Please find below a guest story by our good friend Dorothy Berry-Lound:
Three Lost Kittens
Time for an adventure
Moonboots, Tippy and Twee decided to head off lower down the mountain to search for adventure.
Trevor asked if he could come too. “You are too small,” said Twee. “Wait for us at the house, we won’t be long”. The three kittens started walking down the dirt track from the house. Tippy kept stopping on the way to chase butterflies. Each time he ran off after a butterfly, the two girls sat and waited patiently for him, sitting grooming in the sunshine.
A sensible approach
The kittens made their way down past the familiar trees and woodland and down into the olive groves below. “I don’t want to go too far,” said Moonboots. “I have never been down here before”.
“Relax,” said Twee. “My Mum says that as long as we keep one familiar thing in sight we can’t get lost”.
They found an open clearing where nice and warm in the sun they fell asleep.
Attacked by hunting dogs
They woke with a jolt as pack of hunting dogs came racing towards them barking. Luckily one wore a bell round its neck which gave them a little bit of warning. “Run!” screamed Moonboots, and the kittens shot off in different directions with hounds snapping at their heels. The two girls managed to get up a tree and Tippy shot into a small space in a blackberry bush.
Panting, the girls looked down in horror as the dogs stood with their paws up the tree, baying in their direction. They could hear Tippy crying with fear as dogs were trying to dig their way into his bush to get him. Then they heard the sound of a whistle in the distance followed by a man’s voice shouting the dogs. Luckily the dogs responded and ran off into the distance.
Recovering from the attack
“Moonboots?” called Tippy. “We are up the tree safe Tippy,” said Moonboots. “Don’t come out, in case they come back! Are you all right?”.
“I hurt my paw,” said Tippy, “I trod on something sharp. But I’m okay, I just want to go home”.
“Well we have to be patient and wait,” said Twee, being practical. “When we are sure they are gone we can go home”.
Some time later the girls decided to come out of the tree and ran over to Tippy who came out of his bush, limping slightly. “Let’s go home,” said Tippy.
But which way do we go?
“Which direction is it?” asked Moonboots. With horror it dawned on the kittens that they had run a long way when the dogs chased them and they didn’t know which way was home. Tippy started to cry again. “Crying won’t get us anywhere Tippy,” said Twee. “We have to figure out how to get home”.
By now it was getting dark. “I think we need to stay here for the night, in Tippy’s blackberry bush so we are safe. Then we will find our way home in daylight,” said Twee. Moonboots and Tippy agreed.
“They will all be waiting for us at home,” said Tippy. “I told the others we would see them at dinner time. They will be on the porch looking for us”.
“Well it can’t be helped Tippy,” said Moonboots. “We will be home in the morning”.
Meanwhile back at home
At home the cats were on the porch waiting as their human Mum came out with their food. She noticed that the three lost kittens were not there and called and called for them. She fed the rest of the family and then walked all round the land calling “Moonboots”, hoping to hear a miaow and see her little face appear along with the others. But it was not to be. And she was worried; they had never been absent before.
Asking a wild boar for help
It was now dark and the kittens were huddled together to keep warm, in the middle of the blackberry bush. They slept intermittently as there were so many noises. Then, there was a lot of noise and the sound of heavy footsteps and a strong animal smell. A wild boar had come to eat the blackberries that had fallen.
“Please sir,” said Tippy. “We are three lost kittens, can you tell us how to find our home? We live by a big house and have lots of brothers and sisters including two big black dogs that look after us”.
“I know the house,” said the boar. “But you are quite a way from it. You are safer here for now and then in the morning head towards the sunrise and you will find the track.”
“Thank you so much,” said Moonboots politely.
An hour or so later there was another smell and the sound of an animal carefully circling the blackberry bush. With horror Moonboots realised it was a big male fox. At that moment, the fox lunged towards the gap in the bush and tried to grab her. Out of nowhere, Twee launched herself and scratched the fox’s nose really badly. Tippy started crying. “There are three of us and only one of you,” said Twee. “Go away and leave us alone”.
” I will be back this way tomorrow,” said the fox “and I will have my family with me. Then you will be mine”. He slunk away into the darkness.
Tippy was still crying. Moonboots licked his face to comfort him. Whilst her back was turned Twee smacked Tippy on the head saying “Woose!”.
In the morning, the kittens followed the boar’s instructions and walked towards the direction of the sun rise. Unfortunately, as it warmed up, butterflies started to appear and once again Tippy kept diving off after them.
“Tippy!” said Twee sharply. “We don’t have time for this, we have to get home!”.
Twee took the lead, with Moonboots right behind her and Tippy trailing behind.
They seemed to have walked for ages and stopped for a rest. The sun was getting quite high in the sky now and they still hadn’t reached the track. They started walking again and then Moonboots looked back and saw Tippy sitting crestfallen looking down at something on the ground in front of him. She called Twee and they ran back to him.
“What’s up this time?” said Twee crossly.
Tippy pointed at the crumpled butterfly dead in front of his paws. “I broke it,” he said. “It is not pretty any more”.
Moonboots sighed and said, “Sometimes, Tippy, we want things really badly and then when we get them they are a disappointment. The wanting is more fun than the having”.
“What does that mean?” said Tippy.
“It means we need to get home,” said Twee.
Heading for home
By now, apart from a few beetles, the kittens hadn’t eaten anything for quite a while. Tippy was repeating that he was hungry until he saw a glare from Twee and decided it was better to keep quiet.
“We can’t afford to be out here for another night Twee,” said Moonboots. “That fox will be back and he is angry”.
“I agree,” said Twee. We need to push on”.
Then there was a squeal from behind them and Tippy said “I recognise that tree! Come on girls! I am going to sleep for a week when we get home!”.
“There is hope for him yet,” muttered Twee under her breath.
Sure enough they had found the bottom of the track that led home. But it was still a long way to go and it was already starting to get dark and looked like it was going to rain. Tippy was still limping so they had to walk at his pace and as a strong wind started to blow Moonboots began to wonder if they were going to get home before the storm broke.
Twee then shouted, “Look I can see lights”.
Sure enough up in the distance there were lights twinkling.
“Home!” said Moonboots, excitement in her voice. “And it is time for dinner”.
All of the images used to illustrate the story are available to buy as a fine art print – just click on the picture to be taken to the purchase page. If you like cats you might like to look at my Cute Cats calendar that has just become available and also my book about my rescue kitten ‘I am Stevie Mouse‘.
This post first appeared on DOROTHY BERRY-LOUND ART BLOG