Dear friends and fans of mine, I’ve had a wonderful adventure and I can’t wait to tell you about it! My story cannot begin, though, until I tell you one historical fact: My name is Zoe the Fabulous Feline, I live with Emily, and I write about our adventures . . . well, my adventures. Emily never has any. With that out of the way, on to my latest adventure!
It had its start on a beautiful day during New England’s recent run of un-winter-like winter weather. The tops of the trees in our backyard were swaying slightly, hinting of a gentle breeze blowing over the land. (Do not be surprised, dear reader. Cats can wax poetic when the mood strikes.) The sun was shining brightly, and I was—as usual—inside, basking in the sun’s warmth through the glass of our deck doors, when I decided that I’d had it. It was just not satisfying to sit indoors one minute longer. I’d had enough of reflected heat and imaginings. I wanted to be outside in that sunshine. I wanted to feel that breeze ruffle my fur. So, I headed for the door.
Oh, I do apologize, but I must interrupt my poetic path to give you one important update. Some time ago, my human discovered that I had been sneaking out now and again. At first, she gave me the evil eye, then a scolding, and finally a promise that she would never again leave the door ajar. (Was I supposed to applaud that promise?) It was her duty to keep me safe and she was going to do just that, by golly, because “you know—there are things out there that are dangerous to cats, like dogs and . . . and . . . fleas!” What is it with her and fleas, anyway? She’s mentioned them before, but I have yet to meet one. I think that, if and when I do, it will want to be my friend.
So many times I sat by the back door, and if she was in the room, I would stare wistfully over my shoulder at her. That ploy never worked, though. Mostly, I bided my time, just waiting for the occasional instance when she would once again (never say never) absentmindedly leave the door ajar and out I would go! Finally, she installed a pet door. I don’t know if that was an act of compassion or resignation. But that does not matter to me. All that matters is that I now have total freedom to come and go as I pleased. As I should, right? Right!
Back to my story, which, as you may have guessed by now, resumes with my going out the pet door and into the sunshine. At first, I enjoyed just stretching out on the warm wood of the deck, feeling the air blow through my fur coat, but soon enough I got the urge to roam.
I was strolling through the backyards of all the houses on our street, and jumping fences to explore surrounding streets as well. Soon, I heard the sweetest voice, and followed it to a house with a wrap-around porch. My eyes spied a young girl sitting on the steps. With my sharp feline vision, I could see her face in some detail; she had light eyes, and curly reddish-blonde hair. When she smiled, deep dimples appeared on her cheeks.
Sitting at her feet was the cutest canine I’d ever seen. He had silky, light brown fur with a white chest (sort of like mine), and a face as sweet as apple pie. His tail wagged, seemingly with all the power it could muster, as the girl petted him, sweet-talking all the while. I overheard his name: Bailey.
From the fence line, as I watched Bailey enjoying all the attention being lavished on him, I saw something sinister slowly moving toward them. I’d never seen anything like this creature. It had skin like an alligator’s (I never saw one of those, either, but I saw a photo once, in a story penned by the infamous Danny the Dog). Below its mouth sagged a large waddle of skin rimmed with spiky points. Its tail was longer than anything I’d ever seen. Its legs were short and fat, and they bottomed out into thick and dangerous-looking claws. But worse than all that, if it were possible for anything to be worse than all that, it had these sharp spikes on top of its head, around its midsection, and—well, pretty much all over. Short, long, thin, thick—they all seemed deadly. This was, indeed, a scary-looking monster! It continued moving slowly, stopping on its way toward the pair, flicking its long red tongue into the air a few times before resuming its stealthy crawl toward the girl and her dog.
At first, I thought Bailey would protect the girl from the monster, but he did not so much as look up, let alone growl to scare it away. Bailey was not paying attention. My heart began to race as I feared what this monster was up to, and realized that I was going to have to rescue her from that . . . that thing.
I charged toward the house but stopped short at the bottom step. Because joining the porch scene was a fine feline specimen.
