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Old 02-26-2016, 01:09 AM   #21
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The rest of the Chapter One shall be posted later. I am quite tired, ha!


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Old 02-26-2016, 07:44 AM   #22
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Wonderful story, so far!

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:06 PM   #23
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I loved this book so very much I printed it of Romanian so my Papa and others could read this better.

Back to our story! Ha!

Please enjoy this as I do!

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Old 02-26-2016, 08:16 PM   #24
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“Well, I prefer what I got next door, but actually, it’s pretty good,” Saav replied.

“Just get the cheap stuff,” said Bart, coming from around the counter. “Really, I’ll eat anything. That would be fine.”

“Ehh….just what I was afraid of,” laughed Carrie. “Not any more, big boy. You’re going to eat good stuff now, and regularly.”

He smiled and washed his whiskers with a paw. “I thought of something else I can do. I can deter a burglar pretty well.”

“Oh?” said Carrie.

Bart extended his claws at her and bared his fangs. Carrie raised an eyebrow.

“Ohhh, I see. Rip one to pieces with teeth and claws, huh?”

The orange tabby nodded and went back to washing his face.

“That would deter me,” Carrie agreed. “Okay, just don’t get hurt doing that.”

“I won’t.” He finished washing his face, and looked toward the back room. “Guess I’d better get to work now.”

“We’ll go with you,” said Saav.

The kittens trailed after him, and soon Carrie heard the three cats tearing after another mouse.

The morning and early afternoon passed peacefully except for the mouse massacre in the back until a handyman showed up to install the cat doors in the back door to the storeroom and into the showroom. The moment he cranked up his saw, the mice hid and the cats came flying into the showroom.

“What’s that?” asked Pook, her eyes wild.

“He’s going to have to cut holes in the doors for Bart’s cat doors,” Carrie explained. “That is a saw.”

“Sounds more like a war or something. That thing’s loud!” exclaimed Bart. “Garbage trucks are quieter.”

“How long will this take? The mice got scared, too,” said Saav.

“I don’t know. Probably no longer than a few minutes,” Carrie answered.

“Gaaaahhh! We’ll be deaf by then,” complained Pook.

“I’m getting there already,” frowned Bart.

Carrie smiled at the complaining cats. “I know what you three need. I’ll be right back.”

She went into the back, closing the door behind her, which cut down on the noise and made it a little more bearable on sensitive cat ears. A moment later, she returned with three little custard bowls on a tray, and set
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:19 PM   #25
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the bowls on the floor next to the water dish. The cats went to the bowls eagerly, and each found some vanilla ice cream. Pook and Saav immediately began slurping, but Bart sniffed, winced, and looked at it suspiciously.

“What is it? It’s cold,” he said.

“Ice cream. Try it,” Carrie encouraged him.

He cautiously tried a taste. “Hey, that’s good!” he exclaimed, and dove into it. The three cats finished their ice cream a few minutes later and began washing up. Bart looked at the two girls, and then at his own fur. He suddenly realized he was rather dirty and began washing much more vigorously, going after the dirt and grime with a vengeance. Carrie watched him as his colors began to brighten and his stripes began standing out more. The creams and golds lost their dullness and stood out beautifully. His fur became much fluffier, and by the time he was almost through, he looked healthier and fuller. He is a beautiful cat, she thought. Put a little weight on him, he will be even more beautiful.

Bart felt her watching him, and he paused and looked up at her, gave her a wink, and went back to finishing his bath. She smiled.

The racket from the saw stopped. Saav looked toward the door.

“Hope that’s over with,” she muttered, pawing at her ear. Just then a customer walked in, a large, frowsy-looking woman wearing too much makeup, large, gaudy pieces of costume jewelry and a fur coat. Her blue-white hair was done up in a huge bouffant style, which made her head and body look too small for the hair, and she was clutching a huge black purse.

A big fur coat in the middle of July? She’s got to be kidding! thought Carrie. A coat like that? In this weather? What had the police said?

Shoplifter, Carrie realized warily.

Something about this woman made the cats’ own fur coats crawl. Bart flattened his ears, and Pook hissed. Saav fluffed up. Carrie started around the counter to greet her, but Bart got in between them. The woman glared down at Bart and drew back her handbag to hit him.

