LITTLE EASTER’S BRAVE ADVENTURE
A CAT TALE FOR KIDS OF ALL AGES
For the real Easter. And for Gandalf, her brother. And also for Mel, their lady-person.
Little Easter lived with her brother and her two people in a nice little house called Number 2. Her brother was a grey-and-black striped cat called Gandalf Solo Magellan. He was bigger than she was, but not so fast and not quite so clever. Also, Gandalf chased shadows – which was a very silly thing to do.
Easter was a slinky black cat with just a little bit of white on her paws and on her chest. It was like she had walked through wet white paint and then scratched under her chin and tummy. Her whiskers where also white and her big eyes where very green, but all the rest was black – even her nose.
Her tail was always curled like a question mark – even when she was just walking somewhere. She was a very curious cat and liked to explore everything.
Little Easter actually had three names. Just like Gandalf did. She was called Easter Lynx-Ears Leaf-Catcher. She was called this because she had long tufts of black fur on top of her ears like a lynx and because she liked to catch leaves when they fell on the ground.
Easter’s brother was called Gandalf because he was mostly grey. His lady-person had read a book about a magical man called Gandalf who was a grey wizard. And he was also called Solo and Magellan because he liked to go exploring all on his own. His tail was always straight.
But Easter did not know why she was called Easter. There are very few things cats do not know. But Easter liked to be called this and didn’t mind too much about not knowing.
One day when she was about two years-old (which is about 12 years-old in human years), little Easter had an awful adventure. But it was an adventure that turned out to have a happy ending.
It happened like this:
One warm Monday morning, after her people went away to work, Easter squeezed herself through the hole in the wall where the water drained through after the rain. Then she set off to explore the open field on the other side of the wall.
She sniffed at the old car tires and hopped through the long grass just like a lynx. She chased grass-hoppers and pounced on flies. She explored behind rocks and under discarded papers. She listened to the dogs snuffling and barking behind their walls and chuckled to herself as only cats can.
After a few hours she grew bored and decided to explore the patch of veld over the road. The road was a very scary thing. It was hard and black with big cars that sped along it.
But Easter was a brave cat and she really wanted to explore everything. It was just the way she was.
She waited by the side of the road for her chance to cross. There weren’t many cars, but each time she felt safe enough to cross, and put out a white paw, another huge car would thunder by.
Eventually she felt brave enough and dashed across the road. As she did, a white car came out of nowhere and hit her hard on her side. It was lucky that the big wheels didn’t crush her.
The pain was terrible, and she only just managed to drag herself the rest of the way across the road before the next car came. There she curled up under some long grass and mewed with soreness.
The car did not even stop.
When she woke up, it was dark and cool. The stars where out and she knew her people were at home. Cats have super hearing, and she could hear them faintly, far away.
She tried to get up but couldn’t. Her leg was not working properly.
About an hour later she heard a rustle in the grass and grew frightened. Suddenly a cat leaped at her and she hissed to try to chase it away. Then she saw it was her brother Gandalf and she purred in relief.
Gandalf licked her head with a look of concern in his shining eyes. He told her that there was fishy-fish for dinner and that she should come home. When Easter told him about the white car and about her leg, he grew confused.
When she woke up the next morning she was very hungry. She tried to swat down a few insects to eat but she couldn’t catch them. She ate a few blades of juicy grass lying under her nose but she didn’t like it too much.
After a while, Gandalf came back. He mewed first so that she would know it was him. Gandalf told his sister that he had tried to get the people to understand, but that they didn’t. He said that she should try to get home. It was the only way.
Easter lifted herself up gingerly and hobbled a few paces before slumping down and breathing heavily through her open mouth. She was very sore and couldn’t move anymore. Her tail wasn’t even curled like a question mark anymore – it was tucked up over her sore leg. She drifted off to sleep again.
Easter and her brother where only small kittens and even though the people didn’t let them outside, there were still lots to explore inside. They climbed the curtains, peered into the large fish tank at the strange swimming fish and chased one another all around the place.
Sometimes her people would let them outside and once even took them down to the great pool with the grass around it. They were very frightened and couldn’t walk properly on the prickly grass. They had to lift each leg high in the air when they walked. Soon enough, the people gathered them up and took them back inside the safe house.
One day lots of loud men came into the little townhouse. Easter and Gandalf were put in an empty room with a little water and food and a blanket and their box. As they listened, they heard the men taking the boxes and furniture out of the house.
Eventually the sounds of the men in the house became quiet and the people opened the door to get them. They were put into a big cage together and carried downstairs. Gandalf had a little accident in the cage from fright, and Easter licked him to comfort him.
