Great when you’re cold. Not so, when you wear a fur coat and are a cat in the middle of the summer.
Such was the torturous reality for Tiger and Rat, and Tiger’s dumb sister, Kaley. While Rat stayed relatively cool in the basement and Kaley splayed, snoozing on the deck, Tiger sulked and ruminated in his mom’s dark and coolish den…
“How, where to escape the heat? There has to be a way.”
In the distance, he heard his sister, say, “Mrgrll.” That was all Kaley added to the conversation. She was a kibble eating monster, a lousy mouser, and a mom and kitty litter hog. Tiger saw nothing advantageous in his little sis, but his mom kept her around, so there had to be something to the fur ball.
Out past the alley, in Bootsie’s backyard, Tiger spied a funny-looking, round shaped thingamabob. It was bright blue with funny bumps on the bottom and fake waves on the edge. It seemed made of plastic, or so the well-read Tiger assumed.
Skulking from shrub to hedge and from hedge to shrub to avoid the glaring noonday sun, Tiger made his way to the upturned behemoth to give it a good old investigative sniff.
“Hey, Tig, what ya doin’?” asked Bootsie. The black and white pawed cat was never far away if Tiger was in alley snoop mode.
“This thingy, leaning up against your fence. What is it?”
“Oh, that old thing. That’s my master’s kiddie pool.”
“Kiddie pool. What’s a kiddie pool?”
“It’s a thing that fills with liquid and cools off kiddies in the summer heat.”
“Why’s it not in use?”
“No grand kiddies around.”
“Ah…” Confused as well as curious, Tiger put a paw to his chin, and said, “Can it be a kitty pool, too? Can it cool off, well, us?”
Bootsie turned to look at the human liquid holder, and thought, and walked around it, and sniffed it, and thought some more, and said, “Sure. Why not? All you need to do is drop it and fill it, and you’re ready to go. I even know how to do all that. I’ve watched my master, and believe me, I love the guy, but as humans go, he’s more than a kibble short of a whole bag, if you know what I mean.”
“Whoo hoo! Cool off kitty time! Let’s get this ventilated fur party started!”
And so Tiger helped tip the thing onto the ground and he and Bootsie jawed a hold of it and dragged it into Bootsie’s yard. The pair were pleased as a poo-poo free kitty litter with their efforts.
“Okay, Boots, fill this thing!”
“On it.” Bootsie sauntered over to the hose, pulled it near, dropped the nozzle in the pool and returned to open the tap with his paws.
To Tiger’s horror, the pool was filling with… with… oh hellish hairball… water! WATER!
“What are you doin’?!!” yelled Tiger, as he jumped onto the fence to avoid the hellish spray.
“Filling it, like you said.”
“With that water stuff? Are you mad?”
“Well, that’s how the kiddies in a kiddie pool cool off.”
Tiger stared bug-eyed at the gushing liquid. He put his paws up to his cheeks, and said, “Wow,” adding, “Well, that’ll never do. Cats hate water. I HATE water. You’re better off sticking me with pins than hitting me with that stuff.”
Bootsie turned off the tap, walked over to the pool, and gazed into the shimmering liquid.
He lifted one paw and tipped it carefully into the pool. His claws and fur got wet. He yanked it out, sniffed and surveyed the damage. He licked it. Tasted okay. No permanent marks.
“Meh, it’s not as bad as you think,” said Bootsie, waving his wet paw back and forth to wick off the water. “And look, my paw, it’s cool now! And I got a drink. It’s really a heavenly two-fer, if you’re open to experimentation.”
Tiger hopped off the fence and snuck up to the pool, and peered in. The crystal clear liquid moved in ripples when he shoved the edge. He tipped his chin over the lip and sniffed it.
Water, the stuff I drink. Whodathunk?
Tiger took a lick, and liked it, and licked some more. The cacophonous lapping sound echoed hither and yon down the alley, bringing all the neighborhood cats out from their heatwave hiding places to snoop out the disturbance.
Fat Cat arrived with the newest 56 street alley kitty, Huey. The tiny grey striped runt belonged to that young-in-love, adorable couple down the way.
Fat Cat held Huey’s paw until the kitten spied the pool. Huey let go and ran and ran and tripped and ran some more to the pool, reaching the edge and dive-bombing into the water. To Tiger’s horror and Bootsie’s amusement and Fat Cat’s shock, they watched while Huey did the cat paddle and the front paw and even the side lick-stroke, rolling and rolling around in the luscious liquid like some kind of otter in heat.
Tiger pointed to the soaking wet kitten, and said to Fat Cat, “What is wrong with this fur ball? Was he dropped on his head? Do that couple feed him cannabis kibble? Shouldn’t you rescue him? Cuz I’m not rescuing him. He’s covered in that wet stuff!”
Fat Cat smiled, and said, “Oh, Tiger, get a grip. This is the 21st century. We have evolved. It’s not about hating water anymore. It’s about accepting water. Peace ‘n’ love and water acceptance for what water is. Acceptance is all the rage right now.”
Tiger, knowing that Fat Cat was the wisest feline in the alley, cocked his head at the pool, reached in and with the tip of his paw sunk it ever so carefully in the water.
Tiger ran like it was Last Call for Temptations Treats, taking a bee-line to his backyard, frantically shaking his paw, praying he wouldn’t melt like the wicked witch in his mom’s TV box.
“Evolution. It takes time with some. Look out. Cannonball!” yelled Fat Cat as his bulbish form flew through the air.
Fat Cat displaced half the liquid in the rebranded kitty pool but added way more fun. Bootsie laughed, refilled the pool with more of that magical H2O, and dove in himself, not wanting to miss any of the cat soaking fun.
All the neighbor cats took their turns, too. The heat was beat!
Tiger, sitting on his mom’s sweltering deck, scowled and snorted as his useless sis snored. The irate feline mumbled, “Some things are not to be trifled with. Water for is for lapping, not touching. The world is going to howling heck in a cat basket.” The miffed feline walked over to his water dish and pawed it a little and meowed a little less. Maybe it would just take time…
Out the sliding door walked Rat, dressed in surfer shorts and a baseball cap, with a tiny terry towel slung around his neck and sunblock on his pink nose.
“Where you goin’?” asked Tiger.
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