Couldn't find a picture of my sister's cat, so... ;-)
It's just a short story from me, this week, as I've got rather a lot of paperwork to be getting on with for the "day job!" Still, hope you all enjoy...
Catrina And The Grouchy Cat
Catrina was a three year old. She was loud and boisterous. She loved to include Milly in her games... Whether Milly liked it or not.
When Catrina was a pirate, Milly would be her ship's mate. Catrina would plonk a pirate's hat on Milly's poor head and bundle her into an upturned box that doubled as their boat.
When Catrina was a fairy, Milly would be a magical, talking cat. Catrina would wave her magic wand around and Milly would yelp and hiss, whilst Catrina shrieked: "Listen! She's talking!"
No matter what the game, Catrina always liked Milly to be involved. Her parents would plead "please leave the poor cat alone, Catrina! She might not want to play!" But Catrina thought she knew better...
One day, Milly decided that she'd had enough. She was tired of her tail being pulled. She was fed up of her fur being brushed the wrong way. She was sick of her sleep being interrupted. Whilst Catrina played in the garden, Milly eyed the gate, dreamily. "Out there is a world where I can be left in peace," she thought to herself. And with one, big leap, she was gone.
Catrina was having so much fun, that she didn't notice Milly was missing until her mother called for her to come inside. When they realised their beloved cat wasn't there, they searched all over the house and garden, but it was no use. That night, Catrina didn't want to go to bed. She was too upset. When she finally fell asleep, her cheeks were wet with tears. Milly was her best friend - who was she going to play with, now?! Maybe Milly didn't like her, anymore. Catrina tossed and turned, wondering how she could make it up to her beloved cat - if she ever came home...
Meanwhile, Milly had dashed into the woods behind the house. There, she curled up beneath a bush and slipped into a peaceful slumber.
"HEY!" A loud voice woke her up and Milly blinked, sleepily. Another, bigger cat was prodding Milly's tail. "This is my spot," the other cat said.
"Oh," Milly sighed. "Sorry." She slunk off, deeper into the woods, until she saw a group of birds, bathing in a large puddle. Suddenly, Milly was overwhelmed with an urge to chase them and she bounded over, hissing.
"STOP THAT!" A much larger bird flew down from a nearby tree. He flapped his wings so loudly that Milly stopped in her tracks. The bird shook his head. "We live peacefully here," he said. "No chasing!"
"Oh," Milly said. "Peace is exactly what I'm looking for."
"Well then, don't pick on us," the bird replied and the whole group flew back up into the treetop.
Milly plodded on, deeper into the woods. Suddenly, the sound of footsteps and laughter echoed all around. A family came running towards her, with two dogs off their leads. Milly yelped and darted into a bush to hide. She lay for a while, with her heart hammering in her chest, before she dared to come out again.
The woods backed on to a busy, working farm. Every time Milly settled down to snooze in the sun, she'd be woken by the noisy animals, or a tractor engine humming, or the shouting of the farm workers, as they laughed and joked together. Try as she might, Milly simply couldn't get any rest.
As the hours ticked by, the woods began to get darker and darker. Strange shadows appeared and unfamiliar noises frightened Milly. She sighed heavily; the peace and quiet she had longed for was nowhere to be found. And strangely, she was missing Catrina. She was missing her over-enthusiastic games and her endless cuddles and kisses. Slowly, Milly began to make her way back out of the woods and towards the houses again. As she did, she heard a voice. A voice that sounded like it was calling her name...
Milly began to bound towards the sound, her fur standing on end. Faster and faster she ran, until she recognised Catrina's mother, standing in the doorway of their house. "Oh, Milly!" She cried, as she saw the cat. "Wherever have you been?!"
Milly hurried into the house and hopped straight onto the living room windowsill. There, she lay, watching the lights in the houses all around slowly switching off as people went to bed. Before long, it was quiet and Milly finally had the peace she'd been looking for.
At least until Catrina woke up the next day...