Rojo The Bully
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Jake, a marmalade-orange cat, enjoyed the spring sunshine while sitting in his living room window.
It would be nice to take a walk out the front way for a change, he thought, but then he noticed a black cat with a tuxedo look, watching him from the front garden gate.
Jake was curious about the strange cat that he had never seen before.
The black cat waved a paw for Jake to come outside.
Well, do I go or should I stay inside?
The black cat walked along the pathway toward Jake's house and now he could see the black cat's green eyes, pleading with him to go outside.
That did it, Jake leapt from the window sill and ran through the dining room to his cat door.
In a flash, he was outside.
He felt excitement as he ran around to the front of the house through an opening under the front gate.
Jake found the black cat waiting for him but then he realized he didn't know if the black cat was friendly or not.
He stayed by the peach-coloured rose bush, ready to make a run for it.
"Hi there, what's your name?"
"Shadow," the black cat said. "And yours?"
"You have a pretty name. Mine's Jake."
"Why are you always sitting in the window day after day?"
"That's what indoor cats do. We watch what's going on outside."
Suddenly Jake didn't feel very sure about being past his gate.
"Have you been watching me?"
"Not really watching you, but I do see you when I'm passing by on the street.
Would you like to come and meet my friends? It's not far."
"I would, thanks."
They were walking along the pathway toward the street when a fast car passed by.
Jake glanced over his shoulder, checking to see if Nancy, his owner, was coming after him. She wasn't.
As they walked by the house next door, Shadow wondered, are other cats being kept in these houses by themselves all day?
Shadow led the way to her friend's favourite hideout.
"Jake," she said, "what are you doing, hanging back there. C'mon, are you smelling all those other cats on that pine tree?"
"Not really, it's just that I haven't been outside of my garden in a long time and I'm feeling a bit nervous about being here."
He glanced back to see if Nancy was in sight.
"Okay, we'll walk together."
"You're a nice cat Shadow, thank you for looking out for me."
"All of my friends are homeless cats just like me, that's why we look after each other."
Shadow and Jake turned the corner to where Shadow's friends were chatting with each other under an ancient oak tree.
"Shadow, it's good to see you," Motley, the bossy one called out.
She was almost as black as Shadow but with a tan face.
"Who have you bought with you?"
"This is Jake, he's an indoor cat. I found him sitting in his window."
"That sounds pretty boring Jake," Mossy said with his white moustache moving from
side to side among his long fur. "How do you do it every day?"
"I don't know any different because I've always played in my garden."
"Shadow will pick you up every day when she's passing by," Patches said, tapping
Jake on his shoulder.
"You sure are a pretty group of cats," Jake said. "I love the stripes on your head Mossy, and your big ears.
Patches, you're orange like me and I love the white patch on your nose, it's very cute."
"Yeah, thanks Jake," Patches said. "You can guess how I got this silly name."
"Don't feel bad, lots of cats get silly names." Jake walked over to Patches and rubbed his head on Patches head, and then he heard him purr.
"Hey, everyone," Motley said, "we have exciting news, come over and sit with us."
All the cats were soon sitting in a circle, ready to listen to his story.
"When Patches and I were out walking last night, where we shouldn't have been!"
He heard lots of giggles from the other cats.
"There we found a large bag of pennies sitting in an alleyway."
Motley loved the way he had everyone glued to what he was saying.
"We found an old beat-up skateboard to bring the bag home and my goodness, it was very heavy. We've counted the pennies, can anyone guess how many pennies there are in the bag?"
"Where's the bag?" Mossy asked, looking around for it.
"We've hidden it for the time being."
"How can we guess how many when we can't see the bag?"
"We thought it was safer, in case old Rojo came by, anyway, there's one thousand
"We can get a lot of food with that amount," Jake said.
"We haven't seen Rojo for a long time," Shadow said. "is he still around here?"
"I spotted him just yesterday morning on my way here," Motley said. "He was walking south along Jones Street with Mazey, that stuck-up Maine-coon cat with her long fur looking all shiny and wispy."
