Not again, I think as I turn over. No way am I going out. I close my eyes.
Nudge. My brother wants me to go.
I jump down nimbly from my warm, cozy, soft bed—I shouldn’t think about that now. I take a sniff at the food as I pass it but I’m not hungry. I slurp some water to refresh myself .
My brother is oldest and thinks he’s the boss of me. He wants me to scout the perimeter near the fence while he naps.
Nothing exciting happens in our territory and my brother insists we keep it that way.
There are have been vermin run through our area.
Runners and flyers, we call them.
Runners are usually one size and color; small and brown. I get rid of them.
We rarely get flyers. They’re all different shapes, sizes and colors and they’re harder to catch.
But my brother and I have no problem chasing them down and dispatching with them quickly.
But right now, the morning is too bright. I stretch. It feels good all they way from my head to my toes. I find a spot in the shade and sit on my hunches, trying to see the perimeter through half-slatted eyes.
I sit quietly, perking my ears up like I was taught. Like generations before me were taught, we soldiers of the great wild. I look at the trees, bushes, and weeds that litter the familiar landscape. The wind picks up slightly and I can hear the leaves brushing against each other.
Then I hear it.
It doesn’t sound big. Probably not worth my time, but my body tenses anyway. The runner’s scurrying to my left, just beyond the fence, looking for a place to come through.
I hunch closer to the ground and wait.
I see the runner poke its head through the fence first, and then twist until its shoulders come through followed by the rest of his body; small and brown. I have to quiet my breathing.
The runner takes his time looking around, eyeing what he thinks will be his new home.
I slowly move. He hasn’t sensed me yet; he’s too busy finding some garbage food to eat.
My feet itch to run and I decide this is the perfect opportunity to catch the fiend. My vision sharpens and my limbs tense, ready to attack. Just as I launch myself into the air, The Girl comes through the back.
“Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”
I land on all fours and look around. The runner scares and scurries away which is fine with me.
Now I become the runner as I race to see what The Girl brought me for lunch.