4 December 2013
My heart, The Prince Consort, is having heart surgery. So, I am reprinting a short story this week and next while I focus on him.
This short story was printed in a children’s magazine some years ago.
by Kath Boyd Marsh
Em, help! Today’s only the first day of Gramm’s visit, and she hates me! But it wasn’t my fault!.
I can’t help it that Dragon bee-lined for Gramm’s bathroom door and nosed it open. Doesn’t every eighteen-pound tabby cat drink out of the bathtub whether anyone is in it or not? Dragon wouldn’t have fallen into the tub and landed in Gramm’s lap if she hadn’t screamed at him.
Why does Gramm blame me? She’s the one who ran yelling into the front hall wearing nothing but a towel just as I opened the front door to let the preacher in. It seems like she could have said something to Rev. Buck besides, “Ann’s cat is a monster!”
Oh great. Dragon is eating my last purple headband. He only nibbled the edges of the orange one. Do purple headbands taste better than orange ones? Is it good for a cat to eat all this random stuff?
Help! :-( Ann
Subject: Weird Cousin Ideas
Thanks, Em, but disguising Dragon as a baby sister won’t work. Gramm knows that nobody in the family is completely covered in fur. (I guess Uncle Mac is pretty hairy, but he doesn’t meow very often.)
Too late. I already tried taking Dragon to obedience school. There weren't’ any training schools for cats, so I took him to Best Dog Obedience School. And I think it would have worked out if Mrs. Smith hadn’t yelled at Dragon to get away from her dog Mirgatroid. If she hadn’t shouted, Dragon never would have jumped on top of Mirgatroid. Even though Mirgatroid didn’t run too far away (He got stuck halfway under the school fence.), Dragon got kicked out of school.
Oh, boy. Gramm just walked past me muttering, “Bad cat.” She won’t even look at me. I don’t want Gramm to hate me!
She’d better not find out about Dragon sniffing around that purple wool shawl your dad brought her from Spain.
Got to scoot. Dragon’s dragging my backpack down the stairs. Everything’s spewing out. There goes Pat’s note about ‘you know who.’ Got to go. :-( Ann
Subject: Smart aleck cousin
Em, that’s not funny. Don’t even think about telling ‘you know who’ that I like him, or I’ll tell ‘what’s his name’ that you wrote his name all over the inside of your math folder. Being your cousin won’t stop me.
This morning Gramm was pulling her paperback book’s cover out of Dragon’s mouth when I walked into her room. She bellowed, “Get out of here, you monster!” Em, did she mean me or Dragon?
I made a list of the stuff Dragon does that gets everybody mad, and ways I might get him to stop. Here’s the list:
Tickles people awake with his whiskers. Bites elbows if they don’t get up. Get up and Feed HIM.
Bites ankles or knees when he’s hungry for dinner. See #1.
Sits on papers, magazines, newspapers when you’re trying to read. Take him for a walk.
Howls. See #3.
Snaps at pencil erasers. See #1.
Sits in front of TVs and computer monitors. Put him in my lap.
Eats anything purple. See #1.
Hey, Em. this may not be so hard. :-) Ann
Subject: Dragon sitting
Sorry I didn’t write yesterday, but I was way busy. Every time Dragon looked like he was going to bug Gramm, I fed him Kitty Treaties or took him for a walk.
But then when I woke up this morning, Dragon was missing. Guess where I found him! Yep, curled up in bed next to Gramm! I was trying to sneak him out, when Gramm growled. (It sounded like a growl, but maybe it was a snore.) I shook the Kitty Treaties bag at Dragon. He stared and started purring. You know that ‘make me’ purr.
`”Shush, Dragon,” I whispered. “You’ll wake Gramm. Come here. Leave Gramm alone, or she’ll never love me,” I told him.
Then Gramm sat up in bad and said, “Ann, come here right now!”
I couldn’t move. Gramm got out of bed, came over, and put her arms around me. “Ann,” she said, “I’ll always love you no matter what your cat does. And I saw how hard you worked yesterday trying to make that Dragon behave.”
That’s when Dragon let out this really weird meow. “Gramm,” I said, “did you hear that? Dragon just said,’Grrrraaaammm’—your name!”
For the first time since she came to visit, Gramm laughed! “Maybe Dragon’s not hopeless,” she said. She even patted his head. And Dragon gave her ‘Squeezy eyes’ and purred extra loud.
Em, I’m so happy! Gramm does love me. Maybe she and Dragon can get along. There’s just one thing. While Gramm was hugging me, I saw Dragon dragging off her purpled shawl. Em, did that shawl have fringe on it or not?
Help! :-) Ann