Hang Out With Me
Daniel MacKay-Wood, Grade 9A
"I can smell a rat", figuratively speaking of course. I am Danny. I used to hang out with my sister Blacky when we were little but now we only give each other a snide hiss in passing. Our flat mate is an old lady. I help her sometimes and she teaches me cool stuff.
“Oh yes, the rat …” well, I was right because before we knew it, the three of us were gathered up into cat cages and driven to the cattery. The place was nice, with indoor and outdoor areas, a water fountain and a tree but all I could think of was trying to find a place to hide.
We crouched close together, there is safety in numbers, when Gus, a disgusting looking tom cat, approached and said: “Would you ladies like to hang out with me?” I looked at him in disbelief and answered with a sharp: “No.” What was he thinking? He had body odour. His teeth were yellow and there was still food in between them. His mouth stank of fish. He was white with black and brown patches, looking like a pirate with one of the black patches being right over his eye. I, on the other hand, am quite pretty, with slick black fur, white whiskers and a white diamond on my belly.
We found a hideaway and observed the scene. Gus was trying to make friends with everybody but nobody was interested. He pretended not to notice and acted busy. Around the water fountain sat the regulars. Their folks were flight attendants, shift workers and expats. There was Bella the white Chinchilla Persian, Princess the Russian Blue, Tina the Tonkinese and Barbie the Ragdoll. The rest were just on holidays, like us.
Old lady, Miss Kitty, was the first of us to leave the hideaway and make her way to the food bowl when the door opened and a new cat entered. It was Christopher, a Cornish Rex. He was tall and slim but strong and surrounded by an aura of arrogance. He looked weird with the small amount of curly hair. He went straight over to Miss Kitty and bullied her away from the food. Gus stepped forward and screeched: “Take up your positions, everybody.” Within an instant more than a dozen cats strategically surrounded Christopher. Every time he moved another cat took a turn to keep him in check. With a delightful purr Gus called on Miss Kitty to put Christopher in his place. Miss Kitty slowly limped forward with her arthritic legs. She stood right in front of him, reached up and slowly drew her claws over his nose. Christopher winced and retreated.
When our folks came to pick us up I raced through the tunnel into the outdoor area and up the tree where Gus was sitting. He was alone, happily tapping a dead leaf. I sat down next to him and said: “Gus, you can hang out with us any time. We are locals. You'll find us in our garden close by. Just follow your instinct.”