Short Story Fiction
Leo and Cleo: A Stranger on the Prowl

A strange cat tries to move in on the neighborhood hunting ground, but meets with heavy resistance.

As he sat quietly he heard a rustling in the grass not too far from him. Gunther perked up his ears. It sounded much bigger than a mouse. He sniffed the air. It smelled like a cat, but not one he knew. This was a stranger.

Leo and Cleo, GuntherMeet “Gunther” Image source: Zhdana Lyuleva/Unsplash

It was a hot Summer day. Leo and Gunther were lounging on Leo’s back patio.

“Want to go catch a mouse?” Asked Gunther.

Leo didn’t even bother to open his eyes. “No. I like it right here. I’m not moving anything more than my tail.”

“Suit yourself,” replied Gunther as he stood and stretched. “I’m hungry for some raw food.”

“The lady who lives with me only feeds me this crappy tasting dry stuff. It’s like chewing on cat litter. I’ve done everything I can think of to get her to change it, but she doesn’t understand me. I need to eat a mouse…or something.”

Gunther wandered off to the field next to Leo’s house. He found a likely spot in the tall grass and settled in to wait for an unsuspecting morsel.

As he sat quietly he heard a rustling in the grass not too far from him. Gunther perked up his ears. It sounded much bigger than a mouse. He sniffed the air. It smelled like a cat, but not one he knew. This was a stranger.

Gunther held still, but the stranger continued to move closer. They spotted each other at about the same time. It was a skinny brown and white feral cat. It’s fur was matted. He looked old, but threatening.

They were about a foot apart and both held their ground. Ears folded back, fur standing on end and not twitching a whisker. The stranger started to whine loudly as he threatened Gunther.

“Who are you and what are you doing in my hunting area? You better take off now or I’m gonna’ beat you like a drum.”

Gunther still didn’t move, but he wasn’t going to let this stranger push him around. “I think you got it wrong, buddy. This is my hunting ground. It has been for some time and I’ve never seen you here before. I think you need to be the one to take off.”

Leo and Brutus both heard the commotion and came running from opposite directions. Leo didn’t want to see his friend get into a fight. Brutus on the other hand was looking forward to seeing a good tangle.

As soon as Gunther realized Leo was there, he continued to mock the stranger. “Don’t think you want to try that drum thing. I have friends here. If anyone gets beaten like a drum it’ll be you.”

Brutus chimed in. “Come on you two. Stop talking and let’s see some action here. I’m getting bored.”

Once the stranger knew Brutus wasn’t going to get involved, he attacked Gunther. The fur began to fly. The stranger put up one heck of a fight. Things weren’t looking so good for Gunther.

“Little help here guys!” Pleaded Gunther.

Immediately, Leo and Brutus jumped on the stranger with everything they had. The stranger quickly backed off.

He was bleeding from a nose bite Brutus had given him. “Hey, I thought you said you weren’t going to get involved.”

“No,” replied Brutus. “I said I wanted to see a little action. Can’t help it if I decided to be part of it. Why don’t you just mosey on down the road and don’t come back.”

“I’m going, but I’ll be back and I won’t be alone. You can count on it” The stranger walked away, limping.

“Well that was fun,” commented Brutus.

“Thanks for your help,” replied Gunther.

“Don’t get used to it. I have a reputation to uphold,” he replied as he headed back to his house.

Leo stopped him. “Hey, what about his threat. He’s coming back with reinforcements.”

“Probably an empty threat. I wouldn’t worry about it,” replied Brutus as he continued on home.

Leo and Gunther weren’t so sure. They kept a close eye on the field for several days until they decided Brutus may have been right.

That decision turned out to be a mistake.

One morning Leo and Cleo were out in the back yard when they heard a familiar voice. It was the stranger. He was back. This time he had a friend with him. A big white cat with mean looking eyes. They marched right into the back yard and started trash talking Leo.

“Where’s that friend of yours, the one that bit me? We’re here to kick some butt, his and yours… and that other friend of yours if he wants to join the party?”

“They’re not here right now,” replied Leo

“Well then I guess we’ll just have to kick your butt and get the other two later.”

He turned his attention to Cleo. “We don’t beat up on girls so why don’t you take a hike. Don’t go too far. We may come looking for you later, if you know what I mean.” He gave a menacing chuckle as Cleo took off running.

“Well now, since it’s just you, I think I’ll let my friend sit this one out.”

Before the stranger had a chance to make his move, Brutus, who had heard the commotion, snuck up on the stranger and jumped him from behind.

Leo was about to pounce on the white cat when Cleo and Gunther came flying around the corner of the house. The white cat was outnumbered and he knew it. He made a lot of noise but held his ground.

The stranger escaped from Brutus and both cats began to run. Leo, Cleo, Gunther and Brutus were hot on their trail. They chased them out of the yard and through the field until they were well out of sight.

“I love a good sneak attack.” commented Brutus. “I hope they come back. They’re more of a challenge then you guys.”

“I thought you were protecting us?” Commented Cleo.

“And why would I do that?” Replied Brutus as he turned and headed back to his house.

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


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