It was making noise again.Luna yawned and stretched. She slowly sauntered over to the cage they kept it in. Her humans had one thing right, keep the noisy fur ball locked up tight.
The fuzz ball shivered, visible tremors riding up its body in waves. When Luna sidled into its vision it shook even more, vibrating out its own little earthquake.
Luna smirked. She rubbed herself against the bars then carried herself away with a swish of her tail.
It yowled. The noise sent hackles raising down her back. Luna shuddered. The hideous pest had forced its way into her domain for less than a day and it was already disrupting her nightly routines.
Luna rushed the metal box they shoved the little rat in and shoved her claws through the bar hissing. The pitiful fuzzball fell back with a yelp and cowered at the back of its cage, small like a yarn of wool.
Luna smirked a devilish kitty grin and turned away, full of pride.
All that hissing had made her thirsty. Luna lapped from her water bowl. Water never taste so good.
Luna just settled into grooming herself when she heard it let out another cry. This time more painfully pitiful than before.
Luna tensed, but she continued her cleaning. She did not stand up until she was fully bathed and even then she took her time, drifting towards the crying ball as accidentally as possible. It will not know it drew me.
Luna studied the creature in the cage. It lay there shivering and whining. When it saw Luna it timidly stumbled to its paws and cautiously shuffled over to her on giant paws, too big for it to know what to do with just yet. The golden flea bag stayed belly to the ground, showing its subservience. It did however let out a tentative tail wag. Three gentle thumps.
Luna sighed. If the beast were to be here it might as well be her beast. Just as everything else in the house was hers.
She stood nimbly on her hind legs and pushed at the latch holding the pup in its place.
The door swung open. Luna nimbly stepped out of its way.
A living teddy bear watchfully discerned a new world.
The little creature wouldn’t be out of place on her girls bed. Her girl collected lots of soft little animals and couldn’t choose between them so they all slept in her bed. Of course Luna was her favorite and made sure her girl knew it. She would bat those stuffed competitors away from her girl every chance she got.
This little fuzzball was much like her girls collected bears. No competition. Yet the new bowls, the new toys, the new baskets, all placed where her things were supposed to go made Luna nervous. And more than that it made her angry.
And yet all of the malicious, devious little plans she had plotted in her clever cat brain that very day melted away when the fuzzball fell over its own paws again.
Luna shook her head and with a swish of her tail she trotted out into the kitchen, through the cat flap, into her world.
The sun was yet to come out, it was still the hour of the cat. On a more normal eve, Luna would have been out all night and only musing on the idea of coming home round about now. She had wanted to make sure the infiltrator didn’t move any of her things or pee on stuff. It would not pee on her stuff.
Luna sprang to the fence and looked out onto the streets as the dusk lightened to a concrete grey. Other cats were just starting to trot back towards there domains. She could see stripe tail leaping his fence and vanishing off into his lands. Blotches stopped to look to her before heading off on his way where were you last night? Luna twitched her whiskers and blinked to convey a sort of nonchalance that only a cat could carry.
Luna was about to spring off into what was left of the night when she turned back. Her cat flap had swished again who dared to use her door?
Ahh. The cuckoo in the birds nest. She could go for a baby bird right about now.
The pitiful pup stumbled on the steps. It was as if the pup had bars of soap strapped to its paws.
The pup blinked and looked all around it, nose twitching. It’s eyes seemed huge, drinking in the sites and scents of the garden with big greedy gulps.
The puppy trotted forward, eager to explore, when its paw touched grass (Luna suspected for the first time). The pup yelped and shot backwards, startled by the new sensation.
Luna rolled her eyes and stood stretching, unlocking her powerful legs. She sprang down from the fence and stood opposite to the pup, patting the grass with her paws.
The puppy stared at her wide eyed before trotting across the grass towards her. The puppy sped up and nearly knocked her over, a cheap van sliding on black ice. Luna sprung aside at the last second, hissing.
The little fuzzball looked confused, it just sat there blinking before its nose led it on an adventure into the bushes.
Luna had had enough of this. She sat and licked herself, disinterested (a cat as fine as her could never be too groomed).
Fuzzball came and parked next to her. Luna shuffled to the side a little and fuzzball shuffled with her.
Luna continued to groom herself, refusing to give the annoying yap any attention.
The sun rose over the garden, illuminating everything within it with brilliant light.
The puppy glowed like a fuzzy lantern. Luna’s own dark hair shone with a silver sheen. Luna stopped licking herself and looked up. A most beautiful sunrise was emerging on the horizon.
Do you have a name?
The puppy blinked.
The girl kept saying Buddy. That must be it.
They sat in the sun together, basking in its warmth. Buddy leaned against Luna. After resisting at first (mainly for show) Luna let him.
