Chapter 1 –
Oh. It’s you again. Oh, right, right. The story. Well, since you ask…okay then…
I remember, it was a busy morning and I was in the middle of helping the Human make the bed. I raced out from under the puffy sheet, when I saw a black and white tail slip mysteriously into the closet. Suzie, the Upstairs Cat, was going into hiding again and I knew she needed my help.
“Hey! Hey! Hey! Where are you going? Can I come?”
Susie arched her back and popped out her eyes like a bug but then she realized it was just me. She sighed, de-poofed her fur and returned to her work making a nest of hats and scarves. When the pile was just right, she climbed in, made several worried circles and curled up with her back to me.
“Please leave me alone,” she sighed. “I didn’t get any sleep last night. It’s not safe anymore.”
She moaned as she put her face in her tail. I tried to cheer her up by pouncing on the dangly fringe of a silk scarf, but she just shut her eyes tighter.
“Not safe? Really? What kind of ‘not safe?’ Because sometimes I’ve noticed that ‘not safe’ can mean fun. Sometimes ‘not safe’ means adventure.”
“Not safe means just what I say. It means danger. It means monsters. Monsters outside the window.”
The fur on her spine stood up and she shuddered.
“Monsters?!” I bounced over her to get her attention because this sounded too good to be true.“Did they smell delicious?”
Suzie opened her lily-pad green eyes as she thought about it.
“They smelled angry. Just Angry. But worse than that was the noises. Fighting noises. Bite, scratch, scream. But not even that – something worse. A big grumbling noises like it came from the belly of, of, oh! I don’t know! A monster! That’s all I can tell you.”
Suzie lived in the upstairs, and only in the upstairs, for a long time. Back efore I was born. She never came downstairs because of the monsters. The next door dog was a ‘monster.’ The sprinkler was a ‘monster.’ Bicycles were ‘monsters on wheels.’ The human children, she said, used to be ‘monsters’ until grew too old to jump on the bed. Now they were good Humans who brushed her fur and told her it was all right and promised there were no monsters at the foot of the stairs, so she really could come down afterall and eat her dinner.
“But which monster?”
I asked, thinking that maybe I slept through something amazing, like a fight between a bicycle and a sprinkler. I was not about to miss that tonight if it was going to happen again. Suzie shut her eyes and scrunched up her face.
“Woo-aam – aam – aammm! Woo-aam-aam-aam!” she gurlgled. Her belly blew up like a frog.
“Wow! Is that a hairball!” I squeaked, impressed.
“No!” Suzie shook her head and laid it sadly back down on her paws. “that was the monster. Oh, it was awful. “Wooam, wooam wooam!” Like a cat meowing inside out. It was horrible. Right outside,” she threw a panicked glance at the window across the room where sunlight filtered through tree branches and sent leaf shadows dancing on the floor.
“The humans woke up too, but instead of getting under the bed like I did, they went to the window and made that horrible noise. That other noise, you know, where they throw their head back and bark, kind of like a dog. You know what I mean?”
“Like a laugh?” I asked, not really sure.
“Yes. I hate that noise. Anyway, they laughed and showed their teeth and said “he sounds just like a Didgeridoo.”
“What’s a Didgeridoo?” I asked, my eyes dialating with hungry curiosity.
“That’s what kind of monster it is, obviously!”
She started pant at the memory of it.
“Woooam-woooam-woooam! Wooam-wooam-wooam! Oh! I can still hear it. Right outside my window! Right there next to the tree where it could climb up any minute now and get inside here.“
She put her tail over her head and moaned.
“Make it stop, Sparky. Make the monster go away.”
But before she could even finish her sentence, I was already on my way downstairs to investigate.