It was a lazy sunday yesterday. Mom was upstairs, Jess was asleep on the sofa, Alf was on the windowsill guarding the house, me and dad were watching football on tv, I was getting my ear scratched so everything was good in the world. Alf yawned and turned to look at me, he obviously remembered that he hadn’t teased me for a while so he said, “How long has it been since you went upstairs to see Raffles?” I thought about it for a minute and replied that I wasn’t sure and enquired why he was asking. “Lost your bottle then?” Lost my bottle? Huh, don’t think so, I told him that I didn’t go up there because the gate at the bottom of the stairs was always shut and I couldn’t get past. “Not shut now” he grinned. ” Well why don’t you go up there then?” I asked, throwing it back at him. He sighed and rolled over onto his back, “I’m not the one who was barking about what I’d do to the cat in a fight, you were; but, if you’re scared….”
I started walking towards the bottom of the stairs, absolutely bristling with rage. Jess had woken up and heard the last part of the conversation and she told me not to be stupid, and grumbled at Alf for winding me up. Alf was laughing until I got to the stairs and went up a couple of steps, he said “come on Bones, I was just pulling your tail.” I wasn’t listening, I just wanted to show him that I wasn’t scared. Dad was oblivious to all this as he watched the match, I was sort of hoping that he’d tell me to come back down but he was engrossed. Ah well, I’ve started now, best paw forward as they say.
I climbed to the last but one step and looked around the landing, I could hear mom in one of the rooms moving about but apart from that all was quiet. I climbed the last step and listened again – nothing. I could smell cat in the air but there was no sign of them. I walked into a bedroom and looked to see if they were there but I couldn’t see them, perhaps they were asleep somewhere. I decided to have a wander round the bed and into the bathroom, then go back to their bowls and eat their food; there’s no way Alf could call me scared then, I’d show him.
I got to the other side of the bed and saw no sign of the cats although I could smell them even stronger now; as it turns out, if I’d looked up I would have seen two pairs of eyes looking down on me from the bed. As I reached the bathroom and walked in I heard a soft thump behind me, I jumped and spun around. It was the skinny cat Milly, she was sat down with her tail swishing behind her, just regarding me curiously like I was a museum piece. “Curiosity killed the cat,” I said mockingly. Just then a shadow fell over both of us and with a much louder thump, he stood before me, big and menacing. I’d been ambushed and my escape route was blocked, now I was a little scared.
Raffles’ green eyes glinted with evil triumph, he had me cornered again, like he did when I was a puppy. The thing is I’m not a puppy anymore, I’m almost as big as him now, my muscles hard, my body hewn from rock, polished in mock battle with the dogs downstairs and my friends over the fields. Raffles thought he was in for an easy afternoon, a quick and decisive knockout… Raffles was in for one hell of a shock.
He hissed at me, the wind ruffling my fur, the smell of fetid fish breath assailing my nostrils, I growled back and bared my teeth, I was ready. He looked a little shocked that I wasn’t cowering, he wasn’t used to anyone standing up to him, but he soon gathered himself and stepped forward. Perhaps expecting me to step back, he was surprised when I lurched at him and snapped; although he swayed out of reach he automatically swung his mighty paw to counter my attack. All I saw was a flash of pure white then stars as this huge paw crashed into the side of my head, knocking me sideways and off balance. He swung his left to finish me but I ducked under it and headbutted his fat, white stomach which was exposed as he sat on his haunches and swung haymakers. He almost tumbled back but regained his balance and, with a speed that belies his size, caught me with a rapid three punch combination, I thought I saw angels dancing above me for a second, wow he hits hard! The cat paused for a second to admire his work before launching a massive right paw in a downward arc that was meant to be the coup de gras, I saw a flash of wicked claw but the momentary pause was all I needed to gather my wits. I weaved to the right and the paw came crashing down next to me, I was aware of a distant rumbling sound as I rose up on my hind legs and brought both my paws down on top of his head in such quick succession it almost sounded simultaneous – booboom. I went to clamp onto his ear, if I had he would have lost it because there was no way I was going to let go; he moved his head at the last second and my mouth landed on the back of his broad shoulders, I tried to sink my teeth into his neck but all I got was a mouthful of thick ginger fur. He swung his head and I lost my grip as I was slammed against the wall.
The rumbling got louder and nearer but I wasn’t thinking about that, I was growling at him and he hissed at me again; I charged, determined to get my teeth into him, but I was met with a blow to the top of my head that was made all the harder by my forward momentum. His claws hit me full on the crown but my fur in wirey and thick and it didn’t pierce the skin thankfully. The punch shook me but the force of the collision must have travelled up through Raffles’ leg because he stepped back. We looked at each other, both breathing hard; this was it, the crunch, the final showdown, only one of us was coming out of this bathroom alive and we both knew it. His eyes narrowed to slits and he seemed to grow as his fur stood on end, his sharp claws dug into the carpet. I tensed, evey sinew and muscle quivering, a growl growing in my throat: ” Let’s dance cat!” The rumbling stopped as mom came into view. The cats scarpered up and over the bed as mom reached down and picked me up, I was twisting and yelling, trying to get her to put me down, “I want to finish it! I want that cat!”
By the time she carried me downstairs my anger was spent. She made sure the gate was properly closed as, still a little shaken, I trotted into the living room. Alf was wide-eyed, “What happened Bones?” He gasped. I shrugged. Jess was a bit upset, “He was a stupid, foolish, reckless little boy is what happened.” I ignored her. Dad was still sitting with his feet up watching football. I jumped up and resumed my previous position next to him my heart still pounding in my chest. His big hand came over and scratched me behind my ear again, “Got it out your system boy?” He asked. “Yeah” I replied, “I think I have.”
We carried on watching the game, Bones and dad, dad and Bones. He looked at me and said “Don’t do that again, ok?” Course not dad…. ; )