep’s head.

Either reacting too quickly or not quickly enough, Jay’s hand ended up between Peep’s claws and Rudy’s and he ended up with scratches on both sides of his hand, and gouges in his leg from Peep vaulting off his lap with claws out on all four feet.

“What is with you two tonight? Have you all been eating catnip? I’m going to wash the blood off my hand and go to bed. If you can’t be quiet, I’ll shut the door, turn on the fan and let you all fight it out.” Jay stomped off into the kitchen.

“See, Peep, you just made it worse. He’s sad enough because Mommy left, and now he’s mad at us on top of it.” Rudy decided to take the high moral ground, rather than consider if she had any part in Daddy getting hurt.

“Go suck an egg, Rudy. Mommy’s gone again and it’s going to be a long, hot, miserable summer with no Mommy.” Peep didn’t want to be consoled. She wanted to wallow in her misery, ignoring the fact that Mommy would be home on weekends.

“Fine, Peep. Be that way. Enjoy your pity party, but please, don’t sing. Daddy can’t understand what you’re singing anyway. People just think we’re crying or screaming when we sing, so it’s a waste of time, unless you’re just doing it to amuse yourself. But please, don’t. I need my beauty sleep.” Rudy jumped off the couch, tail held high and headed back outside.

Peep sat on the couch for a while, considering that. She’d never thought about people not being able to understand her singing. Hmm, it did make sense. She’d sung to the Mommy to cheer her up lots of times, and it always just made her more upset. Ah, well, Peep thought. I’ll just purr at them. They do understand that. She padded quietly into the bedroom, where the Daddy lay on the bed. She sprung up onto the mattress, meowed a greeting and examined his hand. It didn’t look too bad, but she gave it a healing lick, just to make sure and carefully climbed onto the Daddy’s chest and snuggled down to purr him to sleep.

Photo courtesy of PernilleLouise -

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mick's on the beat

The house was quiet – everything was secure. Mick had just finished his patrol. As usual he’d started inside – basement to attic (well, to the attic stairs – he couldn’t open the door to the attic). No one had been in the basement in days, except Mater, who’d done a few loads of laundry. There was no evidence of mice, or even a spider down there. Next he’d walked the ground floor – all doors secure, windows closed and no signs of intruders. Mick had paused before going upstairs, thinking he’d heard a noise, but it was just a blue jay outside in a tree. He hated that blue jay, but as long as he didn’t mess with the house or Mick’s people, Mick would leave him alone. Upstairs was clear too, although it was difficult to tell in the room that Pater called his office. It was always full of so many papers and books that almost anything could be hiding. Mick had pushed books aside and clawed at some suspicious papers, just in case anything dangerous was hiding underneath.

After he’d finished the inside of the house, Mick had slipped quietly through the cat door, after first checking to see that no one was right outside waiting to ambush him. The deck was empty, as was the driveway. The blue jay laughed at him from the tree, but Mick ignored him. “Look – the cat who thinks he’s Secret Service! Mick – you’re people are nice, but they’re not the first family. Lighten up.” The blue jay swooped down over Mick’s head as he said this, knowing that Mick wouldn’t try to catch him.

“What do you understand about security, Blueface? Your mate makes her nest in a tree where anyone could take your eggs, and you don’t even bother to stay around all the time when she’s brooding. I take my job seriously. My people will be safe if I can help it.” Mick stalked off and completed his perimeter check. A few dogs had visited the street edge of the lawn, but none were currently on the property. Satisfied of the property’s safety, Mick settled down on his window seat for a nap. This perch was perfect. Any car coming in the driveway would wake him up, and he had a view of anyone coming up to the front door.

The next thing Mick heard was the back door opening. “Drat,” he thought. He’d slept through the car coming in. He wasn’t supposed to do that. Maybe his hearing was going? He was eight years old – he couldn’t be expected to have the senses of a kitten forever. He stretched, working the kinks out of his back and yawned hugely before jumping down to greet his family.

“Mick – come here, sweetie!” That was the Mater. She never really understood his personality. She called him things like sweetie and kitty. After living with him for eight years she should know that he was all business. Even as a kitten he’d been fiercely protective. He wouldn’t play with fuzzy miniature tennis balls and had never touched catnip. He couldn’t afford to have his senses dulled, even for a minute. Mick walked over to her, projecting an aura of dignity. She bent down and ruffled his fur and tickled his ears. “Did you miss us? We brought you kitty treats – because you’re such a good little kitty cat.” Mick gazed skyward and sighed. He loved being petted, but wished that someone would take him seriously.

The Pater came in the door and closed it with a bang. “These are the last of the bags, honey. Did you put away the frozen food?”