"I thought we could all go to Chatty Kitties Eatery with the pennies tonight," Patches said.
"That sounds great, Patches," Mossy said. "We haven't eaten there in a long time."
Rojo rounded the corner and stretched his neck, sniffing the air for food.
"I heard food mentioned just now. Who's got some?"
Motley's fur stood on end when he heard Rojos demand.
"What are you doing here?" Motley yelled at him.
"I'm hungry." Rojo narrowed his eyes on Motley. "Feed me and then I'll go away."
"We're all out of food so leave us alone." Motley was still yelling at him.
"I heard you talking about food, so give me some, you silly cats."
"Oh!" Patches cried. "He called us silly, did you all hear that?"
He crouched, ready to pounce on Rojo if he kept talking.
"Leave," Patches said. "You're not welcome here."
Rojo was a huge cat with long black fur and orange eyes, he looked evil.
"Yeah, I'll leave now, but I'll be back."
Jake watched Rojo saunter away and wondered why his new friends put up with this
bully. "Guys, why can't we do something about him?"
"He's too big for us," Shadow said.
"He's making you think he's big," Jake said. "everyone has a fear of some kind, we need to work on his."
"A fear," Mossy murmured. "Yes that's good thinking Jake, I know that he's run away from mice before."
"A cat that's afraid of mice," Jake said. "that sounds perfect to me. Where can we catch mice, does anyone know?" He glanced around at his friends.
"Hi, everyone," Binka said, running up to her buddies. "What's going on?"
"Binka, come over here," Motley said. "You know where there's a lot of mice running around, don't you?"
"Sure do, there's a lot in that old farm building across the field from here."
"Will you catch six for us, to scare off Rojo and Mazey, please?"
"Have they been here bothering you?"
"Rojo came here a little while ago wanting food and we don't have any," Motley said.
"You'll need something to put those pesky little things in," Jake said.
"No problem," Binka said. "I have a plastic shopping bag right here."
She pulled a bag out of her back pocket.
"That sounds good to me," Motley said.
Binka took off, running with the plastic bag hanging from her back pocket.
She was excited as she ran across the field to the old farm building.
When she got to the front doors she heard lots of squealing inside.
She pulled out a morsel of cheese stuck in the corner her front pocket.
"Come on, all you meece mice," she whispered. "get into the bag for your goody."
"Hi guys, sorry I haven't been around for a while."
"It's good to see you, Ginger," Motley said. "You're just in time to help us with Rojo and his girlfriend."
Ginger is one-eyed smoky-gray shorthaired cat.
"What's he up to now?"
"He came here looking for food," Motley said.
"We sent Binka for six mice to frighten them off when they come back."
"I'll wait around to see him get scared when he comes back," Ginger said.
She spotted Jake's bright-orange fur. "Who's the new cat?"
Jake walked over to Ginger and introduced himself.
"I'm Jake. It's nice to meet you, Ginger, as anything exciting happened to you lately?"
"Those cat catchers in a van came by and scooped me in to a net."
He glanced toward the road, making sure there were no vans in sight.
"You mean you where picked up because you weren't paying attention?" Patches
"She was a very pretty calico cat," Ginger said, "so, yes my attention was elsewhere."
"It sounds like she was worth getting picked up for," Jake said. "You should've bought her with you."
"Unfortunately for me, someone came to the shelter and claimed her before I had a chance to talk to her."
Binka came back with her bag full of mice, squealing like crazy to be let out.
"Good job, Binka," Motley said. "Did you get six?"
"Yes, it was so easy because I had a piece of cheese on me."
"Good. Let me take a peek inside the bag."
"Motley, be careful because they're trying to escape."
"Oh, they're all so tiny, they must be baby mice, how cute they look."
"Really Motley," Patches said. "Pull yourself together, they're mice and that's all."
"I'll go out to see if I can find Rojo and his girlfriend," Ginger said.
He really wanted to see if his Calico friend was out and about but he could watch for Rojo at the same time.
"Ginger if you see them, don't tell them about our mouse problem," Jake called out.