Surely, the two of us could scare that monster away and maybe Bailey would jump in then, too, if for no other reason than to save face. I got to the top step at about the same time the spikey monster approached the girl’s side. It seemed strange to me that neither Bailey nor the girl was the least bit startled by the appearance of this evil-looking creature.
Then the most amazing thing happened. The spikey monster, looking like it was actually smiling, sidled up to the girl, who picked it up. Yes, that’s right; she picked that thing up and, laughing, put it right on her lap! Its body flattened out like a pancake as it sat on her lap, soaking up the sun’s rays. What a strange looking thing it was.
Bailey gave the monster a lick, and the feline started rubbing his head against the girl’s arm. It sure looked as if the girl needed no help at all. In fact, it looked like they all were having a great time. More curious than I’ve ever been, I stepped onto the porch and sat a minute, staring at the cute girl with the strange menagerie.
The girl beckoned me forward with the usual, “Here, kitty, kitty.”
Really? I am Zoe, the Fabulous Feline, and normally I would never respond to “kitty, kitty.” But I made an exception in this case. She seemed kind and clearly loved all manner of creatures, so I forgave her that little transgression and walked up to her. As she stroked my head, she wondered aloud what my name was. I said simply, “Zoe.” I left off “the Fabulous Feline” because she clearly had some fabulous creatures of her own in her life.
She smiled and said, “Zoe, I would like ya ta meet my best friends. Pointing to the cat and stroking it beneath its chin, she said “This be Scourge.” Scourge purred hello. Petting the dog, she said, “My best friend, sure enough . . . Bailey.” (I knew that.) Baily gave me a little woof and a sniff. And finally, looking down at the thing in her lap, she said, “And this guy’s name is Spikey.” (Of course it is.) He croaked or something. She added, “He is a bearded dragon, he be.”
A dragon? Yikes! I sat back on my haunches at that. She noticed and said, “Ya don’t have ta worry, Zoe. He is harmless, sure enough. My name is Aoibha (‘Ava’). I am visiting here from Ireland. I’m pleased ta meet ya, I am.” Sitting contently all around her, we listened to her wonderful stories about Ireland.
She had a funny way of speaking, but its very difference was part of what made her so appealing. Her voice was soft and kind, almost musical. Aoibha had such a twinkle in her eye and a pretty smile. And those dimples! She was much cuter than any member of her menagerie, although handsome Scourge could have given her a run for her money.
And that is how I met—and fell in love with—the Irish gang.
I will be so sad when they go back to Ireland, but for now I will enjoy their company. I told Aoibha and the gang that I would be back tomorrow. I wanted to go home and find my best friend, Bella, so I could tell her all about my new friends and make plans for a group get-together. Bella is a dog, and I will have to be careful when I describe Bailey to her. Either she will be jealous. Or she will want to meet him . . . like pronto!
P.S. I bet you think my new friends were made up just for my story. But, nope, they were not; they are, every one, real beings. And now I’d like to add a few words about my new friend Aoibha.
I was happy to meet and am so glad to know this young writer. She was only ten years old when she wrote her debut book, Pegasus Rewritten. A magical romp involving best friends (human and animal), and secrets to be revealed, Aoibha’s story is a wonder and a winner!
I agree with what Danny said when he, not too long ago, requested you good folks to buy and review the book. I would add that, by helping out this fledgling writer, you will be creating good Karma, and may be taken back to a time in your life when you believed. Perhaps you have a youngster in your life who might also enjoy the story. Perhaps one day many of us will say, “I knew her when . . .”
Pegasus Rewritten is a great read. So, I agree with Danny. If you would be so kind as to buy it and leave a review on Amazon, you would make young Aoibha a very happy young lady!
Emily’s Sunrise Editing Services
You can catch up with any Zoe the Cat Posts you may have missed, by any of the following three means:
Clicking on the Zoe the Cat tag at the bottom of her posts
The Categories Cloud in the right column and clicking on Zoe the Cat
Typing Zoe into the Search box top right of blog and Enter or Return