Balinese Loui lives in a house with two Italian Geryhounds, Ollie and Max, and a Beagle, Minty. He has spent his whole life surrounded by dogs, but he thinks it would be even better to be surrounded by cats for a change. Making possibly the biggest mistake of his life, Loui leaves home for the legendary Island of Cats. But does it really exist?
1 Loui hears of the legendary Island of CatsEdit
I was laying in a sunny spot. Minding my own buisness. My whiskers were glistening in the sunlight. But then, with my powerful ears, I picked up the sound of footsteps. I could hear them coming closer... and closer! I crept into some longer grass hoping to hide from whatever it was that was looking for me. I curled up into a tight ball as I heard the footsteps pass by. Then I couldn't hear them anymore. It was probably safe to some out now, so I did. I looked at my surroundings... no one there. Phew, I was safe. I sat down again in the sun.
Suddenly there was a thump behind me and a loud barking. I jumped high in the air. The thing had found me! I zoomed up the nearest tree.
"How was that one?" asked the thing.
"You're certainly getting better, Minty me boy" I replied "You nearly scared me for real that time. After a bit more practice you can be out there chasing that nasty tom!" I climbed down the tree and gave Minty the paws up. The little Beagle pup sat with his tail wagging. Then I spotted, out of the corner of my eye, the nasty tom cat. Minty immidietly yelped and ran behind me.
"Oh, Minty!" I complained, "You're a dog! Go down there and chase him!"
Minty crept out from behind me, his tail stuck between his legs. He looked at me hopefully. "Ok, ok" I replied "I'll come with you. Just this once. Alright?" He nodded happily. Minty was a dog with a load of energy but very few words. He was still young. He hadn't learnt many yet. But let me tell you, he couldn't half bark. "CHARGE!" We went running down the driveway towards that cat. He stood his ground, raised his back and hissed. But we didn't stop. I knew Minty wanted to impress me... probably to be called a good boy... so he ran on ahead towards him, barking like crazy. I leapt on the cat and before you knew it, there was a cat-fight. Not one of those cat-fights that ladies get into over boyfriends and stuff, the cat-fights that cats get into. Mainly over territory. This was my terrirory and my garden, and that cat was tresspassing. Minty sat back, his eyes trailing us wherever we went. With a quick jerk of his head, he reached into the big fight and grabbed me by the scruff of the neck. Then he pulled me back. The other cat was now fighting himself. Minty and I watched him make himself dizzy.
The cat finnally realised that I had gone. He found out the hard way, when he bit himself in the tail. He leapt high into the sky and came down with a thud. Ouch.
"So, Loui, now you're training your dogs to chase cats," he observed. "Haven't you thought about what's going to happen when they start chasing you?"
"Don't be stupid, Minty would never chase me" I replied.
"I saw him do it just now" the cat replied "Seriously, Loui, all this dog living is bad for you. Before you know it you'll start chasing sticks and drinking from the toilet." "Oh come on, what do you know about any of this?" I asked.
"I've seen it. When cats spend too much time with dogs, it messes with their minds" he said, spookily "They start begging for food, and eating scraps of food off the floor. They start bringing in the newspapers, fetching things thrown by their master. They'll think that their owner owns them!"
"Yeah, and exactly how mny times have you seen this happen?" I asked, not believing a word he said.
"Loads of times. The magic box knows stuff like that, you know."
"Oh, it's something you saw on TV!" I realised, "That was on a TV show. They make things like that for human entertainment."
"Some of th stuff is real. Like the Island of Cats," he replied.
"The Island of Cats. Loui, that is where you belong. It's cats everywhere you look. No dogs at all. Heaven!" he finished, before walking away down the road, with an obvious bite mark in his tail. I sat back, thinking.
"Lu, d'you really think there's an Island of Cats there somewhere?" Minty asked, finding his voice again.
"I don't know, Mint. But I know how to find out!"
2 After looking it up in books, Loui finds out moreEdit
My human worked in a library. Therefore, she liked to read books. There was a huge bookshelf filled with them, and I was looking for one on the Island of Cats. I never realised quite how many books she had, so I called to the two Italian Greyhounds, Ollie and Max, to help. Minty said that he'd pitch in too (ok, so actually I just asked him and he nodded his head) and we got started.
