And Why Not a Giraffe?
And just like that, there was a cat in the house. I looked at my humans, “My mother warned me about cats that looked like that.”
“Like what?” Justin asked. Mom watched the Dachshunds tear around the house, barking concerns, looking for any sign of the cat.
“Like, you know, all yellow-eyed and crazy! Look at the poor, frenzied Dachshunds!” I exclaimed.
Justin pet my head. “Don’t all cats look like that?”
“Did you see his claws? I bet that cat scared away all the birds, squirrels, and dragons when he arrived! I haven’t heard a bird chirp since he got here!” I pointed out.
“Sophie, he’s been here five minutes… and it’s raining outside… Oh, my gosh! It really does rain cats and dogs! That’s where the cat came from!”
“You should be more upset, Justin!” I was let down.
Team Dachshund had the right idea. Amid their running around the house, searching for shadows, Pete’s main worry sounded from the low ground, “Achtung! Please! Zere’s a cat about! Vat’s he going to eat? He is not velcome to my food!”
Daphne was a bit more practical. “Ah cannot believe this animal is in the house! A gross, hideous cat! What’s he doin’ here? Where did he come from? And just who’s gonna look after him? Where’s he gonna stay, oh! How are we ever to go on with our lives?!” I do love the Southern flair for the dramatic, it always shows the point so much more clearly.
And as much as I was appalled by Team Dachshund’s behavior, I found that I was soon chasing them, chasing the cat. We ran through every room of the house, and somehow, it seemed as though there were hisses and howls, paws and claws in every corner of every room. Try as we might, we only barked at nothing and wore ourselves out, the lazy Dachshunds first.
“Sophie! Enough!” Mom shouted. Of course I was the only one scolded because I was the last one running. I saw Pete smirk. “Justin, get those dogs in the living room. I’ll deal with the cat.”
Justin picked up Pete since he couldn’t get away and ushered Daphne into the living room. She kept throwing nervous glances everywhere, we couldn’t be certain the cat wasn’t in the living room. Justin set down Pete, who skipped a bit as if he still had the energy to chase, a show of mock-strength, while Justin put up the puppy-gate to keep us in.
Well, it kept the Dachshunds in. I could leap over it with no trouble, thanks to all my years playing catch. I chose to remain with Justin and the Dachshunds to watch and protect the lesser. The gate definitely wouldn’t keep the cat out.
Mom called to Justin, “Your sister used to have a cat, you know, growing up. I think that cat really brought out her creative spirit.” There was a pause… and a loud crash. Pete whined.
“Uh…,” Justin began. “I might have suggested a giraffe.”
Mom ignored him. “That was before your time, Sophie,” she finally reappeared in the doorway. She looked unharmed. Could anything really be older than me, the Old Dog?
“We’ll give the cat her old room. There’s probably the old cat stuff left somewhere in there, or maybe the garage.”
I paced around in front of the puppy-gate and Mom went to see to rest of the cat’s things. My mind was all a-buzz with what could happen next. But, everything was quiet until after dinnertime.
We had all eaten, the food dishes licked clean, some water from the bowl… There’s that lovely “full belly” feeling that urges a nice, happy nap and for a moment, we all forgot about the new cat menace.
“Maaaaaaooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwhhhh!” came a horrible shriek. I cannot describe the awful sound it made, but only one kind of awful beast can make such a noise. It was the cat.
“What the heck is that!?” Justin barked. I guess he wasn’t clever enough to guess what it was.
I frowned in disapproval. It was all well and good to howl if dinner was late, but during the full belly times, it’s rude to interrupt such peace. The cat howled a few more times and I saw Mom laugh. To cover her fear, no doubt. “Her love of animals is going to be tested with this one,” I thought.
“Well, guys, what should we name him?” she asked.
Pete shivered on her lap and was unable to stop chattering enough to answer her. Daphne was grumbling unladylike curses from her spot on the couch. “Ugly Bald Stinky Catface,” she growled.
Justin and I laughed. Sadly, I knew the humans wouldn’t pick that. It was too long, eventually they’d have to write it down and that could take hours.
“How about ‘Poe,’ like the ghost?” Mom asked. “With these scary-wary Dachshies around, we may never see him again.” She held Pete’s flap down ears in her hands and danced with his head.
Pete was slightly encouraged by Mom’s statement and her attention. “He’s so creepy! And scary-looking!” Not exactly brave words, though.
“Yeah, I like that. There are plenty of famous ‘Poe’s, too, so they’ll probably have to come visit.” Justin said.
Mom looked puzzled and Justin added, “You know, to see what he’s up to.”
“Oh, of course.” And then Mom turned on the news and “Poe’s” howling stopped. I guess the news is boring to every beast. It was also the sign that bedtime was near.
When it was time for the final house check of the night, Justin was already asleep in his room with the door closed, safe from the cat. The door to Katie’s old room was closed, too, and I snuffled the crack under the door for some sign of Poe.
Curiously, there was nothing, so I trotted down the hallway to check out the rest of the house. I never saw the cat, but I swear I could “feel” his spooky, yellow eyes watching me. I put my snout to the rug and tried to find him, but there was no trace.
With the unseen feline presence lurking about, my fur stood on end and I shivered. I shook myself to get my bravery back and my collar rattled, louder in the dark house. I hid in the kitchen, under the table so I could watch the garage door for Dad’s return. The kitchen also made the perfect place to hide because I thought I might hear Poe’s claws on the hard floor to warn me he was near.