Greetings it is I Simon. Mom and Dad are gone to Andrew and Courtney’s to celebrate the impending birth of their new kitten. If you ask me, Mom and Dad’s friends have too many kittens; I would be happy to suggest a surgical procedure to prevent so many damn kittens.
It is the Week End, and I like that. The Week End means Mom and Dad will be home all day and they will feed us lots because they get tired of listening to Sister Toto whine. (When they are gone they cannot hear Sister whine — only Brother Nemo and I can — so they cannot feed her. Nemo and I have plans to eliminate this problem, but so far the opportunity has not presented itself. Toto does not go near the road often enough.)
On Week Ends, Mom lets us outside early in the morning. We play outside all day and we lounge in the sun and we watch the birds and the bugs and the squirrels and the cars and the dogs and the cats and we drink from the birdbaths and we dig in the garden and we loaf on the porch and we even sometimes help Mom and Dad in the yard.
Today I helped Dad plant the Apple Tree. And after he had finished, I helped him erect the Grape Trellis. As we were working, that goddamned Flash came round. Flash is a neighborhood cat — he has no Mom and Dad, he is an orphan — and he has not had a certain surgical procedure. Worse, he is big and orange and ugly. I do not like that Flash.
While Dad dug in the dirt, Flash and I had a disagreement. We always have disagreements. We yowl and growl and whine at each other. I lower my head and he raises his. One time, Flash stood on his hind legs and swayed back and forth. He looked like an idiot. Was that supposed to be scary? All the time when we argue, we end up butting heads. We get closer and closer, yowling louder and louder, until we are standing forehead to forehead, rubbing whiskers. Dad thinks we look funny, but he does not know that this is a battle of Minds. As much as I hate him, I must admit Flash is strong. He is a worthy opponent. He often wins these battles, and I hate him for it.
Later, Aunt Rhonda stopped by to talk with Mom and Dad in the garden. They chatted under the walnut tree while I sat at the end of the walk, watching them. While they chatted, Walnut, in a brazen move, came down the tree, with a nut in his mouth, and watched. He skittered down the tree to the ground. I was keenly interested, but I made no move. I watched Walnut. I observed.
“Simon,” said Dad. “Look! Walnut’s on the ground.” But I made no reply. Does the man think that I am an idiot? Walnut darted down the sidewalk in little bursts. I stood and eased my way toward him, testing his reflexes. His reflexes were quite good, actually, and he immediately climbed the filbert and then leaped across to the branches of his home tree.
I walked over and rubbed against Mom’s legs. I gave Dad a look to tell him that he is an idiot, because he is.
I hid in the bushes. Mom and Dad continued working in the yard. Dad went into the house to help the Heater Man carry the old heater out to the garage.
Just then, I noticed that Walnut had crossed the lawn to visit his little squirrel buddy, Cedar. They were clinging to the base of the cedar tree, chattering. Nemo crept up beside me.
“Do you see the squirrels?” he asked. “I’ve been trying to catch that damned Walnut for weeks. Remember how I got stuck in his tree once? And remember how I climbed the tree in the neighbor’s yard and got stuck there? Walnut escaped me by racing across the power line back to his tree. Stupid squirrel. And remember how one night I got stuck on the roof of the garage? I was chasing Walnut and Acorn then.”
Nemo’s a good kid, but he’s a little inept. All energy and no brains. “Watch,” I told him, and I began to slink across the lawn. Walnut and Cedar were chattering to each other still, still clinging to the base of the Cedar.
Dad and the Heater Man came out of the house and they dropped the old Heater on the steps, creating a tremendous racket. It startled me. It startled the squirrels. I thought my game was up, but the squirrels looked past me, at Dad and the Heater Man. They didn’t even see me!
And then I took the risk. I charged those little rodents and I flew into the air and I grabbed Walnut with my claws and I sunk my teeth into his chest I squeezed and he flailed and he flailed and he squeaked and Cedar came lower on the tree and he scolded me and Nemo flew across the lawn to my side saying “Let me taste! Let me taste!” and Dad began to yell “Simon! Simon! Simon!” and in my mouth was the blood of a squirrel and it was delicious and then the Heater Man came roaring across the lawn yelling “Simon! Simon!” and Nemo said “I want to taste the blood of a squirrel” and enough is enough so I raced across the yard to my spot beneath the holly and while Mom and Dad and the Heater Man ran around yelling “Simon! Simon!” and Walnut flailed and squeaked — weaker now, much weaker — I sat beneath the tree with the blood of a squirrel on my tongue.
Nemo came and sat with me. His eyes blazed with envy. “I want to taste the blood of a squirrel,” he said, but I pretended I did not hear. I held Walnut tight in my jaws, and when I was sure he was dead, I dropped him and walked into the house.
Stupid Mom and Dad. Now they’re outside looking for the squirrel and why? There are more here: Cedar and Acorn and Locust and Holly and all the others. And there are more in the neighbor’s yards. And why do they care if I have a squirrel now and then? And stupid Nemo. For three months he cannot catch a squirrel, but I catch one on my very first try.
All in all a very good day. Mom and Dad have shut me upstairs now while they go celebrate the Cronk Kitten, but I do not mind. I’ve been studying this weblog thing for months (and I even read Abbie the Cat when Dad lets me), and Toto showed me how she wrote here twice — though Lord! how abysmal is her spelling and grammar — so the only real trouble has been these miserable paws. How I long for opposable thumbs!
Now if only I could catch Flash by the abdomen and squeeze. I would like to taste his blood someday.
(I dedicate this entry to Nine Miron.)
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