A Slight Matter of Conflict

by Henri of Twin Brook

Yesterday, it was a bright sunny day. The smell of autmn was in the air and I decided to take a nap in the garden, between the new rose bushes my person had planted. I had almost fallen asleep when I heard the sound of claws digging in the soft earth and I looked up to see the face of my neighbor Max, intent on removing soil from around the pussy willow tree. "Hey!" I growled "What do you think you are doing? That's my favorite tree!


Max shrugged his shoulders. "So?" he hissed. "I like to dig here. You got a problem with that?"
"As a matter of fact, I do!" My growl was louder and deeper. Max merely turned his head away and continued digging. Enraged, I puffed up my tail, expanded my chest and lunged forward toward the arrogant trespasser. I caught him by surprise and he had no time to prepare himself for my lethal attack. Before he could raise a paw in his own defense, I smacked him solidly on the nose.
"Merrewwwoowww!" he shrieked, glaring at me with fire in his eyes. The battle was on! "You want to fight, kittie? I'll fight! Take that!" He stood up on his hind legs, flexed his front paws and struck. The blow landed on top of my head. I reeled backward, falling into the azalia bush. Gathering my strength, I lunged again, landing with both hind feet in the middle of Max's ample stomach. He groaned, got up and plunged forward, his paws churning the air with lightening speed. I ducked one blow from those mightly paws but the second round of assaults caught me on the ear, knocking me into a prickly rose bush. In defense, I reached up and grabbed Max around the head. He sunk his teeth into my neck and kicked back with his hind feet. I felt tuffs of my fur being pulled from my legs and belly. I yowled, I growled, I howled and shrieked at the top of my lungs! Max yowled and growled and howled and hissed at the top of his lungs! He pulled me forward. I lost my footing. He fell backward, losing his grasp on my neck and together we rolled around in the muddy garden like a bundle of old carpets tied together in the middle. We pulled and bit and scratched and smacked and poked and slapped and chewed and spat and roared until our throats were sore. My mouth and nose was full of Max's fur. His mouth was full of dirt and mud. What a sorry sight we were to behold!
"You two idiots! Stop that nonsense, right now! You ought to be ashamed!"
Clarence's deep baritone meow stung our ears. "What's the matter with you! Have you become common street cats once again.
Max stood up and began to brush the mud and soil from his fur. "Who told you we were having a fight?" he growled. "Can't two tom cats mix it up now and then?"
Clarence shook his head. "Look at you! You're disgusting! You made so much noise, Penelope heard your meows and shrieks all the way down the block. She came and got me! She begged me to do something."
I looked at Clarence. He was one big kitty and I wasn't about to argue with him. "Well," I explained, softly, "Max, here was digging in my garden. I think I have the right to defend my territory......"
Clarence looked sternly at Max. His red striped fur gleamed in the sunlight. He was an imposing figure with his big paws and head. "Is that correct, Max? Did you trespass on Henri's property?"
"He was digging in my garden!" I growled. "He had no right to be there without my permission!"
Clarence's eyebrow rose to the top of his head. He shifted his stare to me. "Since when did you get the deed to this house," he meowed. "The way I see it, you are merely a guest at this address. And you Max, you should not put your paws in areas that do not belong to you." He pointed his front paw at a bag which was sitting under the tree. "What's in that bag, Max?"
Max sniffed and continued to pull mud, sticks and soil from his fur. "They are lily bulbs. I was planting lilies in my own garden and I had a few left over so I brought them over here. I was about to plant them under the pussy willow tree when this maniac ruthlessly attacked me!"
I stared at the bag of bulbs. "Well, you might have said something, Max. How did I know you just wanted to plant some flowers?"
"Okay, you too clowns!" hissed Clarence. "Shake paws and make up! And I don't want to have my morning nap interrupted again with such nonsense! Behave yourselves!" With that last meow, Clarence turned tail and marched off, his head held high.
Max sighed. "It was fun, wasn't it Henri? Nothing like a good fight to get the juices flowing."
"Yeah, it was," I purred. "It's good to mix it up every now and then. Gets the blood moving in the veins, the heart pumping, and all that. Here, you've got a piece of mud behind your ear. Hold still while I wash it off." Carefully I licked the back of Max's ear. "Need any help with the digging and the planting?"
"Be my guest, Henri," he meowed, handing me the bag of bulbs.
The End

The bulbs Max had planted last autumn, did indeed come up and bloom this spring!

This story first appeared in the May 2005 issue of the Writer's Society of Fur and Fang.org

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