We looked among shelf upon shelf of books. There were some on science or maths, and others on dogs or other animals. Minty just stared at the first book in the line. I'd forgotten that he hadn't actually learnt to read yet. After looking along all the rows of book we had found nothing.
"Hey, I know!" Ollie gasped suddenly. "Lizzie has some books. Maybe we should look through them."
Lizzie was my human's litter. For some reason she only had one. That's wierd. The human down the road had three little kittens, and they all looked similar. However, they were a lot smaller than Lizzie and stumbled around on leads. Humans even put their offspring on leads!
"OK, Ollie, you can have a look if you want." I said, although I was giving up. Ollie skittered into Lizzzie's bedroom and came skittering back on his thin legs. He plonked something on the floor infront of me.
"Look, Loui! The Island of Cats!" he said proudly. I stared at the book he had dropped. It clearly had a picture of an island in the shape of a cat's head on the front, with a border of pink shiny stars and cat photos. I turned the cover and saw a big map that showed Scotland, with some of the largest towns written in, and a circle around one of the islands. An arrow stating "The Island of Cats" pointed to it.
"Wow..." I said, hardly able to speak. I hadn't believed that the Island of Cats existed bbefore, but I certainly did now! "I've got to go there!"
"But... but you can't!" cried Max. "How are you gonna get there? You'd have to go by boat." he continued, answering his own questions. Max tends to do that. "And how far is it? Probably hundreds of miles. We live all the way down here!" he pointed to the bottom of the map, far away from the Island of Cats. "And you can't go alone!"
"Well I'm not going to!" I declared. "Come on Minty, Ollie, Max, let's go!"
"Whoa, nooooo, no, no," Max gasped. "That's not what I meant. I'm not going to an Island full of cats. And I'm an Italian Greyhound! Our bones break very easily and I don't want to come home wrapped up in bandages!"
"Oh, come on, bro!" Ollie tried to encourage him. "It's not that far."
"You can go if you really want to. I'm staying put."
This was getting us nowhere. "Are you coming, Minty?" I asked, turning to the Beagle.
"Um..." Minty paused, thinking. Then he took a big breath, nodded his head and said "OK. Me go. Good practise chase cats."
"OK then. Ollie and Minty are coming. Sure you're not interested, Max?"
"No!" he said firmly.
"OK, OK!" I replied. "You just had to say no, not bark at me. Not literally, of course." I turned back to my small two-dog team. "Well, let's get packing!"
3 Loui sets out on his journeyEdit
As Minty was the biggest of the three of us (granted Ollie was taller but he wasn't strong enough for this job) he was the one to carry the little backpack we were taking. I put in the little book about the Island of Cats in as well as a map I found underneigh a cabinet. I had to shake it around a bit first as it was covered in dust.
After a few minutes we had found a few things we needed to take. I knew that Minty was still young and he liked to chew stuff so I threw in a dog chew. Ollie brought a box of matches and a torch. I asked him why we needed matches as the torch would provide light, and he said that he's seen in films that when humans are out in the wilderness they light fires with sticks, but Minty was likely to try and get at the sticks so he brought matches instead. He also said we'd need a compass and some marshmallows to cook on the fire but I thought that was going a bit too far. I accepted the compass, though. Finally I managed to squeeze in Lizzie's little binoculars and we were ready.
It took all three of us and Max's help to do up the zip. When we had managed to do it up we helped Minty get it onto his back. I turned to Max.
"Well, goodbye, Max," I said, and held out my paw for him to shake it.
"You don't have to go to the Island of Cats, you know," he replied, sadly. "You belong here. With us."
"Sorry, Max. But just think, a whole island flled with cats!"
"That's because you're a dog."
"Well... bye." With that he turned and trotted into the lounge.
I went through the cat-flap first. It was easy for Ollie, but Minty had a very tight squeeze getting through with the bag on his back. In the end he had to take it off and push it through first before going through the flap himself. Then we set off down the driveway. We turned left and headed for the main road; we lived in a cul-de-sac so couldn't go the other way and it didn't lead to anywhere.