Luna learned to tolerate Buddy, with time.
Buddy did have some redeeming qualities. As much as Luna loved her girl she was not big on ribbons and dresses, or tea parties all that much. Her girl had Buddy for that now and Buddy was too little and pudgy to escape a little game (several dozen little games) of dress up.
Luna smirked as Buddy let out a little pitiful whine, looking to her for help. She always left him.
Buddy also provided a get out of jail card to Luna for ‘walksies’. Her girl, in addition to inflicting humiliating dresses and bonnets on her, also attempted, more times than she should, to take Luna out on a leash and call her ‘doggy’. The humiliation! The one time her girl succeed in her attempts to ritually abuse her person, Luna had seen all the other cats snickering at her from fences. She had never lived it down.
Now Buddy went on ‘walksies’ and he actually enjoyed those much to Luna’s befuddlement. But it got her out from her girl’s grip for a time and Luna was grateful for that.
Luna enjoyed having time to be more cat. She had many important things to do after all and although she had many talents she could not be everywhere at once. Now Buddy could entertain in her absence.
Her appreciation of his innate ability to occupy her people did wane one night. It was her worst night as far as Luna was concerned. She had come in a little after supper to grace her humans with her presence a little more before heading out to run her nightly errands to find Buddy in her spot. The dirty sneak! The treacherous hairy beast had taken her spot draped across her girl’s lap at family time! Luna bristled with rage. But, she would not let the cat snack get the better of her, oh no!
Luna slunk around her owners legs, on her best charm offense. Wide eyed and positively adorable, Luna rubbed against her people and ‘meowed’ in her best baby voice.
Her man reached a hand down and scratched her ear absent mindedly. Her girl did not even look up, fussing over preciously putrid Buddy. She squealed when Buddy stretched in his sleep, delighted by even his most involuntarily pointless movements.
Luna paced back and forth, her meows becoming more shrill.
Her man said something and her woman stood up and threw Luna out of the room, sounding angry with her! Luna yowled at the indignity before stalking off, offended by her humans disrespect. Buddy would regret this.
Luna had enjoyed tormenting Buddy while he was young. She would pounce on him out of nowhere, sending him skittering into his little crate, pin his tail to the floor until he was squirming so much than when she let go he went flying like a little furry bullet. The best times were when he knocked into the wall. Her favorite way to torment the pup was to play ‘lets ignore Buddy’ where she would simply ignore him. That game was very effective. Buddy, if nothing else, was very attention hungry.
Of course, when he got bigger, Buddy was a little harder to torment. By Summer, he had doubled in size and towered over her, like a winters sun. He made her squint in pain.
His barks were like the roars of a lion, deafening. And he always had something to bark at – her humans, the postman, the television, birds, shadows. Every time Luna prowled in the garden, intent on her prey, be it bird, mouse or leaf, Buddy would slide in like the great clumsy oaf he was and bark up a storm, scaring her prey away. Luna had taken to hunting away from the house now.
Buddy was consistent with him attempts to annoy her. The great yellow freak seemed to be under the impression they were friends too (an impression she certainly never perpetrated). For some reason the pup had insisted on calling her Moon Paw from an early age and it stuck. A lot like Buddy himself, her large, clumsy shadow.
He followed her everywhere, always sniffing. The sniffing irritated her. All that snuffly noise and his nose was so wet! Whenever Buddy confronted her with his snout, she shied away. No dog nose would be leaving damp patches on her fur!
But it wasn’t just the nose Luna had to worry about – Buddy liked to lick.
Buddy licked plates and tables, stains and hands, bones and – Luna. Whenever Buddy managed to catch Luna of guard (which was a rare occasion that Luna was embarrassed by) he would give her a great big lick, messing up the fur she had worked so hard on getting to lay just right.
Luna would reward Buddy for his crass actions with a swipe of her paw. When he was a little puffball she would crack him on his nose with a rewarding Fwhack but now he was older the shaggy fiend would spring back, paws lay wide, butt in the air lets play! Luna would stalk off.
It was a sunny afternoon and Buddy lay in the garden, head lay his paws. He was moping, Luna knew. For the first time the house was empty and Buddy wasn’t out too.
It never bothered Luna, she had always been left in the house and loved every second of it. It was truly her domain in those moments where she could go anywhere.
Luna slunk over to Buddy and sat near him, watching her yellow nemesis with large eyes, bright jewels like sapphires. Buddy turned his head away and huffed. He didn’t enjoy being in the house without their humans, Luna knew he was needy and hungered for attention.
