Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Matinee

One cold, Saturday morning, Banana watched as Gale walked, back and forth, across the backyard.  Back and forth, back and forth she went.  She appeared to be carrying things, but mostly Banana noticed the back and forth motion, and the footprints Gale was leaving in the snow.  Soon a little path was worn in the snow, and Banana began to wonder if….maybe…she could sneak out…and…skip along the head-high (for her) snow tunnel Gale had made…
All of a sudden, it made sense; Banana knew what Gale was doing, and she ran off to find Cheese.  She knew right where he was—snoozing in the sunbeam—and, because she was so excited, Banana rolled to a stop…on top of Cheese. 
“Ooooooph!” Cheese snorted.  “Get. Off.  What is wrong with you?”
“No time for chit-chat, Cheese!”  Banana huffed.  “You know those treats you have hidden in your secret place on the bookshelf in the basement?”
“What?!” Cheese exclaimed.  “How did you….Banana! I thought I hid them really well this time!”  Cheese’s whiskers twitched; he was angry and surprised.
“No time to talk about your lack of imagination now!  Hurry down and get them, then meet me back at the big window.”
“Ok,” Cheese stretched. 
Banana “helped” him along by giving him a shove.  “Get all of them!  We may be there a while!”
5.3927 minutes later, Cheese struggled up to the floor-to-ceiling window where Banana was already sitting, tail twitching behind her.  He gently dropped the bandana full of cat treats on the floor beside her. 
“Now will you tell me what’s going on?” Cheese demanded. 
Banana shushed him.  “Quiet!  The show’s about to start!”
Cheese looked around.  “Where??”
Banana slowly brought her paw to the window.  “There!  And be quiet.  And hand me a tuna one.”  Her paw slowly moved from the window to Cheese’s bag of cat treats. 
Cheese looked in the direction of Banana’s point.  
“Ooooooh…” was all he could manage.
“Squirrels...I’ve missed them so!” purred Banana.
Indeed, it was quite a show outside the window.  Gale had put fresh corn cobs on the Squirrel Wheel.  The cats watched as the squirrels spun the wheel round and round, in an effort to get kernels off of the cobs.  Cheese noticed the hungry look in Banana’s eyes, so he handed her another tuna treat. 
Gale had also filled the bird feeders.  The two cats didn’t know which way to look as the window suddenly filled with the speckled brown birds (Starlings).  As they landed, Cheese tried to count them, but they were hopping and flitting around too quickly.  “3, 4, 5…11!  Drat!”  In his frustration, Cheese hit his paw on the window.  The starlings scattered.
“Well, thanks to you, it’s Intermission!” Banana growled at Cheese, “I’ll be back in a minute….I’ve got to use the litter box.” 
When Banana returned 3.896 minutes later, it was Cheese’s turn to shush Banana.  “Slowly come up to the window, and quietly look toward the string line.” His paw inched toward the clothes line, where Gale had hung the suet cake.  Banana’s eyes grew bigger as she looked at the black and white spotted bird (Downy Woodpecker) hanging off the wire feeder. 
“I haven’t seen one of those in ages!” Banana excitedly whispered. 
As the afternoon wore on, the cats enjoyed quite a show.  They nibbled treats as they watched all the birds flying up to, and off of, the rapidly emptying feeders.  The cats couldn’t name them, but there were White-Breasted Nuthatches, Chickadees, House Finches, and House Sparrows.  Occasionally, their gaze was drawn up into the trees, where the bright red male Cardinals were resting. 
As the shadows grew longer across the yard, and the cats began to feel drowsy, Cheese reached for one last treat. 
“Hey!  What???  Banana!  Did you eat them ALL?”   His paw moved all around inside the bandana, but all that was left were the crumbs.
“Well,” Banana started to explain, but Cheese’s frantic movements had frightened the birds, and there was a flutter of feathers.  “Cheese!  Drat!  I think our show just ended!”  Banana looked sadly out the window.
“Oh, cheer up, Banana.”  Cheese pointed at some slow-moving birds under the feeder.  The pair of Mourning Doves were joined by some very fat Robins.  “There are still a few to keep you occupied while I….um…look for a new place to hide…errr…store…THESE!”  With that, Cheese jumped up and ran toward the basement, three small treats clutched firmly in his teeth.  They had been hidden under his back paw all afternoon, because, well, Cheese knew how much Banana loved treats. 
Distracted, Banana thought about following Cheese, but in the end, she turned back to the window. 
“I’m too full,” she burped.  “Besides, it’s time for the next show.”
And indeed it was “time for the next show”, as four squirrels scampered down from the back fence and up to the Wheel. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Ghost! A Ghost?

