Sigolath, the terror of the neighborhood, stalked down the sidewalk angrily swishing her tail. Mr. Grenfell, that clumsy oblivious human, had stepped on her tail again. Twice was two times too many. He needed to be taught a lesson.
She stopped and eyed the oak tree that shaded this section of sidewalk. The moss that clung to the trunk should make it easy to climb. The branches that arched over the sidewalk would be the perfect spot to sit and wait.
When Mr. Grenfell walked back this way, she’d land right on his ridiculous hat and yowl in his ear. That would be something he’d not forget any time soon. Sigolath purred. This was a great plan.
Sigolath looked at the tree again. Not now. He wouldn’t be home until the sun had moved to the other end of the sky. She would be back. It was time to hunt and keep her skills sharp.
She crouched and pushed through the gap at the bottom of the fence. This was the house with the lovely little pool where the birds took baths. She kept to the shadows and crawled under a bush.
Once she was positioned at the edge of the bush, she waited, ready to leap out at any bird foolish enough to land on the lawn nearby. Finally, a little finch glided from the bath to the ground below.
It would barely be a mouthful, but catching the little thing would be a challenge. Sigolath pounced. The finch darted away. It landed on a tree branch nearby and scolded her. Sigolath groomed her paws and ignored it. She hadn’t really wanted to catch it anyway. It was all feather and bones.
She turned and jumped at the birdbath. She couldn’t reach the top edge, but the birds scattered. They knew if they stayed too long, she’d find a way to catch them. Sigolath turned, tail in the air and marched to the tree.
She gripped at the bark with her claws and began to climb. The finch flew away chirping in alarm. She ignored it and clambered up onto a large branch. From the branch, she dropped down onto the top of the fence.
She ran along the top of the fence. The stupid dog in the yard below barked loudly. What good would making all that noise do? Dogs were terrible hunters. It’s why they had to hunt in packs. She flicked her tail at it. The dog barked louder and jumped at the fence. Sigolath dropped down on the other side and strolled away, leaving the noisy dog behind.
She caught and ate a beetle, chased some mice, and watched a rabbit for a while. It was safe inside a little box, but maybe today she’d find a way in. The rabbit pressed itself against the back of its box and trembled. Sigolath whipped her tail from side to side and waited.
Finally, it was time to address her grievance with Mr. Grenfell. She would have her vengeance and prevent the future maiming of cat tails everywhere. She stalked down the sidewalk and started to climb the oak tree.
She slipped once as some moss pulled free, but she caught herself and kept climbing. She perched in the middle of the branch where she had a good view of the sidewalk. She narrowed her eyes and waited.
A human came down the sidewalk carrying its child. The child looked up with wide eyes. Sigolath and the child watched each other as the child’s mother walked towards the tree. The child pointed and said something. The mother looked up.
The mother squinted. She stepped back. The child pointed again. She locked eyes with Sigolath. “Oh, poor kitty,” she said. “Are you stuck?”
Sigolath looked away. It was almost time. Was that Mr. Grenfell?
“Here, kitty kitty. If you drop, I’ll catch you.” Sigolath looked down. The human had set the child down and was holding her arms out. She was standing directly below Sigolath.
Sigolath looked up. Mr. Grenfell was here. He was going around the woman, out of pouncing range. Sigolath ran along the branch, but it was too late. Mr. Grenfell had escaped. Sigolath yowled her displeasure.
“Oh, are you too scared to jump? Poor thing. I’ll be back with a ladder, just wait here,” the human said. She scooped up her child and hurried away.
Sigolath glared at the sidewalk below. The humans had worked together this time and escaped her trap. She could wait. Her memory was long. No one held a grudge like a cat.
The woman returned carrying the child. Beside her was Mr. Grenfell, carrying a ladder. What luck! He climbed the ladder and reached out for Sigolath. She jumped straight onto his ridiculous hat. He tried to pull her off, but she avoided his hands.
Finally he started to descend the ladder. Sigolath leaned over and yowled into his ear. Justice was done after all. When they were closer to the ground, Sigolath dug her claws in and then leapt to the grass beside the sidewalk and scampered off. Her work here was complete.