Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taking care of business

On Wednesday morning LT, Rudy and Peep sat down to discuss important household matters.  LT reported that he had not found any significant bee or wasp nests and the yard was as safe as he thought he could make it for the Mommy, short of biting off every flower head or digging up the plants.  Considering some of the flowers were ones the Mommy and Daddy had bought and planted, he thought the effort would not be appreciated.

In another matter, although all three cats had kept an eye out for Greymalkin since Friday night’s meeting, she had not been seen in the yard.  Rudy wanted very much to apologize to her and assure her that they really did want to be her friend, but it was hard to do if they didn’t see her.  LT said that she lived in a house through the trees, and if Rudy wanted to go see her she wouldn’t have to cross any streets.  He even offered to walk her over there, and the two decided to go as soon as all other matters had been discussed.  

Peep said she thought she’d seen a red fox at the back of the property near Daddy’s radio tower.  It certainly hadn’t been a cat, and there were no little red dogs with sharp noses around.  LT said he’d check it out, as foxes can be tricksy creatures.  If a fox was in the neighborhood, all cats should be warned, particularly those with kittens.  A fox would as happily dine on young kittens as mice or grasshoppers.  

Having taken care of the household business, Rudy and LT took off for Greymalkin’s house.  Rudy was very much a stay-at-home cat.  She really hadn’t ventured off the property, except to visit Snoogums and the rest a few times.  It wasn’t that she was afraid, but she was just cautious since Grey had stepped on her.  She wasn’t sure of her speed anymore, or if her legs would put up with prolonged travel.  

As they loped through the woods, Rudy recalled how much she’d liked to do this when she lived at the stable.  She’d been a regular cat around town then.  She’d visit other cats in the neighborhood and carry Grey’s messages to other horses.  In the past two years both Peep and LT had travelled.  She was the only stay-at-home.  Maybe she should test herself and try a bit of a trip, but now the focus needed to be on Greymalkin.

Greymalkin’s house was a large one at the end of one street development.  LT thought his house (the big one, not the little one the Daddy made him) could fit in to this house several times.  They approached carefully, as some of the neighbors had unfriendly dogs.  Greymalkin was sitting in the shade under a small weeping willow tree.  LT gestured Rudy on, indicating that he’d wait here in the trees.  

Rudy casually sauntered out of the wooded area towards the grey cat.  “I’ve missed you, Greymalkin.  You haven’t come to our house in days, and I decided to come see you.”

“I didn’t think any of you would ever want to see a bossy cat like me, so I decided to stick to my side of the woods.”  Greymalkin seemed both upset and lonely.  

“We do want to see you, because you’re a nice cat with lovely manners and a sleek coat.  The Cat Club just wasn’t in need of reorganizing.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t need you or want to be friends with you.”  Rudy hunkered down near Greymalkin – not close enough to groom her but close enough that they could talk quietly.  

With a quizzical look Greymalkin said, “But I’m just about organizing and fixing things, like the mousing coop.  I’ve never done anything else.  What could I offer a fun group of cats like you all?”

Rudy tipped her head sideways.  “Well, you express yourself very clearly and kindly.  Some of, particularly Fuzzy, could benefit from your example.  You also look at problems in an organized manner.  I know that LT has learned from you about that, because when our Mommy was stung by a bee he was able to come up with a really good plan on how to keep her safe from more bee stings.  He was never that good at organizing things before.  For me, I just like hanging around with a classy lady like you.”

Greymalkin looked surprised.  “Me, classy?  I ran a mousing coop, not a university class or a high-toned tea room.  But I guess I am good at problem solving and talking to other cats – you have to be when you supervise them.  I need to look at my skills, not the job, I guess.”

“Yup, that’s right.  Now can you show me how you do that look that makes even LT listen to you?  I could use that sometimes.”  Rudy moved closer for a quiet discussion.  

From the woods LT could see that the two were settling in for a long conversation and headed home, trusting that Rudy could find her way, or if not that Greymalkin would show her the route.  He smiled and picked up his pace just a little.  It was a good day.
Photo courtesy of Shlomi Fish -

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