“Get outta here, cat!” she yelled.

Bart shifted his weight and hissed, his fur standing straight up. She drew the purse back farther.

“You touch my cat and you’ll find yourself arrested,” Carrie said in an ice-laden tone that chilled the cats’ spines from their heads to their tails.

Both Pook and Saav began growling, baring their fangs at her in evil grins.

Bart decided that since he actually lived there now, he didn’t have to put up with this woman, and neither did Carrie. He turned around, backed up to the woman’s feet, hiked his tail high, and sprayed. Carrie’s eyebrows
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:25 PM   #26
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disappeared into her hairline and her brown eyes bugged. The woman was aghast; horrified, she fled out of the showroom as fast as she could go, yelling something about evil cats.

There was a moment of stunned silence in the room, with three pairs of eyes on Bart, sitting there nonchalantly smoothing his whiskers. Suddenly he realized he was being stared at and looked up.

“What?” he asked innocently.

The other three broke out laughing. Pook and Saav had never seen feline spraying used as a weapon before, and neither had Carrie. Then the door opened again, and in came Ralph. He had been sweeping the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and saw the woman launch herself out the door shrieking.

He looked at Carrie. The cats dummied up quickly and began washing again.

“What’s so funny? What are you laughing at? Sounded like someone else was in here. What happened to that woman?”

“She was going to hit Bart with her purse and I don’t think he liked that idea, so he sprayed her feet,” Carrie said. Pook choked, and Saav coughed. Bart continued to wash.

“He did?” Ralph couldn’t believe it. “Can I borrow him when I get a problem customer?”

“I don’t see why not,” laughed Carrie. “He’s quite effective in public relations, it seems.”

Ralph laughed and shook his head. “You know who that was, don’t you?”

“No,” said Carrie. “Should I?”

“She’s the mayor’s ex-wife, remember when that mess hit the papers last year when she got caught shoplifting at the mall? Then he left her and moved in with that twenty-year-old? That’s the ex.”

“Shoplifting?” Carrie repeated. “I was afraid of that when I saw that fur coat.”

“Fur coat?”

“In July? Think about it.”

“Ohhhh!” Ralph laughed. “Usually I don’t deal with shoplifters. Just unhappy diners.”

Carrie raised an eyebrow again. “Both the mayor and she are in their sixties, aren’t they?”

Ralph nodded. “Yeah, something like that. The twenty-year-old lasted about a year, and moved on to the city, supposedly with some bigtime judge or something. The ex just got out of jail a few weeks ago…again. Bart’s a smart fellow. I bet she won’t be back.”
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:27 PM   #27
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“Probably not,” Carrie agreed.

“Well, I gotta get back. You kitties come to the kitchen soon, your plates are all full,” he said to them, and went back outside and began sweeping again.

“The mayor’s ex-wife. I can understand why she’s the ex,” said Bart. Pook and Saav giggled.

“Real animal lover, there,” Pook observed sarcastically.

Carrie shook her head. “Well, Bart, welcome home. What do you do for an encore?”

“I can yowl like a banshee. Want to hear it?” he offered proudly.

Pook and Saav cowered and fluffed up, looking alarmed. Saav gave a warning hiss, and Pook glared at Bart. A tomcat yowl would be much more deafening than the saw had been…and bound to get the whole downtown area’s attention.

“No,” Carrie said quickly with a laugh. “Why don’t you guys run next door and get a bite to eat? Looks like Ralph had a good-sized lunch crowd today, so I bet your plates are running over.”

The cats looked at each other. Bart’s eyes lit up at the idea.

“Okay,” he said. “We did get about a dozen mice today, so far.”

“I’d say you’ve earned it twice over, then. Go stuff your faces. Pook, Saav, your Mom will be here in about an hour,” said Carrie.

“We’ll be back,” replied Pook, and the three unusual felines popped through the newly-installed cat door.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:28 PM   #28
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End of Chapter One.

