Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!
Another short piece, inspired partly by the cats who visit our garden (who aren’t as friendly as the fictional cat in this piece) and partly by my friend, who’s trying, and failing, to resist a beautiful white cat who visits her!
Onto the story!
I’d always wanted a pet, so when the ginger tabby leapt over the fence and into my garden a delighted smile lit my face. Silhouetted by the sunrise, his golden fur was regal, like a small lion cub, and his movements as he leapt down into the tall grass were just as graceful.
We never mowed the lawn much, but he didn’t mind. Stalking through the grass like a predator, he skirted the edge of the fence and kept his wary eyes on me as I watched his progress through the window. Closer to the house he slunk, until with a grin I gave a small wave.
He froze, wide eyes fixed on me from his position near the plum tree. There was a second or two impasse, where neither of us dared to move, before he bolted over the fence.
It wasn’t the last I saw of him. A couple of days later he was back, crouched low and nearly hidden in the grass as I sipped my morning coffee. Then, fast as lightning, he leapt, and a paw shot out towards a bumble bee. I winced, but the bee escaped and the cat seemed unscathed.
It was then he spotted me, staring at him through the back door. He stared back, but this time froze for only a moment before he continued to frolic on the lawn. He remained undisturbed until I set my cup down and turned the key in the lock. Ears pricked up, his head shot up from where he lay upside down on the grass, and he shot to his paws. Over the fence and away.
Sat watching TV a few nights later, curtains open and sky pitch black outside, I heard a thud and a clatter over our fence. I flinched and clutched my chest as he appeared suddenly on the windowsill. Deep yellow eyes were drawn to the TV, but eyes on him I missed the explosion, and the resulting bang from the speakers made me jump out of my skin.
Startled by my sudden movement, the cat fled across the lawn. I flicked on a light to illuminate the garden and gasped. Suspended halfway up a tree, he glared at me as if to say, ‘This is your fault, human.’ When I stood and opened the door, concerned he might be stuck, he bolted.
A week after the incident with the tree, I was sprawled on the grass scribbling in my notebook when he leapt over the fence. He paused, eyes fixed on me, but a scream of childish joy from the house for sale next door seemed to make his decision for him.
He cautiously crept across the grass, nose turned up as he sniffed the flowers, and tail swishing as he ducked to watch grasshoppers leap. After a lap of the garden, where he avoided coming too close, he settled on the grass and licked his paws. As the sun moved across the sky he rolled over and stretched, before he curled up and dozed. I smiled and went back to my notes.
After our cautious stalemate he became bold. Sat in the garden, chicken sandwich for lunch, he approached me with cautious steps, tail swishing, and sat close by. I reached out a tentative hand, and to my delight he let me stroke soft fur more than once before he strode away to drink from our pond. It was only then I realised half the chicken in my sandwich was gone.
Later that day I spotted a drenched cat leaping over the fence, and hastened to put out a bowl of water so he’d avoid the pond in future. I could only imagine the owner’s distaste when he showed up covered in pond water, and for once I was glad he wasn’t my cat.
The next day he nuzzled my legs as I took out the trash, and I nearly tripped over him as he slunk away to drink from the bowl. I smiled as I opened the bins, but when I turned back he was gone. I stepped through the open back door, towards my chair and my book, only to find him curled up asleep on it. I sighed, left the door open for him, and cleaned the kitchen instead.
He’d sneak in often after that, over the summer when I left the door ajar, and if I were already in that chair he’d curl up on my lap. Stroking a hand through his fur, or watching him jump on my kitchen counters and stride around like he owned the place, I almost forgot he wasn’t my cat.
Then one day he stopped coming around. I’d noticed the ‘For Sale,’ sign become a ‘Sold,’ sign in next door’s garden, but I wasn’t sure he was their cat until the day they left. A tear slid down my cheek as it hit me. He wasn’t my cat, and now I’d never see him again.
Thanks for reading!
Our neighbours cat really did fall in our pond. He loves to chase frogs, and the smell when he got home must’ve been terrible! I’ll miss him if they move house. He’s so fun to watch!
Why not write a short story or poem based on a prompt?
The prompts for June are:
One word not enough? I post expanded prompts weekly on Pinterest:
‘You can’t keep it as a pet! It’s a wild animal. Where would you even keep something so big?’If you use one of the monthly prompts or the expanded prompt to write a story, feel free to share your blog links below.
Feeling creative? I also run a weekly hashtag game on Twitter, #sunscribbles, where you can share one-off lines or quotes from a #WIP around the weekly prompt!
See you next week!