Zoe Meets Burt
Hello dear fans and friends. Zoe here. As you may or may not know, last month I went on a little trip. Since I didn’t have time to write a story before I left, I asked my friend, Burt, to entertain you in my place, but, as promised, I am back!
First, for those who don’t know me, my name is Zoe. I’m a cat writer. Don’t misunderstand. I am not a human named Zoe who writes about cats. I am a cat named Zoe who writes about humans. Sometimes. Other times I write about my adventures or whatever else is on my mind.
Since I had Burt take my place last month—and because his story My Name is Burt was so <ahem> popular—I may as well tell you how we met. Get it out of the way, if you know what I mean. As it happens, Burt is visiting today, and has asked if he can help tell the story. I, being gracious as well as fabulous, said, “Why not?” So, as the song goes, let us entertain you . . .
Burt: Hey, Zoe, can I start?
Zoe: What happened to beauty before age?
Burt: I think that’s “age before beauty,” but let me start anyway. I am the best storyteller!
Zoe: In your dreams, but go ahead.
Burt: Thank you. We met in a dark alley, late on a cold autumn night.
Zoe: It was actually the wee hours of a sunny summer morning.
Burt: That’s not important. Anyway, the most horrible hissing sound I’ve ever heard was coming from one of the alleys in my neighborhood. Being the fearless tom that I am, I marched right over to investigate. And what do I see but my good friend Zoe here—of course, she was not my friend at that time—her back against the building, facing and spitting at half a dozen mean-looking cats!
Zoe: First of all, my back was NOT “against the wall.” I was just sitting near the building, resting. And it was only two cats. I could have taken care of myself easily, thank you very much.
Burt: OK, maybe my memory is a little off, but it was at least four cats, Zoe! They were all toms and they were practically drooling over you, remember? People, listen to me—these toms had something on their minds and Zoe looked scared to death. Why, she was shaking in her little white boots!
Zoe: Whatever . . .
Burt: Right. Anyway, without a moment’s hesitation, I ran into the alley and put myself between Zoe and those alley cats. I hunkered down, ready to spring into action, and let out with a low, menacing growl. For a moment, it was a stand-off. I had to do something to make them leave. I picked out the biggest tom in the group and swiped at him.
Zoe: Come on, Burt. You were the biggest cat there!
Burt: As I was saying, I swiped at the biggest cat but he didn’t move. None of them did. They just sat there, staring at Zoe. I lunged at them, spitting and growling the entire time. My paw connected with at least one nose and that tom let out such a screech, I thought my eardrum would break. I kept it up, biting this one, swiping that one. Finally, they realized they could not overcome me and they turned tail and ran. Zoe came right over to me and, purring softly, rubbed up against my head. To thank me, she invited me over to her house for some refreshments.
Zoe: My friends, let me tell you how it really happened. First of all, if Burt had not interfered and broken my focus, I could’ve had those two toms running away—or eating out of my paw, either one—in a New York minute. They did growl at Burt in a menacing way, and I could see that they were getting into position to spring at him, but he never even noticed. He was too busy flirting with me. The only swiping that went on was by me, when I swiped Burt upside the head and said, “Come on, you. Let’s get out of here . . . pronto, before they kill you!” And we turned tail and ran, never stopping until we were at my house. It is true, though, that I shared my food and water with him. He was so skinny, looked like he hadn’t eaten in weeks.
Zoe: Well, there you have it. That’s how we met and we’ve been good friends ever since. Burt may not have the best memory, but that just makes him that much more fun!
Burt: In closing, let me just say that I agree that we have been good friends ever since that fateful meeting . . . that encounter where, thanks to me, Zoe still has nine lives to live.