Listen to and read-along with this fun story by, Tasha Gaines.
Ms. Thompson rattled the small red bowl full of cat food and set it on the floor.
“Leeee-roy,” she called. A large black cat with gold eyes ran into the kitchen.
“There you are! You almost missed breakfast.”
Leroy rubbed his body against her ankles as he ran to his food bowl. Ms. Thompson put on her sweater, tucked a book in her purse, and finished making her lunch.
“I need to get to work. I’m running late as usual,” she said as she scratched her cat’s head. Leroy closed his eyes and purred as he
leaned against her. Scooping him up, she put him out on the front porch, then shut and locked the front door.
“You have a good day, Mister, and stay out of trouble.”
Leroy sat on the porch and watched the blue car drive away. Curiously, he watched a hummingbird hover at the hanging feeder. He chased a dead leaf across the porch until it fell onto the grass below. When the mailman delivered the mail, he sat very still and did not jump when the lid clanged shut.
Leroy stood up, stretched his back, and then pranced down the front steps. Avoiding cracks and sticks, he strolled down the sidewalk of Peach Street with his tail high.
He stopped for a drink from a leaky fire hydrant on the corner of Peach Street and Oak Avenue. After rambling two more
blocks, he turned left on Graham Street and trotted on until he came to Mr. Washington’s produce stand.
Leroy snuck up quietly behind Mr. Washington. Mr. Washington turned around, “Hey Charlie! Where ya been, buddy?” He bent over and picked the cat up.
Charlie purred as his friend hugged him close. “I bet you’re hungry. I’ve got your favorite, come on.”
Mr. Washington slid behind the counter as Charlie followed. He opened a can of tuna cat food and set it on the ground in front of the cat. Charlie sniffed it and started eating while Mr. Washington stepped towards some new customers.
After his lunch, Charlie sat in the sun and bathed himself. Pretty soon his eyes closed, and the black cat fell asleep under a crate of tomatoes.
The sound of a loud school bell woke Charlie from his nap. He yawned, stretched, and headed down the sidewalk. Charlie paused and tried to catch a yellow butterfly, but it danced away to another flower.
Casually, he walked three blocks, turned into the baseball field and sat and watched several boys playing catch.
“Hey there Blackie! Did ya miss me?” A blond-haired boy wearing a baseball cap knelt down and scratched Blackie under his chin.
Blackie closed his eyes and leaned against his friend. “I gotta go, but you watch me as I hit a homer!” the boy called as he ran to meet his friends.
Blackie rolled around in the brown dirt and then shook his fur clean. He wandered down the sidewalk again until he saw a squirrel in The Jimenez’s front yard.
Crouching down low, twitching his tail, he didn’t take his eyes off the squirrel. Blackie pounced playfully as far as he could, but the squirrel dashed quickly up the pecan tree, chattering angrily at him.
He went down the sidewalk again, turned left on Pecan Lane and stopped in front of a yellow house with a white fence around it.
“Meow.” Nothing. “Meow.” He waited. “Pip? Is that you?” A little girl pushed herself forward onto the sidewalk in her shiny wheelchair. Pip jumped up into her lap and rubbed his head under her chin.
“I was hoping you would come see me today! You want a snack?” Laura scratched his back with one hand while offering him a cracker with the other. Pip sniffed the cracker and then ate it, leaving crumbs in her lap.
“It’s been a good day today, Pip. How about you? Where all have you been today? I’m waiting on my friend Maggie to come over.”
Pip closed his eyes and listened as Laura scratched his back and head. He kneaded his claws on her lap, careful not to scratch her.
“Hey Laura! Are you ready to play?” Maggie asked as she reached out to pet Pip between the ears. He jumped down
and brushed his body against Maggie’s legs. Heading into the house, the girls called back to him,
“Bye Pip! We’ll see you later!”
Pip blinked his gold eyes, sniffed the air and stretched. He roamed two blocks and then turned left on Peach Street. Quietly, he stepped up the porch steps of Ms. Thompson’s house and laid down on the mat. Closing his eyes, he twitched his tail and waited.
He heard the sound of a car stopping and a door clicking shut. Opening his eyes, he watched Ms. Thompson come up the steps.
“Hey there pretty boy! You were probably so bored, laying on this porch all day. Let’s get you some dinner!”
She bent over to pat his head, and Leroy followed her into the house.
About the Author
Tasha J. Gaines – She is a mom to 3 great kids (all homeschooled), and now a Mimi to 1. She lives in East Texas with her 3 crazy cats – Mozzie, Walter, and Frankie Lou, who always stay home. Check out her Instagram: @tashajgaines
Categories: Audio Stories/Poems
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