There was a cat – named Cat – who had just moved in with a family. She was an inside cat.
Outside the living room window she could see a small backyard with a big maple tree. So many interesting smells wafted in. She wanted to explore. So when her humans were going out one evening she slipped out the door behind them and into the backyard.
It was beautiful! Cat had a great time exploring in the grass. She didn’t notice was the dog in the yard next door.
So he barked. Loudly.
Cat was so scared she ran straight up the maple tree! She clung to the trunk with her claws. After she stopped trembling, she found liked being up so high. So Cat climbed a little higher, went a little further. And higher. And further. She could see so far! Trees. Buildings. She could see the pinks and blues of the sun setting. The world was so big and so beautiful!
A breeze caught the top of the tree, swish, swish. Cat clutched at the branch with her claws. She decided it was time to go. She turned herself around. The trunk looked like it went straight down! She scrambled down a couple of branches and then sat, clinging and trembling. Meow, meow, what am I going to do, she cried.
Squawk! Squawk! Blue Jay swooped by, laughing. Scaredy cat! Scaredy cat! Squawk! Squawk!
Cat hissed, and went down a few more branches, before she got scared and had to stop. She sat on a branch, feeling miserable, and alone, as the sun went down. Meow. Meow she cried. (Can you meow?).
As the street lights come on, Racoon appeared above her, crossing over from a tree in another yard. Hello, said Racoon. Who are you?
I’m Cat, said Cat. She was hurt by Blue Jay’s taunts and didn’t want to admit she was in trouble. I’m just enjoying the view.
Okay, said Racoon. And off he went to find some garbage.
Cat sat there on the branch. It was dark and cold. She wanted to be home. She meowed and meowed.
Then Chickadee came by. Hello, said Chickadee. Chickadee knew about cats, so she perched farther off. Don’t you want to get down?
No, I’m fine, said Cat, still proud. Okay, said Chickadee and flew off. Wait, said Cat. I need to get down and it’s too steep.
Well, said Chickadee, can you get down another branch? The next one is not too far.
I’m scared, said Cat. If you got up, you can get back down, said Chickadee.
Cat wasn’t so sure. But with the little bird calling encouragement, Cat began to move slowly down, branch by branch. But the last branch was still far above the ground and the trunk was so smooth. Cat couldn’t climb any farther.
Chickadee called to Blue Jay and Raccoon. This cat needs some help. Blue Jay jeered. Scaredy cat. Scaredy cat.
Don’t, said chickadee. She may be a strange animal but she is an animal, part of the whole. We should help.
Just then, Cat’s humans came looking for her, calling Cat, Cat. Cat tried to cry out. But she had meowed so much that she could only squeak. Mao. Mao. They couldn’t hear her.
Chickadee tried to get their attention by calling chick-a-dee-dee. But they didn’t notice. Blue Jay buzzed the couple, squawk, squawk. The man said, the Jays played tonight, I’m going to check the score. And the couple went back into the house.
Maybe you could try, said Chickadee to Raccoon. Raccoon sighed. I eat their garbage, all that good food going to waste. They never thank me. But I have an idea.
Raccoon climbed up the tree to Cat. If I walk along the branch, it will lower. Could you jump down then?
Cat looked down at the ground far below. No, she said. Chickadee chirruped sadly. Cat thought about how hard they were trying to help. She thought of the house with its glowing windows. She thought of her food bowl. Yes. She said.
Raccoon waddled down the branch, bending it under his weight. Cat followed and …. jump! She landed on the grass. Cat shook herself. Thank you. Thank you, she cried.
Cat ran back to the house and scratched at the door until the humans let her in. That night she dreamt of tall trees and soaring birds.
And that is how Cat met Chickadee and Raccoon and Blue Jay.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.