Cat Stories that Dogs Tell
By Robert G. Moons
(Ages 6 and up)
* The Illustrated Children's Book in PDF format is free to download (See near bottom of story).
This story takes place somewhere in the Southern USA; a place where plants grow in the air. Sounds like magic, doesn't it? Well, these plants are called Spanish moss and it hangs down from big old trees, everywhere. You could say this plant's best friend is a tree. Now, trees and Spanish moss go together like milk and cookies. But, not all friendships come this easily. Sometimes, friendships can be made between the most unlikely of pairs, or even enemies. This is a story about a cat and a dog, and how they made their own kind of magic – the magic of friendship.
One sunny day, a little orange cat was playing in her owner's big backyard. She loved playing outside. She liked the smell of the green grass. And, there were so many things to see and do. She could hide in the bushes, or even in the grass, but only when it was taller. There was a tree she could climb, but the last time she did that, she couldn't get back down. Her owners had to get a ladder to climb up and get her. That was scary. She decided to wait until she was older when she could do that safely.
And the bugs! There were so many bugs and insects; they were everywhere, and she knew exactly where to find them. There were ants; they were all over the dirt. All she had to do was stick her pink nose between the blades of grass and there they were. Sometimes she could even find their home where they all lived. It was like a teeny tiny hill with a hole in the top. She sometimes sat and watched them go into the hole, and then come out of the hole, and into the hole, and out of the hole, into the hole, out of the hole, in, out, in, out.... One time she fell asleep watching them.
There were all kinds of different bugs. Every day she went on an adventure to find a new bug; a bug she never saw before. There was a bug that could roll up into an itty-bitty ball, and a bug with so many legs she couldn't count them all. There were even insects that could fly. Her favourite was the bu-tter... butter... butterfly. She was still learning how to say the name. She just needed a little more practice.
So, on this one special day, the young cat was watching a slimy, squirmy worm when a dog jumped over the fence and right into the backyard. He was much bigger than the cat! His fur was all black, and he looked real mean.
"RUFF! RUFF! RUFF!" the dog barked at the cat.
"SHHHHHHHHHHH!" the cat hissed back. She arched her back trying to look as big as the dog, but it didn't quite work out that way.
Then it got real, real quiet as they both stared at each other, not moving at all.
Finally, the dog said, "Did I scare you?"
"Of course you did," replied the cat. "Why did you do that?"
"Um... I don't know. I just did."
"But why?" asked the cat.
"I'm a dog."
"You're a cat."
"Dogs bark and chase cats," the dog said. "It's what we do."
"Why?" the cat asked again.
The dog thought for a moment. "Hey, wait a minute.... You're trying to trick me, aren't you?"
"No I'm not."
"Oh yes you are; I-heard-the-stories."
"Some of my friends tell me stories they heard about cats."
"You have stories about us?"
"What sort of stories?"
"I can't tell you. And if I did tell you – but I'm not – I'd have to chase you up that tree over there." The dog pointed with his brown nose toward the biggest tree in the backyard. "I'd have to keep you up that tree forever."
"Forever?" said the cat. "That's a long time."
"So what sort of stories can't you tell me?" asked the cat again.
"Well... I can't tell you that cats are real lazy. All they do is lie around all day long, and they never do what their owner tells them to do. Now dogs, we do everything they tell us to do, fetch old smelly sticks, jump in freezing cold water, and all with a big smile on our face, all the time."
"What else?" asked the cat.
"I'm also not supposed to tell you that cats lick themselves clean. How gross is that? Now us dogs, we have a real bath. Yeah, that's right, warm water, soap – the works," he bragged.
"Anything else?" asked the cat.
"Hey! You tricked me. OK, you asked for it. RUFF! RUFF! RUFF!" The dog barked as loud as he could, made a real mean face, and showed his sharp teeth.
The cat didn't move.
The dog looked at the cat.
The cat looked back at the dog.
The dog pointed to the tree.
The cat looked at the tree then back at the dog.
"Come on! You didn't do what you're supposed to do," the dog said. He still had his angry face and talked through his teeth, hardly moving his lips. He looked and sounded funny doing that.
The cat smiled. "What was I supposed to do?"
"When I start barking, you're supposed to run over there and climb up that tree."
"What if I don't want to?" asked the cat.
"What if I don't want to run over there and climb up that tree? The last time I climbed up that tree, I couldn't get back down."
"You're not supposed to get back down," the dog pointed out.
The dog didn't know what to do. This had never happened before.
"So, you're not going up that tree?" the dog asked.
"Nope," replied the cat.
"Anything I can say or do to change your mind?"
"Oh come on!"
The dog had an idea. "What if it wasn't forever? I bark, you climb up the tree; I wait for a few minutes, and then jump over that fence and go away. I won't come back, ever."
The cat frowned. "I still wouldn't be able to get back down the tree."
"I see," said the dog. He thought and thought for a long time, but he didn't know what to do. "Well, um, what do you think we should do? "
"Maybe we could just be friends," said the cat.
"Friends?" The dog had never, ever thought about that.
"Friends," repeated the cat with a smile.
"Hey, wait a minute. What would my dog friends say? You know, you being a cat and all."
The cat frowned. "Do you always listen to your friends, even when it sounds wrong?"
"Well, not always. One time, two of my buddies were on guard duty with me in my owner's backyard when this strange looking cat walks in. It had this big white stripe down its back. So then Caesar (that's the Doberman) Caesar yells, 'It's a cat, get 'em!' The two of them attack, but I stayed back because I got this real bad feeling. Sure enough, it-was-a-skunk. Those boys had a lot of baths after that."
The cat thought for a moment. "Maybe you should listen to what other dogs and cats have to say, and then make up your own mind. You act all mean and scary, but I'm really not afraid of you."
"You're not?" The dog was surprised.
"No, because I know, deep down, you're a good dog."
"I try to be," said the dog with pride as he sat up straighter.
The cat walked up to the dog and licked him right on his cheek.
"What did you do that for?"
"It's what us cats do, and there was a bit of dirt on your fur."
"Oh, OK, as long as you're not kissing me or anything like that."
The cat purred and rubbed up against the dog.
"Oh come on!" The dog turned red (but you couldn't see that because of all his fur).
And they became best friends forever, and that's a long time.
"Stop it.... I mean it.... Now that was definitely a kiss... Oh come on!..."
Copyright 2013 Robert G. Moons
This work of fiction is the sole property and copyright of Robert G. Moons.
Please do not print or use without permission of the author.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
* Download the free illustrated PDF version of this story (copy and paste below into web browser's top bar):
Other Children's Stories:
• The Boy Who Loved a Tree
• Cat Stories that Dogs Tell
All my stories are free at my website:
Author Notes: The AUDIO / ILLUSTRATED Story is available to view here: http://youtu.be/yOI9jlfZhcU