Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
- TITLE: Just So’s You Remember – I’M the Boss
By Lyn Churchyard
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“John, it’s your home, you and Deb can get a rhinoceros if you want.”
“It’s your home too, and you’ll be the one spending the most time with her.”
“It’s fine by me, I’ll bath her and change her diaper and fix her bottle.” I was really warming to the idea of having a new baby to care for... even if she did have four legs.
My son-in-law grinned; after 19 years of being married to my daughter, he was quite used to my humour.
The one thing none of us had considered doing however, was discussing this with His Majesty, Napoleon. Yes, that’s right – Napoleon.
Napoleon is our four year old, twenty-pound Oriental– jet black, long, lean, muscled and looking for all the world like a small panther. We had no idea what a kerfuffle our new family member would cause.
Calliope a.k.a. Cally, a.k.a. fuzz-ball, arrived the following day looking just like a ball of black mohair wool with four white paws, a miniscule white tip on her curly tail, a white chest and a white patch of hair on her forehead that curled into an almost perfect question mark. Did I mention she was cute? She had the longest eyelashes I have ever seen on a pup, and so tiny was our new baby she could fit in your cupped hands.
Enter His Majesty – Lord-of-all-I-survey – Napoleon. He swaggered past the lounge and stopped in shock as an unfamiliar scent assailed his nostrils. He turned and stared; his eyes becoming as large as saucers. Cally lay blissfully unaware, dreaming her sweet puppy dreams. He sniffed the tiny ball of fluff and let loose the most blood curdling scream I have ever heard from a cat. He almost doubled in size as his hair stood on end and a stream of snarls and hisses followed the scream and any attempt to placate him with hugs and his favourite treat only enraged him further.
He retreated to the top level of his cat palace, six feet above ground and continued to make known his displeasure. For five days he refused to allow anyone to come near him or even speak to him and any attempt to pick him up sent him into a paroxysm of snarling and hissing. We are talking serious feline temper tantrum here.
Day Six and we tried a new tactic to break through the barriers of fury and resentment. No one attempted to touch His Majesty without first washing their hands. Ahhh, at last we had a minor breakthrough. The King deigned to submit to words of praise, terms of endearment and even some gentle stroking.
Day Seven and he condescended to sit on my lap with the ‘baby’ asleep on the sofa next to me but any movement from the little princess resulted in bared teeth and snarls.
We wondered how much longer this could go on and were beginning to tire of His Lordship’s snit, when on the eighth day, Calliope decided she was tired of lying ‘doggo’ and advised His Majesty she wanted to play tag. It began with a little bounce towards him. He swatted her (no claws thankfully) and then she ran around him in circles before giving him an Ewok style growl and bounced at him again. He ran and she chased him as he took refuge in his tower.
From here, I fast forward to Day Twenty One. There is a thunder of hooves (a little poetic license to increase the drama) as Napoleon and Calliope chase each other down the hall before spinning around and repeating the chase in the opposite direction. There is an all out wrestling match where a three pound ball of fluff leaps on a twenty pound bundle of muscle, claws and fangs. The dining table and chairs have become their personal chicane and the tiled hallway their skating rink. An hour passes before these two former adversaries collapse exhausted on my bed where they fall asleep side-by-side, the picture of perfect harmony.
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