Stranger Danger

The sun had gone down, and a deep chill had settled over the neighborhood.  A gentle breeze had been stirred up, rattling the naked tree branches against the front window.  Winter was upon us, and I was happy.

What can I say?  I simply adore the cold nights; it makes snuggling up in the covers simply delicious.  And the fire.  Did I tell you about the fire?  Lounging in front of the crackling blaze and letting the warmth cover my fluffy black and white body like a blanket.  Simply perfect!

My daydream is suddenly shattered by the horrid feeling of my old cat toy, now soaked with dog spit, bouncing off my head and rolling to a stop less than a foot away from me.  I knew what was about to happen next, but much to my dismay, it happened before I had a chance to fully prepare myself for it.

A big tan puppy came roaring past me, knocking me over in his zeal to get to his beloved ball.

“Hey! Watch it Mylo,” I hissed at the mutt.

He stopped just long enough to acknowledge my outburst with a grin, then scooped the toy up and dashed back towards the sofa where Daddy sat, kissing an old chocolate labmix on the nose.

“Toss the ball Daddy!  Toss the ball,” Mylo shouted, all the while dancing around the old man with glee.

“Beat it, Mylo!  Daddy is giving me love,” the brown dog barked angrily at the puppy.

“C’mon Cindee, he can do both,” the tan canine protested, but the brown floppy eared canine scowled back in return.

“Needy dogs,” I grumbled under my breath then rolled my eyes.

“Why can’t they be cool just like us cats,” a shrill squeak asked.

Caught off guard, I leaped into the air and landed on all fours, where I came face to face with the voice’s owner.

“Don’t sneak up on me like that Bella,” I grumbled at the grey and white cat who had seemingly appeared out of nowhere and who now stared me down with her big aqua colored eyes.

“Sorry, Yehudi,” she answered in a tone that did not really sound all that apologetic.

I was about to launch into a speech about the importance of manners when I was boorishly interrupted by a loud knock on the door.

“They are here,” Cindee shouted.

“Yahoo,” Mylo howled.

“Run Yehudi, it’s stranger danger,” Bella screamed at the top of her lungs, then took her own advice and sprinted for the stairs and the safety of the second floor.

Of course, I passed her on the way up.

Bella and I had snuggled up in our favorite spot, in front of the heater between the bed and the wall.  Warm air filtered out between the slots in the vent and gently blew our fur about.  It was exquisite.

What wasn’t splendid was the ethereal, yet delectable scent of yumminess wafting up from the dining room below us just to tickle our noses and torture our tummies.

“Every darn Saturday night they do this,” Bella spat out angrily. 

I nodded in agreement.

“They have those … those … people over here,” she hurumphed.

“Rude,’ I muttered.  It was all I could get out.  The aroma of tomato sauce, cheese, spices, olives, and peppers all came together to taunt me.

“I just can’t believe …”

That was the last thing I heard come from Bella’s mouth.  After months of smelling this delicious delicacy each week, I had finally been broken.  Done in by fresh mozzarella.

My little pink nose rose into the air and began to sniff.  It was a tiny snuffle at first, but before long it had turned into deep luscious inhales.  Before I knew what was happening, I was following the scent down the steps like a hound dog on the trail of its prey.

The bewitchment that the pizza had put upon me was suddenly lifted from me once I hit the bottom of the stairs and saw … them!

“Oh, Kitty,” the young woman said, pointing directly at me.  My mouth fell open and I froze in place.  Everyone turned to look at me, but much to my relief nobody made a move for me.

“Oh, it’s Yehudi,” Mommy cooed.

Her voice was enough to break me out of my trance.  I quickly tip-toed along the wall and to the sofa.  Hiding in the corner, I let myself catch my breath and replayed what I had seen.  First, there were the dogs.  The dumb pooches, lay sprawled out on the sofa each of them with their head in one of the strangers’ laps.  They were asking for trouble.

Then there was the other one.  The big fat orange cat lounged in front of the fireplace, his tail flipping and flopping from one side to the other.  He was one of my own kind.  I had to do something to try and save him.

“Rapi,” I whispered his name.

He raised his head just long enough to see who it was that had called him, and upon realizing it was me, he went back to snoozing in front of the flames.

“Heck with him,” I grumbled quietly,

Unable to go back the way I had come, I decided to scamper along behind the sofa until I reached the other side.  It wasn’t until I got there that I realized that now I couldn’t see anything.

I closed my eyes and listened to the sound of my heart thudding in my chest.  What had I done? 


It was Bella.  She had come to save me.  Without thinking, I hopped up onto the arm of the sofa so that I could see her.  Much to my horror, the young woman who had pointed me out earlier was sitting right next to me.  That was all Bella needed to make a hasty retreat up the stairs.

I sat paralyzed staring at the woman while she stretched out her arm and extended it until her hand came to rest on my head. 

It was gentle.  Almost imperceptible at first, but then she ran her fingers the length of my back, tickling me in the most marvelous of ways until in some unfathomable way I found myself on the young lady’s lap, making a raucously delicious purring sound. 

“Yehudi,” I said to myself, “Saturday nights will never be the same again.” 

Just like that, my head drooped, my eyes fell shut and I dozed off into the most sensational dreams that I have ever dared to dream. 

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