"Ginger, can I come with you?" Binka asked.
Binka would like Ginger to be her boyfriend.
They ran across the field and through the tall green grass where they enjoyed a good romp around.
"Whee!" Binka sang out as she slid on the slither of grass.
Ginger liked her, she was fun.
He ran over to her.
She was sitting on the grass where she landed.
"Binka, what kind of cat are you?"
"I'm a special mini-breed of a Russian Blue, after the lady took me home she decided she didn't like my looks."
"Your mama let you go to people who weren't nice? Binka, you like having fun, right?"
"Sure, I do."
"How about you and me going out sometime soon?"
"I-I'd love to Ginger," Binka said with excitement.
"Everyone," Motley said, "seeing that we're on our own, I think we should keep the penny story to ourselves."
They all agreed that it was a good idea.
Ginger and Binka came racing back and tried talking but they were both out of breath.
"Sit down and relax for a minute before you try and talk," Jake said.
Ginger took a deep breath and then he told everyone he'd just seen Rojo and Mazey marching toward them and they couldn't be far off.
"They're here," Binka whispered.
Rojo and Mazey looked very mean as they turned the corner and trotted toward the
"Why have you come back here, Rojo?" Motley screamed at him.
"There's no need to scream," Rojo said. "We only need to be fed."
Shadow could see how upset Motley was so she told Rojo that they hadn't had any
food for a while so they didn't have anything to give them.
Ginger slipped behind his friends to find the white plastic bag.
"Go and do your job, mouses," he whispered as he put the plastic bag's opening
towards Rojo and Mazey and then let go.
Rojo and Mazey screamed when five mice ran over their feet and mouse number six ran up Mazey's leg.
The mouse climbed onto her nose and stood on his back legs, looking straight into her eyes.
Up went Mazey's paws, she didn't know what to do.
"Eek! Help me! Help me!"
Rojo took hold of Mazey's paw and knocked the mouse off her nose, then he dragged her away.
All the cats cheered, "We won. We won."
Ginger wondered, Yes, but for how long?
It had been a very busy day and they were all hungry.
"Hey, everybody," Motley said, "are you ready for Chatty Kitties Eatery?"
All the cats watched excitedly as Patches counted out twelve pennies for each of them.
"Now we're ready."
"You know, we should all stay here tonight," Motley said.
There was no argument with that suggestion.
They ran along Parchmont Street to 20th, making a right onto Pico, that's where they started to smell Chatty Kitties barbeque ribs cooking.
"Isn't that a wonderful smell, Motley?" Shadow asked.
"I can't wait to sink my teeth into that rib meat," Ginger said.
They walked into Chatty Kitties and were immediately seated at a table for seven.
When the owner saw Motley, he knew why they were there.
"Ribs coming up, you guys."
"I can't wait to eat," Binka said.
The owner came back with a platter of chopped rib meat. "Here's your ribs, enjoy."
The sweet smell alone had the juices in their mouths ready for their first bite.
After devouring all the rib meat, they licked their fingers for the last drops of barbeque sauce.
Patches tummy felt very full.
"It's time for a nap Motley."
"I think I'm ready to sleep the night away."
They walked back along the streets they had taken to reach the restaurant.
Ginger kept his ears perked for the sound of any vans because he didn't want to spend another night in a shelter.
They were minding their own business, when Rojo appeared out of nowhere.
"A-ha! My fat little friends, you can't tell me now that you don't have food."
"We went looking for it and maybe you should do the same," Motley said. "We don't scrounge like you do, from people like us."
"Okay, Motley." Rojo sounded ticked off at the accusation. "Where did you get your meal tonight?"
"At the Chinese Palace on Broadway, it's all you can eat."
"See, you can be nice when you want to," Rojo said. "See yah."
"Do you think we're going to be safe by the oak tree, now that you've told him the wrong place to eat?" Patches asked.
"They'll give him food, I know that much. Ah, home at last, nighty-night everyone."
"Goodnight, Motley," they all sang out.
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