After they traveled in the car to the new house they were put in another empty room that smelled of fresh paint and new carpets. The men dragged everything in again. But this time they were much quicker. After only an hour (that’s six hours for a cat), they left and the people came in to love them and spoil them. They did not even shout at Gandalf for what he did when they were in the cage.
The new place was wonderful. It was big and quiet and it had a little walled-in garden. Easter and Gandalf spent long hours playing inside and out in the garden. They helped the people unpack and hang curtains and plant new green things in the garden.
Sometimes the people would shout at them – especially when they were trying to help hang the curtains, or when they worked in the mud and then ran through the house. But they were never really angry, and they always started to laugh after a while.
After a long time, Easter woke up again. Gandalf was lying next to her keeping her warm. It was night-time in the veld but she had no idea how late it was. It was very quiet, and the dew was forming on the grass around her. Gandalf had brought her a few pellets of cat food – as many as he could carry in his mouth – and she ate them up quickly, even though they were a bit wet. Then she licked the grass because she was very thirsty indeed.
And so it went for another two days. Gandalf would bring her food and lie with her. Then, on the morning of the fifth day, she decided to try to get home. She knew she had to try or she would be here forever. She might even go to sleep and never wake up.
She mustered up all her courage and slowly, very slowly limped across the road. Eventually – many, many cat hours later, she made it about half way home. But she could go no further. She sat down in a heap and began to fall into a deep sleep. Just then, she heard familiar voices calling her. They were walking through the veld trying to find her.
‘Here Easter. Kitsy-kitsy.’
She tried to stand up and hobble into a clearing. She tried to meow but her throat was as dry as dust. After a time her people moved away, still calling out:
‘Fishy-fish. Come get your fishy-fish.’
She could hear that they were upset, but she had no way of telling them were she was.
Easter was already away from home for five whole days. All she had eaten was some grass and the few pellets Gandalf had brought for her. He carried on bringing them and kept trying to tell the people where his sister was. He wasn’t quite as clever as she was, but that wasn’t his fault. He was trying to help her as best he could.
The next day, Easter managed to hobble a little closer to the hole in the wall. Gandalf was there again and when the big tabby tom cat from next door called Turbo tried to attack his sister, Gandalf rushed at him and hissed and fluffed himself up magnificently, dancing on his toes and arching his back and frightening the big tom cat away. Easter was very proud of her brother for being so brave.
Then she remembered about the time Gandalf didn’t come home for two days. He was stuck on a roof surrounded by barking dogs. When he eventually made it home, he was all skinny and dull-eyed and promised never to go near dogs again. Everyone thought he was very brave for surviving that ordeal.
Gandalf could only help in his way, and the people, although she heard them calling out for her often – their voices growing more and more desperate – didn’t have much cat-sense and she knew they would never be able to help. Little Easter knew that it was up to her to make it home.
So she did what any brave little cat would do – she tried and tried. Little by little she inched her way home. She moved only as much as she could and then stopped to cat-nap.
On the tenth day, early in the morning, little Easter found the hole in the wall. She squeezed herself through just as her lady-person opened the front door. Easter mustered all of her strength and meowed as loudly as she could. It came out more like a rat squeal than any sound a cat would make.
The lady-person looked at the skinny, bedraggled cat hobbling towards her and ran to scoop her up. Easter didn’t even complain of the pain when her lady-person kissed her and squeezed her tight. The lady-person’s eyes were watering something fierce.
Everyone told Easter what a very brave cat she was. Doctor Bob, the cat doctor, said he had never seen anything like it. He said it was a miracle she had survived – eating mainly grass and licking dew for ten whole days (which is two months for a cat).
He said her hip was broken in two places and it was a wonder she could move at all.
She was covered in ticks and was as thin as rake when she got to Doctor Bob. After three days the very kind Doctor had fixed her up as much as he could and she was allowed to go home.
Her people put out lots of cushions and blankets in the sun for her to sleep on, and spoiled her with sardines and cream and chicken and even some of the dried meat which she loved. After a few months (which is almost a year in cat years) Easter started to go out into her garden and explore. After an even longer time, she even went through the hole in the wall again, but never very far – and never near the road.
In the end she even found out what her name meant. Easter meant a miracle after suffering and the promise of a new life. It was also a kind of celebration, as she understood it. She thought her name suited her purr-fectly.
It was a marvel that she was alive – a miracle that she had made it through her terrible adventure safely. Everyone celebrated her return and her miraculous recovery – especially Gandalf.
She was a very brave cat and a very clever cat and a very pretty cat. Little Easter Lynx-Ears Leaf-Catcher got to live a very happy long cat life (which is lots and lots of years in human years).
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