Excerpt from Chapter 5 -Tate and Joey, a.k.a. The Fuzz Brothers

Note:  Tate and Joey are two cats Sarge meets . . . buckle up!



“I think Tate is just sizing up the dawg,” said Kurt. “And Sarge is wagging his tail, so that’s a good sign. I don’t think Tate really knows what to make of him, so he’s evaluating what Sarge is actually up to.”

If you are just gonna stand there and stare, I believe I’ll go over to the sliding glass doors and see what’s outside. Maybe I can get a glimpse of those ducks Aunt Bethany was telling me about. I whirled around to trot over to the doors when I heard a “Meeeoowww!” just as that pesky cat had the nerve to jump onto my back!

Kurt and Bethany started laughing. “Oh boy, Sarge—he’s done that to Joey several times, and they end up rolling around on the floor, so now we’ll see what you are made of!” Kurt hollered. I know you just want to play, but I DO NOT allow cats on my back. Therefore, you’d better hold on, Fuzz Ball, ‘cause you’re gonna get the ride of your life! You’ll be off my back in no time.

To that end, I began racing around the apartment as fast as my short legs would go, with Tate hanging on for all he was worth. I looked back over my shoulder: You won’t be holding on for long, my dear Cattiness! Around the living room we sped, dodging furniture and displacing throw rugs, then into the kitchen where we skidded across the vinyl floor, disturbing a dishtowel hanging on the oven door. It came loose and landed on top of Tate’s head. Kurt, who had been following us with glee, yelled to Bethany, “Hey, Tate looks like an Arabian sheik on a runaway horse!”

As we thundered on through the dining room, under the table and around the chairs, Bethany fell onto the couch hysterical, nearly choking. I had to hand it to him: Sheik Tate was still hanging on as we dashed down the hall. I didn’t know what was down that way, but I’d shortly find out. Glancing back at Tate still gripping my short fur tightly, I didn’t really appreciate his claws digging into my back: Had enough yet? No? Okay, then, here we go again!

As we rounded the doorway, we skidded into a room which appeared to be an office. Something smelled extremely unpleasant in there—oh, that gray plastic container must be what they call a “litter box.” DISGUSTING. Avoiding that, I turned sharply beside a bookcase and zoomed back out into the hall and across to the other room. With the sharp turn, Tate slipped down to my side, but managed to climb back on and get a better grip—ouch—and held grimly on.

This room had to be the bedroom—I saw a bed on the other side of the room as well as other bedroom furniture. I immediately planned on diving under the bed because I calculated that it was too low for Tate under there, too, so I’d be able to unseat him in my ensuing dive.

As I raced toward the bed, preparing to dive, a loud hiss emanated from underneath it, so I immediately decided to change course. Aha—so that is where Joey’s hiding. I’ll make a mental note of that so I can annoy him later. Bound for the closet now with Tate meowing loudly, it sounded like he was getting tired of hanging on. Well, I was getting tired of his hanging on, too, so we made a couple of laps around the closet floor, knocking shoes out of their orderly placement and scattering a stack of magazines in the corner. I still felt the pain of his claws digging in as we shot back into the living room once again!

Kurt and Bethany were sitting on the floor in a fit of laughter and wiping their eyes. Holding their digital camera, Kurt apparently planned to take our picture as we galloped past them. So—you want something to remember this moment, do you? Well, get ready to take the snapshot of your life!

I darted in front of them, then stopped abruptly, causing Tate’s back paws to loosen their grip. His body, except for his front paws and head, shot upward, then back down; the sudden stop caused him to fall forward, nearly over my head. Kurt managed to snap the picture just as Tate was in midair, barely hanging on with his front paws.

Tate landed on my back once again, so I dived under the end table, where Tate finally let go and fell off—his dishtowel “head covering” on the floor beside him. Rolling onto his back, he looked up at Bethany and Kurt as if to say, “What in the world happened??” I made my way over to the fireplace and flopped down, my work done. I was tired, too.  <{{{<

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