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by David Yehudah, Bellflower, CA, USA


They're doing it again!

Patty's always picking up small toys she can let her kindergarten class play with and learn at the same time. Today she brought in a box of small super-balls, all the same color, and set them on the counter. I just had to see if the cats would play with them. I knew Mac would, so I closed him in the other room.

I waved one of the balls in Willoughby's face until I had his attention, then bounced it hard on the floor.

"Go get it, Willoughby! Fetch!"

Well, you know how a super-ball bounces. It just kept bouncing and ricocheting off the walls and the floor and the ceiling and Patty and Sasha (much to her disgust), and Willoughby was right behind it. Every time the ball would bounce, so would the cat, but he never could get it right. No matter which way that darn ball bounced, he leaped in the wrong direction, and for a moment there he and the ball were just blurs. He was starting to make noises like Donald Duck.

The ball finally settled down enough that Willoughby could bat it with his paws. At last it stopped. I called and coaxed until he brought it close enough I could wrestle it away from him. Immediately he started leaping in the air and trying to snag the ball, so I threw it again.

"Once more into the jaws of death rode the. . ." whoever it was, but there Willoughby was again, bouncing and leaping and. . .klunk! The ball fell in the basket with the rest of the identical balls, and the cat was right behind it.

He stood on his hind legs, stuck his face down in the basket, looked up at me, and said, "Meeooowwww?" He had the darndest look on his face I've ever seen on a cat. No human could have looked more bumfuzzled and woebegone. Apparently he thought they were ganging up on him or were multiplying or something.

Patty and I both were unable to control our snorts, giggles, heehaws, and other such intemperate sounds of mirth. Willoughby was not amused, but I swear Sasha cracked a smile.

Disgusted, Willoughby sprang to the floor with all the dignity he could muster (which wasn't much, seeing as how he thumped his chin when he landed).

I was trying to help (honest) when I tipped over the basket in his direction and let all the balls at once roll across the counter and cascade over the side right at Willoughby. He took one look, let out a screech you could hear to Jericho, and ran for dear life, each paw running at full gallop in a different direction. He knocked Sasha arse over teacup when she stood up right in his path, whereupon she streaked past him and beat him to the bathroom, slamming the door in his face and leaving him to fight the Bounce Monsters all by himself.

It's always something, isn't it?


Editor's note:


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