Jessie eyed the orb. It was sitting innocently on the ground between her and Charlie just out of Jessie’s reach. Jessie pretended to be sleeping with her head facing the ball. Once Charlie settled into his little cat bed, she would try to rescue her ball.
In the past few days Charlie had proven to be a nasty little animal. At least Jessie thought he was. Every time Jessie had walked past Charlie it had hissed and reached out to slash at her with his claws. Yesterday the cat’s nails had sunk into Jessie’s nose and caused it to bleed.
Now, Jessie wanted her ball, but she didn’t want to get close to the cat’s paws. She pretended to snore and opened one eye. Charlie was turning around and around in his bed. He finally settled down with his paws over the edge and his head on the soft side. He stared at Jessie as if daring her to come close. Charlie hissed in Jessie’s direction and closed his eyes.
Jessie sat for a long time trying to decide if Charlie was asleep. She must have waited an hour until she heard the cat’s breathing become more regular. Jessie quietly stood up and moved towards the ball. The cat did not stir. Jessie sped up slightly and the tags on her collar jangled together. Charlie opened one eye hissed and jumped up towards Jessie. He ran forward and stood beside the ball.
Jessie flopped down on the ground with her head between her paws and stared at the cat. She wasn’t really afraid of Charlie but his nails were sharp and Jessie didn’t want to have to go to the vet again. When Molly had taken her to get her nose fixed, the vet had given her a thorough physical. She had even cut Jessie’s nails and Jessie didn’t like anyone touching her feet. She didn’t want to go back any sooner than she had to.
Jessie closed one eye and settled in waiting for the cat to return to its bed. Charlie must have decided Jessie wasn’t a threat. He returned to his bed and stretched before settling in again. He closed his eyes almost immediately.
Jessie moved forward and quickly grabbed the ball. She turned to trot back to her bed when she felt something sharp on her back. The cat had jumped up and landed squarely in the middle. He hissed and held on as Jessie tried to throw him off. She dropped the ball in her bed and turned her head to snap at Charlie hoping she could dislodge his claws.
Jessie and Charlie were still battling when Molly came into the room carrying a water pitcher. “Jessie, Charlie that’s enough.” Molly tried to grab the cat off of the dog’s back but they were moving too fast. She took the pitcher of water and through it over the pair. The cat fled to the corner of the room and Jessie stood with her head down. She looked guiltily at Molly and then moved forward to lick her hand.
“I’ve had enough of the pair of you fighting. I don’t know what to do with you.” She looked down at the dog. Jessie was staring up at her with her beautiful brown eyes. “At least you know enough to apologize, Jessie. I don’t know what to do with that cat. I don’t want to get rid of him if I can help it. Do me a favour, Jessie and try to avoid him until he gets used to living with you. I’m sure he’ll come to love you as much as we do.” Molly leaned down and hugged the dog. She examined the dog’s back for bleeding and then stood up and grabbed a towel. She began to rub the water off of Jessie’s coat.
Jessie pushed her side against Molly’s hand. The towel felt good against her wet skin. She still didn’t like the cat and she didn’t trust him one bit. But, for Molly’s sake, she would keep a distance from him. Maybe, thought Jessie, he had been homeless like she had been. She could still remember the cold street and her rumbly tummy. Maybe, Molly was right and they would eventually get along. At least, Jessie would do her part to try. Could it be possible Charlie and her would become friends?