Luna licked her paw a few times then glanced back at Buddy. He looked brown in the shade, with just slight flecks of sand along his rump. Luna twitched her whiskers and then walked over to Buddy, curling into his side. Buddy raised his head and gave her a large lick on her face. Luna tolerated this.
The sun shifted position in the sky above them, puling away the shadows. The two friends basked in the afternoon sun.
Luna slept a lot now. She slept a lot these days. In little nooks and crannies around the house. The top of the stairs. Beside the couch. A nice bush in the neighbors garden. Luna slept and dreamt of when she was young and lithe, a huntress. In her dreams she could catch anything in her jaws. In her waking moments Luna’s paws ached and her senses were dulled. Her nightly excursions became shorter and shorter until she just went out at sunset and returned when the sun came down. She liked to be in the house more now, preferably in her own quiet place.
Buddy’s face appeared over the top of the couch, like the sun appearing over the horizon. He wore a big doggy grin and drooled on her head.
Luna mewled pitifully. She didn’t have the strength to put Buddy in his place now.
Buddy forced his way round, Head and paws pushed into her little space.
Lets play! He barked.
Luna mewed and turned away from him. Not now Buddy, I am tired.
Buddy barked more, prodding her back with his paws – Play! Play!
Luna sighed and shakily got up onto her paws, joints creaking. Fine.
Buddy pinned her easily. Ha! I win! He grinned.
Luna began to heave violently. She was never one for rough and tumble, but she would indulge Buddy from time to time throughout their lives together. But now she couldn’t anymore.
Buddy nudged her with his nose. what’s wrong Moon paw?
Tired. She replied between coughs.
Buddy whined and lay next to her. They curled up on the rug in front of the fire.
Buddy bounced up and down by the front door, impatiently barking and whining. His humans were very mean to him today. Not only had they left but they had taken Moon Paw with them too!
Buddy had been left alone for ages and ages. He’d worried at the rug with his teeth just to vent his anxiety.
Buddy heard the car door slam! My humans! And Moon Paw too! Buddy couldn’t wait to pounce on Moon Paw, but he’d do it gently. Moon Paw had been tired lately and when Buddy had nudged her gently with his nose this morning her eyelids fluttered gently before closing again, she dozed fitfully.
Sick? Buddy had asked, fully of worry. Moon Paw had mewed quietly in response. Then their humans had put Moon Paw in her own crate and taken her away. He hoped she hadn’t been taken to the funny smelling place with the mean four eyed human who took his unmentionables. Buddy whined at the thought. If that awful human had taken Moon Paw’s unmentionables too he would chase him and then look after Moon Paw. Curling up beside her and giving her a big lick to cheer her up.
His humans came in and Buddy could smell the sad on them. It was a damp, cold smell and it meant his humans needed him. Buddy bounced around them barking happily cheer up! I’m here!
The man patted Buddy on the head before walking by. His girl had sprung a leak, steamy droplets falling from her eyes.
Buddy sprung up and kissed her It’s okay! I’m here!
His girl giggled, then more water leaked from her and she flung her hairless paws around Buddy, and made his fur damp. Something must be very wrong.
Buddy stood there for as long as his girl needed him. When she sat by the stairs he sat too. His girls face was red and blotchy. She sat, stroking his fur.
It was only as the shadows crept in, as his girl started to fall asleep and the woman shook her awake, gently leading her upstairs that Buddy wondered Where’s Moon Paw?
The TV was blaring and the man sat staring at it. Buddy went up to him and rested his head on his knee Why do you smell of sad? Where is Moon Paw? The man scratched his ear and kept watching the moving shapes.
Buddy wandered the house looking for Moon Paw. He found her crate, empty. It smelled like Moon Paw, but it also smelled of… Sick
Buddy sat and whined.
A few nights had passed. The damp smell of sad was still on the skin of his humans and Moon Paw was nowhere to be seen. Buddy eventually understood that his humans smelt of damp because of Moon Paw. Because she wasn’t here anymore. And Buddy smelt of sad too.
Buddy pushed himself through Moon Paw’s door to the garden. It was smaller than it used to be and Buddy struggle through with a huff and a grunt. On the other side he shook himself and drank in the nights scents through his nose. Out here he could still smell Moon Paw.
He had woken one morning and all of Moon Paw’s things were gone. Her cat bed, her toys, her food bowl. Even her scent was starting to fade.
Buddy surveyed the garden. All this would always be moon Paw’s.
Buddy walked over to their lake. The pool in their garden that they had played by so many times. Moon Paw pushed him in once when he was just a pup and Buddy had pushed her in when he was bigger. Even now he had bark laughed.
The moon shimmered in their lake, a great white face floating on the water.
Moon Paw’s face.
Don’t worry! I’ll look after them!
For a moment the moon winked at him.