Hissy Fitz

Hissy Fitz by Patrick Jennings Read Free Book Online

Book: Hissy Fitz by Patrick Jennings Read Free Book Online
Authors: Patrick Jennings
    The cats all smile again.
    “How did you get them to come?”
    “I just told them to meet me here, that something unusual was going to happen. I let feline curiosity do the rest. I looked but couldn’t find you.”
    “I had a cage match with a raccoon. In a Dumpster.”
    The group gasps.
    “I won,” I say, “though the beast did slice my ear.” I tilt my head so they can see the slice.
    Another gasp.
    I puff out my chest.
    “So come on, Hiss,” Sid says, nudging me with her shoulder. “That’s our goal line over there.”
    She points to the north end of the field. There are no goals on the field, just lines in the grass.
    “So what do you say, Hiss?” Igloo asks. “You in?”
    It seems so silly, cats playing soccer, but I am … well … curious.
    “I’m in.”

    I learn quickly that head butting a soccer ball doesn’t move it very far. Pouncing on it, sinking your claws into it, then pushing off with your hind paws is much more effective.
    It’s not as simple as it sounds. For one thing, it isn’t easy to land on a ball without making it roll the wrong way. One needs to land on the ball in the opposite direction from the one you want it to go. Doing so takes great balance, control, and timing. Fortunately, I have great balance, control, and timing.

    The other cats see that I’ve figured out a better way to move the ball, and before long they’re all pouncing on it, too. This results in many rather comical midair collisions. The crashes are so amusing that instead of leading to catfights, they lead to laughter and upward-pointing tails.
    The ball rolls one way across the field, then rolls back. Not much ground is made by either team. One might think we’d weary of this pretty quickly, but we don’t. Cats love chasing a ball around.
    Every once in a while, though, one of us gets tired and yowls, “Time out!” We all immediately collapse onto the grass. The second any cat snoozes, though, Sid wakes everyone up with a loud “Time in!” and the game resumes.
    At some point, Teacup calls “Time out!” then asks, “Anyone hungry?”
    We all are, so Sid calls, “Halftime! Find something to eat. You have twenty minutes.”
    I can’t resist the temptation to return to the Dumpster where the raccoon is trapped. Igloo, Teacup, and Martin follow along.
    The raccoon is still in the garbage bin. It whines as we crouch on the rim, looking down at it.
    “You were down there with
?” Martin asks.
    I nod. This time I don’t puff out my chest, though. I suddenly feel bad for the poor thing.
    The board is still leaning against the Dumpster. It’s a long plank, and it gives me an idea.
    “Igloo, help me out, will you?”
    “Sure,” he says.
    “You and a couple of cats walk down the plank and sit on it at the bottom.”
    “Sit on it? Why?”
    “You’ll see.”
    He smiles. “Okay, Hiss.” He walks down the plank. Teacup and Martin follow him.
    “Now stay seated till I tell you to jump off,” I say.
    I step onto the plank, but instead of climbing down, I climb up. The board bows slightly from my weight. I creep to the end.
    The raccoon watches me from below.
, it says.
    “You ready, Igloo?” I ask.
    “On the count of three. One … two … 
    The cats leap from their end of the board, and my end plummets toward the garbage, toward theraccoon. It squeals and runs for a corner. A split second before the plank hits the Dumpster floor, I spring from it, landing back up on the bin’s rim. The plank clatters below me.
    Igloo and the other cats join me on the rim.
    “You’ve given the raccoon a ramp to freedom,” Igloo says.
    I nod.
    Teacup shivers, then jumps down and scurries away.
    “I guess she didn’t want to see the raccoon climb to freedom,” Igloo laughed.
    “I doubt it will climb out with us up here,” I say. “Let’s give it some space. Once it’s out, we’ll get some food, then get back to

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