“I was giving our Mickie a bit of loving. I’ll take care of them now. What should we do with the lobsters? We won’t need them for a couple hours, and personally, I’d like a nap. I stayed up way too late last night reading.” Mater gave Mick a last scratch between the ears and began pulling food out of the cloth bags.

“Hmmm. A nap sounds like a good idea. Why don’t you put the lobsters in that big bowl and spritz them. They’ll be fine for a few hours until we’re ready to cook them.” Pater opened the refrigerator and stowed the fresh vegetables in the crisper drawers, and then moved on to fit the canned and boxed goods carefully into the cabinets. They had a good sized kitchen, but liked to keep both a good variety of food on hand as well as a sufficient supply. Maine weather might snow them in for a few days, and they wanted not only to be able to eat, if it came to that, but eat well.

Mick watched them finish putting away the groceries and stow the bags in the top of the closet. He approved of their use of cloth shopping bags – less opportunity to bring home cockroaches. Who knew what vermin could lurk in paper bags, and plastic bags were just plain irresponsible in a state with so much shoreline.

Mick returned to his perch and was about to doze off when he heard a noise. His head whipped around to see one of the lobsters climbing out of the bowl on the counter. The bowl, although beautiful, was very shallow, and obviously no obstacle to a lobster, even one with banded claws. The second lobster followed within seconds, and they began their labored way across the counter.

What to do? Mick had never dealt with a lobster before. He’d seen their wicked sharp claws and had a lot of respect for them. These were banded, though. He could at least keep them from knocking the cooking utensils off the counter.

Before he could jump up to them, the first lobster reached the edge of the counter and fell off head first. He looked a bit stunned, and Mick went up close. “Are you okay?” What was he doing, talking to a lobster? Did lobsters even talk? He rationalized it to himself that if he’d just fallen off the counter, he’d want someone to ask after his welfare. As Mick waited to see if the lobster would say anything, the second lobster fell right on top of him. That may have been good for the lobster, but it scared the wits out of Mick.

Smelling vaguely fishy and with an aching head, Mick scooted under the little table in the breakfast nook to watch the lobsters in safety. The second lobster was obviously unhurt and scuttled away from the kitchen cabinet. He watched for a few minutes, until it became evident that both lobsters were going to try to escape. Mick couldn’t allow that. They were Mater and Pater’s dinner, and therefore it was his job to keep them from leaving.

He stalked out from under the table, and blocked the path of one lobster. It didn’t even seem to notice, and ran right into his leg, before changing course and scuttling directly under Mick’s belly. That would not acceptable to Mick. They might have banded claws, but he wasn’t exposing his belly to these things. He jumped back and then swatted the lobster.

The lobster shot across the floor – obviously the lobster’s exoskeleton had no traction against a polished floor. As the second lobster heading off, Mick ran up and gave that one an even bigger swat. It sailed across the kitchen, hitting the bottom of the cabinets. “Ooh – this is fun,” Mick thought. “Lobster hockey!” He settled back to see what the lobsters would do next. Both looked a bit stunned – well actually they didn’t. They just looked like lobsters, but they weren’t doing anything at the moment, so he inferred that they were stunned.

Mick spent the next two hours playing intermittent lobster hockey. Whenever one moved away from the counter, he let it get almost all the way across the kitchen and then swatted it back to the counter. He decided he’d perfected his shot when a lobster banked off one cabinet into another before skidding to a halt. Finally both lobsters gave up and just sat on the floor in front of him, waving a claw occasionally. Mick sat down and waited. He wasn’t going to drop his guard.

A laugh from the doorway caught Mick by surprise. Pater was holding onto the doorframe with one hand and his stomach with the other. “Honey, you have to come see this!”

A moment later Mater joined him and also burst out laughing. Mick wasn’t sure if he should be offended or not. He’d rescued dinner and they were laughing at him? This was no laughing matter. Well, maybe it had been when he was batting them around the kitchen, but not now. Mater walked in and picked him up. “Mick you are such a good cat. Thank you for keeping our dinner from heading out the cat door, down Rt. 15 and back into the ocean.”

“You’re assuming that he didn’t pull them out of the bowl himself, aren’t you?” Pater didn’t seem so sure that Mick was the hero of this tale.

“I knew that bowl was shallow and they might get out, but I knew that our watchcat would be on duty. Nothing bad can happen when Mighty Mick is on the job.” She buried her face in his fur and nuzzled him.

Mick looked up and said, “All in a day’s work, ma’am.” Of course, all Mater heard was “Meow,” but Mick knew that she understood.

Image courtesy of Joanne Lavoie, Bangor Maine -