Six-Word Story Prompt

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6WSP is offered by Shweta and the rules can be found at her blog: My Random Ramblings

The theme is SURPRISE.
The story word limit is 6 words (words, NOT characters!). No more and no less. It’s not necessary to use the prompt word. However, the story should be relevant to the prompt.

So here’s my response:

Cherish Today Regular

Cat

The prompt has gotten various responses so far, as you’ll see at Shweta”s blog. Keith, over at Keith’s ramblings, has posted his tiny tale here …and leaves us all to wonder/imagine what the question was. 😉

 

I Witness A Mugging

Since my other domain is about to expire and I’m not sure what will happen when it doe or how my other blogs will be affected, I’ll re-post a few past stories. This was initially posted on March 25, 2012, the year I started blogging.

I Witnessed a Mugging Today…
…And Rescued the Victim With My Bare Hands!

One day fellow blogger Apronhead Lilly wrote about witnessing a murder: she saw a Cooper’s Hawk kill a blackbird in her back yard. I know that the cruelties of nature play out around me every day, but I’m so soft-hearted: I do sometimes intervene to prevent the slaughter of some helpless creature. The next day I had the chance to do just that.

I woke up from my afternoon doze in the recliner and found the living room quite warm, so I went out sat on the side deck — not a deck, exactly, but a corner platform where our steps come up to our side door. Because it was sunny and mild I left the door open in case one of the cats wanted to join me, and Angus did a few moments later. Then, bored with my inaction, he went to snoop under the stairs to our main entrance.

Suddenly he dashed into the house and I decided to get up and shut the door. Then I saw him inside — with something hanging from his mouth. He’d snagged a mouse? “Outside!” I insisted several times, but he just stood there looking at me.

Closer inspection revealed that what he had was a little junco. He had it by one shoulder, but it was still twitching. Likely he’d brought it in to play with and here I was, being such a wet blanket. I ordered him outside again, fearing he’d let the thing go and we’d have to chase it all over the trailer. When he didn’t budge, I picked him up and carried him out, thinking he’d let go of it any second, but he was still holding the bird when I dumped him on the deck.

Then I reached down and pried his mouth open. Unmugged, the bird flew away–showing no sign of injury. He dashed after it, but it settled in the caragana hedge and he never did catch it again. I tried to impress on him our “NO BIRDS” rule; I doubt it sank in. To him a bird is a toy and that’s that.

Anyway, now I could say that I prevented a murder today. 🙂

I wrote a story once about a little elephant that finds a child and sort of befriends it. Later he sees his child friend asleep and a huge snake is about to swallow the child, so the elephant intervenes: he stomps the snake flat.

“No, no, no!” said my writing school instructor. “You can never have your main character commit a murder!”

“But it’s a snake! All children know that being swallowed by a snake is bad.” No dice. I had to cut out all the violence. He could chase the snake away, but not stomp on it.

I figured a child reader would identify with the little elephant, but I hadn’t considered that a snake would be seen as an animal — and of equal value, too. In my books, a snake is a reptile. I suppose you couldn’t have the family cat, if it talked, catch a mouse and eat it, either. Life gets complex in the world of “correct” children’s literature. We never thought of all this back in the days of Sylvester and Tweetie Bird.

Gladiator Mouse

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

You had to admire the little guy’s spunk. With no means of defense, pitted against an enemy twenty times his size, he was putting up a brave fight.

He was only a mouse captured in the claws of our family cat, but he wasn’t taking this lying down. For a moment the cat let him go and took a step back; instead of running away squeaking in terror, the mouse stood up on his haunches, jumped as high as his little legs could send him and tried to bite the cat’s face.

Whoa, I thought: Kamikaze mouse! Another Reepicheep, lacking only the sword.

For a few minutes I watched the unfair contest. The cat would bat the mouse around and he fought back as best he could, rushing toward the cat, trying to scratch it or nip it with his tiny teeth. I actually felt enough sympathy for the gutsy little gladiator that I might have picked up my cat and removed him from the conflict – had the arena been elsewhere.

However, the battle was going on right beside my garden where I surely did NOT want a mouse to find refuge. At one point he made a dash for freedom under a tomato plant but the cat snagged him and carried him off. I walked away and let nature take its course.

Later on I saw his lifeless body lying on the lawn. Well, at least he died trying.