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Old 02-26-2016, 08:30 PM   #29
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Chapter Two – Belle

It was cold outside now, and snow flurries had been falling off and on for several days, dusting the ground in white. Bart sat in his favorite windowsill to the left of the front door watching the snowflakes. It was a Sunday, and he knew Pook and Saav wouldn’t be coming over, which made him miss his friends. Carrie always came in to check on him and putter around the shop, getting it ready for the week, and he did appreciate that. Still, Sundays were a little quiet in the shop, and he passed the time by eating, napping, and sneaking Carrie’s catalogs out and looking at them. Shortly after he came to live at the shop he had discovered that he could read – and well. Bart decided to break the news to Carrie soon, if an opportunity presented itself. He yawned, then pricked his ears up. A car was moving slowly into the alley, so he got up to see what was happening.

Poking his nose out into the frosty air outside his rear cat door, he saw what looked like a brand-new silver car outside the back door to the restaurant. Ralph and his wife, Brenda, got out and opened the door to the restaurant and began taking in bags and bags of what looked like groceries and food. Soon a red car pulled in behind them, and backed into a parking space across the alley. His heart leaped and he smiled widely. This was a treat on a Sunday! He recognized Joyce’s red car which meant his best friends were coming for a visit. Sure enough, as soon as Joyce opened the car door, Pook and Saav shot out of the car and flew toward his cat door. Bart barely had time to leap back and out of the way before the two girls came charging in, calling him.

“Hi!” he said, happy to see them. They flew at him, and they all traded whisker kisses and nose rubs, purring.

“Merry Christmas, Bart!” they chorused at him happily.

He looked puzzled. “What’s Christmas?”

“Oh, just the best time of the year!” Saav gushed. “This is when people are the nicest to each other, and spend time together, and celebrate the birth of their human God’s Son.”

“Oh, I’ve heard people talk about that. Is that why everyone’s got all these pretty lights and stuff up all over the buildings and houses and lightpoles and trees and all?”

“That’s right, Bart,” Pook smiled. “And all that neat Christmas music, and real good food. That’s why everyone’s here to open the restaurant early today. Carrie is coming too.”

“The restaurant isn’t usually open this early,” said Bart.
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Old 02-26-2016, 08:39 PM   #30
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“Yes, true, but see, it’s Christmas. Every Christmas day like he did on Thanksgiving, they serve free hot turkey and ham dinners to the town’s poor and homeless, and give them things like warm coats and blankets and toys for the little kids. It’s really fun, and it helps people,” said Saav.

Bart sighed, smiling. “Wow, these humans are really nice. Can I help too?”

Pook and Saav laughed. “Bart, you already have! There isn’t a mouse to be found around here!” exclaimed Saav.

“But that was my job. I made an agreement with Carrie, remember?” he reminded them.

“Of course we remember, silly. And you did it in spades!” laughed Pook.

Just then, Carrie came in through the front door of the store. “Merry Christmas, Bart!” she called.

He bounded toward her, and stopped short, his eyes widening. Carrie plopped down a fun-looking, carpet-covered, multi-leveled series of platforms.

“M-Merry Christmas,” he stammered, remembering his manners but looking at the kitty playhouse with interest. “What is that?”

“It’s called a kitty playhouse,” she said. “You can climb it, play on it, hide in it, and scratch on it.”

“Woooooo! That’s cool, Carrie,” said Saav.

Bart stared. “For me?”

Carrie smiled and scooped him up into her arms, cuddling him. “Well, I can’t fit inside it, and I don’t have claws to sharpen, so it sure is yours.”

He nuzzled Carrie’s soft cheek, purring. “Thank you, Carrie.”

“Thank YOU, Bart,” she said, giving him a kiss and setting him on top of it. Pook and Saav climbed up to join him.

Carrie watched them playing and climbing and smiled. Bart certainly had filled out in the five months he’d come to live there. He was huge now, about 15 pounds, and his fur was glossy and shining. The vet had pronounced him fit and healthy, and this Christmas morning, he was the epitome of a well-taken-care-of cat.

Pook poked Carrie with a paw. “Merry Christmas,” she said.

Carrie laughed and petted Pook and Saav, picking little Saav up. “And Merry Christmas to my favorite first mousetraps! I got to get next door and help cook Christmas dinners. You guys enjoy yourselves, and there’s a box up front for you when you want to go see it.”

“A box? I go outside, remember?” said Bart.

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