Surprise!

photo courtesy pixabay.com

“Go Scooby Go!”

I couldn’t help but yell at the television, after all, I felt invested in this show, and I needed to cheer on my favorite great dane and his hipster friend.

Crash!  Scooby collided with the Miner Forty-Niner sending dust everywhere.

“Yes!”

I turned to see the exuberant face of the oversized orange cat sitting next to me on the sofa.  He held up his paw, and I leaned over and high-fived him.  I mean every time Scooby and the Gang catches a villain is cause for celebration, right?

“That Shaggy and Scooby are some team, right Cindee?”

“They sure are Rapi!  I wonder who that Miner Forty-Niner is,” I asked, unable to restrain my curiosity. 

As if reading our minds, the mask was pulled from the old miner’s head revealing the culprit beneath.

“Hank,” Rapi and I roared out loud in surprise along with the Scooby Gang.

“I don’t believe it.  He seemed like such a good guy,” I said, glancing over at the cat.

“I know,” the orange felines face couldn’t belie how stunned he was by the revelation either.

“Cindee!  Rapi!”

I gave a side eyed glance to the source of the squeaky voice.

“Just a second Yehudi,” Rapi said, shushing the little black cat.

“But,” the tuxedo cat began to protest, her tiny frame bouncing around in front of us.

“Yehudi … a minute,” the orange cat reminded her in a very scolding manner.

“ … and I would have gotten away with it too if it hand’t been for you meddling kids,” Rapi and I shouted the iconic lines together with the villain on the television.

Yehudi stared at the two of us, wide-eyed, mouth agape.  We didn’t pay her any mind though, instead, we burst out into gut busting laughter.

“Every time,” I gasped, trying to get the words out.

“I know, but it never gets old,” Rapi exclaimed teary-eyed.

The black cat cleared her throat, then gazed at us, obviously annoyed.  I fell silent, but the orange cat was too far gone.  He was laughing so hard that he rolled over onto his back and fell off the sofa.

“Guys!”

Though it was a squeak, Yehudi’s voice contained enough anger and frustration to garner our attention.  Quietly, we sat and stared at Yehudi for a moment waiting for her to speak.

“This is important, something is wrong,” the black cat huffed.

“What is it Yehudi,” I asked, trying to remain calm and in control of my emotions.

“Its … its … its Mommy,” she stuttered.

“Follow me!”

I gulped, rose to my feet and almost fell over.  Yehudi’s words had struck me at the very core of my being, and I was panicked.

‘C’mon Cindee, let’s go,” Rapi squealed.

I took a deep breath then staggered along behind the two cats.

Yehudi held her paw to her lips, motioning for us to hush our voices.  A chubby grey and white cat sat with her body pressed tightly to the wall and her ear cocked towards the kitchen door, taking great care to remain out of sight.

“What’s going on Bella,” I asked the grey and white feline.

“Shhhhh,” her response was directed at me.

“But,” the orange cat began to interject.

“Quiet Rapi,” Bella hissed.

His eyes went wide, but he took heed of Bella’s warning and didn’t make another peep. 

Now that silence had washed over the room, we were all able to focus on the conversation taking place over the kitchen table.

“It’s another little mouth to feed and we didn’t even talk to Cindee and the cats about it,” Mommy’s voice wafted out from the other side of the wall.

“They will be fine with this, Cindee is a loving dog, and the cats are too,” Daddy said reassuringly.

“Are you sure, it was so hard after we lost the last one,”

I could hear the pain and heartbreak in Mommy’s voice.  I remember the day she lost her baby so well.  The cold crisp air, the snow falling, but most of all, I remember all of the tears.  Too many tears.  The memory made my tummy flip flop.  Sure, it could be perfect, and we could all be happy, but what if.  What if Mommy lost this baby too?

I could feel the cat’s eyes burrowing into my back, when I chose to sneak off instead of hanging around and eavesdropping any longer.   

“Mommy is having a baby,” I mumbled over my shoulder to the pride of felines.

“A baby,” they murmured amongst themselves.

“A baby,” I whispered to myself.  My nerves were on fire.  I was torn between thoughts of joy and memories of sorrow.

I had to get away, but all of the cat’s save for Yehudi followed me up the stairs and onto the bed.  We all sat in silence, me with nothing to say, and them, unsure what to say.  In the quiet of the moment, I stared out the window at the back yard where a flock of robins had gathered.  Above them in the sky where a couple of huge fluffy white clouds, which floated past our window and out of view.  Everything was changing.  We were in a new home in a different neighborhood.  All our old friends were far far away, I mean at least five or six blocks, and now, this.

The sound of little paws intruded on my thoughts.  They started at the bottom of the stairs and pitter pattered their way all the way up ending with the whoosing sound of a skinny cat landing on a soft mattress.

All eyes focused on Yehudi.

“Well,” Bella asked.

“They said they are not going to tell us, they want it to be a surprise,” the little black cat answered.

“Oh,” Rapi said, sounding disappointed.

“Why would they not tell us,” Yehudi asked, her left eye blinking and the whiskers on her right-side twitching.

Nobody answered right away.  It was a good question and the more I thought about it the more unsure I was. 

“People are funny about sex and babies,” I finally answered, unsure of why this was.

“I don’t see anything funny about it,” the black cat said, her face not even trying to hide how confused she was.

“Not funny ha ha,” Rapi broke in.

