“Nathan! Stop!” Emily squealed as she put her arms up over her head to protect herself as the drops of water showered on her.
Her brother laughed and pointed the water hose at her. The dog rushed at him, barking in order to save his person from the stream of water. Nathan jumped back as he continued to laugh.
“Stop!” Emily screamed again this time with a hint of anger.
The sound of the children screaming, combined with the loud barking of the dog, caught the attention of their father. His dark head could be seen through the screen of the window at the back of the house.
“Hey! Stop it!” he yelled.
Nathan lowered the hose still laughing. “Alright, Dad.”
Emily shook the water off. “Told you to stop.”
“Whatever.” He threw the hose down and went to the side of the house to turn it off.
Emily bent down to calm the dog. She sat down and watched at the two cats playinged under a bush. They were rolling over each other and crying out as each one tried to dominate the other.
She heard her brother working on his bike which had needed a new tire. Instead of helping like she had wanted, she focused on the cats who had decided to stop playing and begin stalking.
Each one lay flat on the ground; their multi-colored coats blended in the with the ground and the shadows from the bush above them. Only the slow swish of their tails signaled to a passerby that they were waiting.
The tails slowed and then stopped altogether. Their two heads were laid flat on the ground as their eyes zeroed in on new prey. Emily’s eyes moved in the same direction and caught sight of a small chipmunk rooting around under a bunch of leaves several yards away. He was oblivious to the felines staring at him.
After several moments, one of the cats slunk off to the left away from everyone. As he made his move, his brother stayed put with his eye on the target. Emily waited with baited breath as in slow motion the other cat took up position on the other side of the rodent.
Both cats froze in place and became one with the world around them as the chipmunk continued his search in ignorant bliss.
In synchronized movements, the cats began to move. On their bellies, they each clawed one paw into the ground and with the other paw moved forward. Gradually, the bodies followed. This continued on for what seemed like hours but was only a few seconds. Just as they thought they were in perfect position to attack, they sprang forward.
Dirt and leaves erupted into the air as the felines darted forward. In the split second it took for the cats to pounce onto the chipmunk, the rodent caught sight of them and sprang up into the air, clasping onto the tree above him. The cats slammed into each other below him.
Scurrying up the tree, the chipmunk fled for his life. Behind him, one cat followed. The distance between them grew shorter as the seconds ticked by. Along the branch they moved , going from tree to tree. Then the chipmunk had no choice but to go back or go down. Back meant into the mouth of the cat. Down meant into the claws of the second one.
He decided that down offered the best chance. Just as his tiny paws hit the ground, the second cat sprang from behind a rose bush. Veering off to the side, the small creature began to run for his life did depend on it. Around a flower bed and over toy trucks, the animals flew. The last turn had them aiming straight at Nathan.
Emily broke her own silence and stood up. “Watch out, Nathan!”
Her brother turned at the call. His eyes widened as he watched the animals hurtling toward him. Before he could move, they were on him.
A scream pierced the air. Inside the house, their father jumped up from the table where he had been working on the broken toaster. Running outside, he followed the screams until he saw Emily holding the dog and Nathan standing still screaming. In front of him sat two cats watching him closely.
“Nathan! What is wrong? Stop that screaming.”
“There’s a chipmunk in my pants,” the boy sobbed.
“What did you say?” His father moved closer.
“There’s a chipmunk in my pants.”
“Come on. I’m tired of you kids pulling these tricks.”
“I’m serious, Dad. He’s in my pants.”
The father looked over at his daughter who nodded in agreement. “Let’s see.” He pulled the waistband back.
Two small eyes looked up at him, blinking. Its claws were buried in Nathan’s undershorts.
His father laughed. “Drop them.”
“Drop your pants.”
“That little bugger is not coming out willingly. Drop them.”
Reluctantly, Nathan unbuttoned his jeans. His two cats sat up straight and watched closely. Dropping them, Nathan looked over his shoulders and sighed at the troubling creature.
Suddenly, the chipmunk popped his head up from the jeans that had fallen down around his ankles. Just as he did, the cats made their move. He scampered up the tree and along the branches out of sight as the cats followed.
Quickly, Nathan pulled his pants back up. His father laughed as he headed back in the house. “Good thing he chose the backside.”