As Christians, we have an adversary, a foe much greater than we. The Bible describes him as cunning and ruthless, opposed to all that is godly:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith…” I Peter 5:8

Yet we are told, “Don’t just lie there and whimper when the devil rakes you with his claws. Get up and fight back.” And we think, Are you serious?

We feel the devil’s hot breath on our neck at times as he sends us evil thoughts, temptations, depression, negative feelings about ourselves, wounded pride, anger, misunderstandings. Maybe we are inclined to wring our hands and say: ”Why are we troubled with these thoughts?” or “Why do I feel the way I do?”

As surely as cats hunt mice, our adversary will attack us. The Bible tells us that Satan is determined to decimate us, to dissuade us from following the Lord, by terror or temptation. Unlike defenseless mice, however, we have God’s promise that resistance pays.

Cats And Their People

Verses Only A Cat-Lover Will Understand

winter morning
the cat curled up
in my office chair

our cats dwell above
our comfort zone
in the softest seats

we once had two cats
now we have our soft chairs
ah, spring!

I have a nice, comfortable office chair beside my desk, just the right height for me. Trouble is, it’s often occupied by one of our two cats. Yes, common sense would say, “Evict it,” but they look so comfortable curled up in a ball and I’m a softie. Also, if I do remove them, they persist in returning and I have to evict them every time I come back to my chair from doing some errand. So I keep a folding chair standing beside the computer to open quickly if I don’t want to work for long and don’t feel like evicting the cat.

When I came to the computer one morning, Pookie was occupying my comfortable office chair and I didn’t push him off. I took the folding chair, then when I got myself a mug of coffee fifteen minutes later, Pookie wandered out to the kitchen, too. I hurried back to the office in time to see our other cat, Angus, jump up and settle comfortably into the chair Pookie had just vacated. So I took the folding chair again. When I got up later to refill my mug, I returned to find Angus in my office chair and Pookie on the folding chair!

Many times Bob and I come into the office to find Angus in his chair and Pookie in mine. Usually both are evicted. There are limits, after all.

Pet owners will know that cats have a certain sense of entitlement built into their nature. They may claim you as their people, but they make it clear who comes first in the grand scheme of things. Whose comfort is of greater importance, whose not so much. When we had three cats, our aged Panda claimed the most comfortable recliner as her throne and would not be ousted.

Nowadays when I’m in the living room settling into the recliner Angus snuggles down in the other recliner and Pookie gets the sofa. Or vice versa. Often one’s in my lap. However, Pookie has discovered a spot under our bed right over a floor heat “warm spot” and often stretches out there on cold days.

Generally a house cat will want to be near their people. That is, if they feel like it — or if something interesting is transpiring. I had a cat years back that always came to watch me re-pot my houseplants. She’d have her nose right in the pot to get a close look as I scooped in the dirt and packed it down. She was Siamese, with a uniquely curious personality.

But now that it’s spring and the mice in the woods beside us are active again, we get our chairs back. A cat’s a cat for a’ that and a’ that.

Cats Dwell Above

Cat

Another fun haiku

both cats dwell above
my comfort zone — both
recliners occupied

When I sat down at the computer this morning, I took the folding chair left there from last night —  when Pookie had been occupying my comfortable office chair and I didn’t push him off. This morning as I started typing Pookie came along and looked up at me, then jumped into the unoccupied office chair. Finders keepers and all that.

When I got up and got myself a coffee fifteen minutes later, Pookie wandered out to the kitchen. I got back to the office in time to see Angus jump up and settle comfortably into the chair Pookie had vacated. (Vacatted ?) Point for Angus; 0 for me. Many times Bob and I come into the office and find Angus in one chair and Pookie in the other.

Cats have that sense of entitlement built into their nature; they may claim you as their people, but they make it clear who comes above and who comes below in the grand scheme of things. Whose comfort is of greater importance, whose not so much.

Yes, a house cat will want to be nearby — if they feel like it, or if something interesting might be transpiring. So when I’m in the living room, now able to occupy the recliner our (now deceased) Panda once claimed, Angus snuggles down in the other recliner and Pookie gets the sofa. Or vice versa. But while Panda lived here she definitely staked her claim on the most comfortable recliner and would not be ousted.

Okay, I’ll admit it. We let our cats call the shots. They are, after all, quite affectionate when they have a mind to be. Just so long as we remember who gets first crack at the comfy chairs.

Written in response to Fandango’s prompt: BELOW
and for “International Day of the Cat”