“Right, like funny strange.  They get all uncomfortable talking about these types of things,” I said.

Yehudi thought about that for a moment.

“Is that why they don’t like you doing the humpty hump with the pillows?”

“It is,” I said, covering my mouth with my paw to stifle a rising giggle.  Rapi on the other hand made no attempt to disguise his eye rolling.

A scowl had begun to form on the little felines face.

Rapi slapped his forehead with his paw at the realization that we were about to go down some sort of rabbit hole so to speak.

“Where do babies come from anyway,” the black cat blurted out.

Bella and Rapi looked at each other and nodded.

“I got that thing I need to take care of,” the orange cat said, trying to sound apologetic, but not doing a very good job of it.

“I will help you with that,” Bella offered.  Together the two cats leapt from the bed and made a bee-line for the door without so much as a glance over their shoulder.

“Humpf,” the breath escaped my lips unintentionally.  Luckily for me though, Yehudi did not catch it.

“Cindee!”

“Huh? What is it Yehudi?”

“Babies!  Where do they come from,” she reminded me of the question.

“Well …”

The morning had passed slowly.  Mommy and Daddy had been acting strangely since the conversation in the kitchen last weekend and today had been the strangest day of all.  The alarm went off at seven in the morning.  Seven.  On a Sunday?  Strange!  Even more intriguing was that Mommy was outside vacuuming the car an hour later.  I mean who cleans the car at eight in the morning on a Sunday.  Nobody, right?

On top of all of that, they were gone before nine o’clock.  It seemed obvious to me that something was up, but I seemed to be the only one to notice this.  Really, there was nothing I could do about it either, so I chose to lounge around on the sofa and keep an eye on Yehudi, who was staring out the window.

“Hey!”

Rapi’s voice had interrupted the silence that had fallen over the house. 

“Oh, hey Rapi,” I called back to the ginger feline.

He didn’t answer, but instead strolled across the room, his large belly rolling from side to side like a ship being tossed in a story sea, until he reached the chaise that I was sprawled out on.

“What’s that crazy cat doing,” he asked, nodding towards Yehudi.

“Oh her?  She is just waiting for the stork,” I answered matter of factly.

The orange cat’s gaze shifted from the tuxedo cat sitting at vigil by the window to me, but his expression still said nutjob.

“Stork,” he finally brought himself to ask the question.

“Yeah, remember Yehudi wanted to know where babies come from?”

“Ah, stork,” he said, understanding completely now.

“Nutjob,” Bella’s voice came from the stairs.

“I ain’t no nutjob,” Yehudi called over her shoulder without removing her eyes from the landscape on the other side of the glass pane.

“Whatever,” Rapi chuckled to himself.

“Look!  Mommy and Daddy are home … and they have a strange box,” the tuxedo cat said rising to her feet.

Rapi and I glanced at each other, then dashed off to the window to see for ourselves.  Surprisingly, Bella zoomed past us and arrived their first.

“They are coming up the porch steps,” Rapi said, jumping up and down and pointing out the window at them.

The doorknob began to jiggle.  I could feel the anticipation rising.  It felt like there was a giant lump of food stuck in my throat.  The door swung open.

“Hey guys we have a surprise,” Daddy said setting the box down gently on the floor.  We all raced over to see what it was.  Well, almost all of us.  Yehudi remained in front of the window.

“C’mon Yehudi,” I called, but the black cat would not budge.

“I need to stay here and wait for the stork,” she squeaked.

“Whatever,” Rapi grumbled.

Mommy got down on one knee and opened the door to the box.  We all stared wide-eyed waiting for something to happen.  Even Yehudi.

A few seconds had passed, and nothing had happened.  Hy heart began to thump in my chest and my mouth went dry.

Another moment passed.  Still nothing.

“I can’t take this anymore.  What is it,” Rapi moaned.

Just then a tiny black nose and a set of whiskers emerged from the opening.

“What the …” Bella stopped mid-sentence.

A little cream-colored face popped out of the box, followed by a playful bark.  Bella fell over.

“A dog,” Rapi squealed.

“OMG, it’s a puppy,” I howled in excitement.

“It’s a little tan you, Cindee,” Rapi bellowed.

“What about the stork,” Yehudi pleaded.

“Oh, for goodness’ sake, there is no stork,” Rapi grumbled.

“This is the baby,” I explained to the little tuxedo cat.

Yehudi’s eyes lit up.  Finally, she understood.  The little black cat hopped off the table landing on the floor with a gentle thud, then trotted over to the puppy.

“I am not the baby anymore,” she said looking at us for confirmation, which she got via a group smile.

“Hello there.  My name is Yehudi,” the cat said in the gentlest voice she could find.

The puppy trotted over to her until they touched noses.

“Hey Habooty, my name is Mylo,” the little furry lab said with a giggle.

We all surrounded our new brother and gave him a big welcome to the family. 

What had started out as a strange day, ended as a joyous one.  There was one more soul to love and share experiences with.  Though it has only been a few days, I know I will always remember fondly the day Mylo found his forever home!

Author: H. Scott Moore

I am originally from Western New York, where I grew up enjoying the rhythm of life in the changing of seasons. I am an inquisitive animal lover who enjoys trying to experience and write about life from their point of view. When I am not writing the stories that are inspired by Cindee and her gang, I can be found exploring nature or reading a good book.

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