Bertie & Florence

Here is a short story I wrote a little while ago. The file data says I wrote it on 27/07/14, but computers, much like animals cannot be trusted.

If you like it, maybe I’ll put up a few more old short stories.

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Bertie and Florence

a short story

Part One

Bertie and Florence sat beside the kitchen door, as they tended to do at around that time of day. Usually, The Woman Named Cheryl would come in from the living room and open the door to let them out. The two cats weren’t particularly bothered about going out at that specific time (in fact, Bertie especially would have much preferred to just lounge underneath the hallway radiator for hours) but they both had come to understand that it was expected of them, and that if they satisfied The Woman Named Cheryl’s expectations, when they returned in from the cold they would be fed a generous bowl of smelly fish mush from out of a round metal thing.

But The Woman Named Cheryl hadn’t come out of her sleeping area all day. Florence didn’t know what the time was, or specifically what time was, but she understood that there was an imbalance of sorts. Unlike Bertie, Florence still had her tail. She was a large but slender ginger and white Moggie, with a delicate pink nose and long flowing blonde whiskers. Bertie, who was considerably fatter (but by no means any less good looking) was more of a blue tinted grey. Sometimes, he would hear people exclaim that they thought he was a British Blue, or a Russian Blue or some other type of fancy pedigree, that must have “cost a bomb” but he wasn’t. Because he liked the attention it gave him, Bertie tolerated it. Having no tail also helped in this regard, giving him an instant sympathetic air which he used against The People to obtain their various treats. Bertie lost his tail when a car he was sleeping under decided to suddenly start moving.

Bertie put the pads of his paws against the kitchen door and sniffed inquisitively.

Do you suppose I can push it open?”

Don’t be dense Bertie. You need to pull down the long white bit, and you’ll never reach it.”

Bertie glanced upward, examining the long white bit with his amber eyes.

I almost did once. You were in the other room. I don’t think you saw.”

Florence prowled into the hallway confidently.

I’m going to go and get her up. Wait here.”

Florence rushed off up the stairs, leaving Bertie alone downstairs, where he walked about for a bit and then napped on a dining table chair. Bertie had no idea how long he had been asleep (again, the concept of ‘time’ is often lost on felines) but he awoke to find Florence in front of him, with one of her soft, pink paw pads resting on his nose.

She won’t get up.” Florence announced, with a concerned tremble in her tone.

Nonsense…” Bertie rose up slowly, stretching out his four stumpy legs in unison.

I’ll just pad her bum. She always gets up when I pad her bum. She positively hates it.

Bertie smirked. Florence however, did not.

Bertie, I’m not a moron. Don’t you think I tried that?”

Claws or no claws?”

I won’t even dignify that with a response. I know how to get her attention, Bertie.”

I’ll show you how. Come on.”

Bertie scurried out of the dining room, and after giving out a huff, Florence followed.

Part Two

Bertie and Florence sat beside the pillow where The Woman Named Cheryl’s head lay. The two cats peered over, as still as scratching posts.

I told you something was up.” Florence said, turning away.

Oh, she’s just being lazy. Watch this.”

Bertie sank all four claws of his right paw into The Woman Named Cheryl’s left cheek, which as was to be expected, drew blood. The Woman Named Cheryl didn’t stir.

You’re a stubborn old puss, you know that?” Florence hissed as she begrudgingly crept back over.

I… I don’t understand.”

Bertie walked around to the other side of The Woman’s head and winced frustratedly. He then proceeded to continually strike her face with both sets of claws, until it was significantly red and scratched. The Woman Named Cheryl’s left eyelid was sliced almost in half, as was the side of her nostril. She did not stir.

Now Florence smiled.

You never listen, do you Fat-Pants?”

Bertie hissed and leaped off of the bed.

Don’t call me Fat-Pants! That is NOT my name anymore. The Woman changed it when she brought me here, and I don’t want to hear it, not ever again!”

Florence loved to tease Bertie, but knew that if she pushed any further she would certainly receive a scratched face too.

You’re right Bertie, I am sorry.”

Bertie paced about for a bit, and then jumped back onto the bed. He sprang back over towards The Woman’s head and gazed down.

Do you think she’ll ever get up Florence?”

I don’t know Bertie.”

Bertie nuzzled the top of The Woman Named Cheryl’s head with his nose.

I’m getting hungry Florence.”

As am I, Bertie.”

What other People come by?”

Hardly any.”

No, there’s that Man with the bag, who gives The Woman Named Cheryl the letters and boxes sometimes. I don’t think that’s our food in those boxes though, is it?”

Bertie and Florence hopped off of the bed together and tiptoed solemnly into the hallway, nuzzling hard against each others heads.

No Bertie, I don’t think it is.”

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written by Jen.I, sometime in 2014.

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