Paul M. Carhart
was autumn. The wind was strong on this day and seemed to carry
the voices from the barn straight to me. My ears twitched and I
rolled my eyes in disgust, irritated to have my midmorning nap interrupted.
curled up in a ball on the shady side of the tractor shed, which
was a good distance from the barn, and yet the voices, one of which
I recognized as my pet's, still reached me.
my pet, was usually raking hay or doing some other useless chore
at this time of the day. But today, I could tell that something
I decided to go see what had disrupted my nap. After all, it was
my responsibility to look after the well being of my pet.
slowly, stretching my four legs out in all directions, giving my
thick brown coat a quick shake. As I left the tractor shed, I realized
that the sun was not even out. I could have taken my nap anywhere
and not been disturbed! The temptation to forget my pet and saunter
off into the field almost sidetracked me. But no, my sense of duty
forced me to see what was going on in the barn, despite the call
of the wild.
the barn and took in the familiar scents. I knew Billy was not alone
before I could even see him. His father was talking to him in a
grim voice. I perked my ears up and moved in closer. Although I
couldn't understand the words, my association with humans had
given me the ability to get the gist of a conversation from the
tone of the dialogue and I was ready to bet my tail that something
important would be happening on the farm soon.
pet's father hurriedly strode off and I scampered up to Billy's
Rusty," Billy said, giving me a good hearty rub behind my ears.
my tail. Billy usually talked to me when we were alone and I had
gotten to the point where I could understand much of it. I hoped
he would fill me in now.
stooped down and grabbed me affectionately behind both ears. "Rusty,
old boy, you're gonna have to find Merry and bring her back
to the barn. I've got to go round up the chickens and we've
only got a few minutes before the tornado will strike."
a bit dismayed at this turn of events. My personal feelings towards
Merry were not of the highest caliber.
was enough that I didn't like cats and never had, but Merry
was not just another cat! She was picky about her food, her bed,
her fur, and worst of all... she was irresponsible. She never
did anything for my pet or his family. I could see no reason why
my pet continued to feed her!
my pet was right. We could not leave her out in the storm.
in acknowledgment, not wanting the ear rub to end. But I knew I
could not say "no" to my pet.
I had seen Merry sleeping near the cornfield earlier on, probably
hoping to snatch herself a careless crow. It would be a simple matter
to wake her up and warn her of the situation. I wasted no time and
headed for the cornfield.
enough, there was Merry, lazily sleeping the day away.
I began. Her ear twitched so I knew she heard me. "Merry, you
must come with me back to the barn. A storm is brewing and I am
sure you do not want to be caught in it."
cat lifted her gray head and focused her steely eyes on me. "Oh
really?" she purred, shifting position and resting her head
back down on one of her paws. She squinted her eyes; still keeping
them locked on me. "What makes you think that I am in danger?
I can take care of myself."
an ear at her statement, knowing it for the falsehood that it was.
As lazy as she was, I surmised she would starve to death if it were
not for my pet's kindness.
that as it may," I snorted profoundly. "I am not here
of my own accord. My pet is concerned for your safety."
grinned mischievously. "Tell your pet, if you can, that I have
no need of his mothering. I need not prepare myself for this gentle
was the last straw. The wind was ruffling my coat more than I liked
and I was looking forward to the company of my pet upon my return.
I trotted back the way I had come, not bothering to look behind
I returned to the barn, Billy was waiting for me and I could not
fight off the guilt I was feeling as his eyes scanned the yard behind
me. I had let him down. He continued to look for Merry for as long
as his father would let him, but to no avail.
saw Merry again after that storm and I must admit that I did indeed
feel a pang of sorrow on that day. However, my feelings were not
for the ungrateful feline, but for my mournful pet who never knew
how little she had appreciated him.