It was late on a rainy fall afternoon; the sun was setting, and Banana was restless.  Today was Halloween--one of Banana's favorite holidays.  She loved greeting the kids that came to the door, dressed in their funny costumes.  She loved watching Cheese as he hid under the bed, because that meant she would get all the head pats from the kids.  And she really, really loved sneaking out to the Cat Halloween party that was held after the people had gone to bed.

But it would be awhile until the excitement.  The people would not be home for at least 127 minutes, Banana had already eaten her second lunch of the day, and now she was bored.

Cheese was quietly snoring in his favorite autumn napping spot--in the corner, behind the chair.  Someone had left a blanket back there, and it was just soooo..soft...

Banana decided to roam the house, carefully inspecting the floor of each room for toys, but found only dust bunnies. 

As she turned the corner into the living room, she noticed a movement in the window.  Glancing up, she saw...a white cat peering back at her.
"Hey!" she shouted.  "Hey!"
As she looked around for something...anything...that would help her get up into the window (she couldn't quite make the jump from floor to bookcase anymore), Cheese poked his head out from behind the chair.

"What?!" he sleepily demanded.

"Look!" Banana pointed.  "That white the window...she's looking at us!  I think she wants to play!"

Cheese looked, stretched, looked again.

"What cat?  Where?"

"THERE!"  Now Banana looked toward the window.......

"That cat was there, I know she was."

"Uh huh," Cheese ducked back behind the chair and turned around so he was facing the wall.  He just knew it was going to be one of those evenings, when Banana was restless and he was not going to get a good nap.   AND, it was Halloween, which meant...shudder....visitors!

"Hmph....I did see that cat....I did...she was looking at me....." Banana muttered as she trudged toward the kitchen.  "Looking at me with one blue eye green eye?"  Banana shook her head.  "No!  That's silly.  I've never seen another cat with one blue eye and one green eye."  Banana burped.  " lunches didn't agree with me....Maybe....the cat...wasn't real?"

Banana sat down by the food dish, thinking.  She reached down for a piece of kibble, and chewed and thought some more.

Before long, the kibble was gone and Banana was sleepy. It was dreary outside, but the porch was dry and she thought maybe the fresh air would help improve her mood.  And, there was that one chair that was a lovely napping spot...

Banana slept for 58 minutes, and when she woke up, she felt much better.  She was surprised to see that evening was settling in and the moon coming up was full and bright.

Banana wondered what she should do until the people came home.  She had already looked for her toys, which were probably hiding from her.  She had already eaten.

Maybe there was a squirrel or two out by the feeder that needed chasing?

As she looked around the yard, thinking her deep thoughts, she spotted something on the fence.  That cat!  That white cat! 

She jumped down and was ready to push through the cat door, when...
"HEY!!!!" She heard Cheese yell, "Where's all the food??  BANANA!!!!"
Cheese was so angry, he ran out onto the porch and right into Banana.

"Ooooooof!  Get off, Cheese!"  Banana pushed at Cheese.

"What's your name?"  Banana turned back to the other cat on the fence.
Banana blinked.  She blinked again.

"Who ARE you talking to?"  Cheese looked over at the fence, because that's what Banana was looking at too, and if there was a squirrel up there, he wanted to be the first out the cat door.

When Cheese looked back at Banana, he noticed she was shaking.

"I did.  I did see a cat up on that fence.  A white cat, Banana murmured.  "Not a ghost.  Not a ghost.  Not a ghost."  Banana was staring at the fence with a strange look on her face.

Cheese waived a paw in front of Banana's face.  She didn't blink.

All of a sudden, Banana jumped up and ran into the house.  When Cheese found her a few minutes later, she was covered in dust bunnies.

"A ghost.  A ghost.  I saw a ghost." Banana said, looking wildly in all directions.  "Is she here?  Inside?"

"Calm down, Banana."  Cheese stroked her head.  "Tell me exactly what you saw."

"I.  Saw.  A.  Ghost."  Banana yelled.  "She was all white. All white.  You couldn't see her.  She had one blue eye and one green eye...."

"Hmmmmm...." Cheese was listening, stroking Banana, and trying not to laugh at Banana being so scared.  "Hmmmm....a blue eye...hmmm...and....what?  One green eye?"  Cheese couldn't help it, he started to laugh.

"Don't laugh at me!  I'm scared of that ghost!" Banana squeaked.

"Ghost?  That's no ghost!"  Cheese rolled on to his back, and tried to stop laughing long enough to explain.  "That's my friend, Peanut!  She comes to visit me.  Let's go look."  Cheese pushed Banana out from under the bed and down the hall.

Sure enough, there was Peanut, looking through the front window.
"Banana, meet Peanut.  Peanut, this is Banana."  Cheese said with one last giggle.