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To be a cat is to be curious. It’s the sign of a higher intellect and an inquiring mind. When you’re a cat, you need to discover what goes on inside things or beneath things or behind things. For example, behind the lantana on the other side of the creek. I’m so puzzled, I sometimes wake up wondering in the middle of a nap.
How to get across the creek? I have to use the fallen branch because I don’t swim. Of course, if I wanted to swim, I’d slice through the water like velvet lightning, faster than any fish. But I prefer not to.
So how to sneak past the guards? Do I use camouflage? Or create a distraction and lure them away? I spy out the land and wait for inspiration.
And today I’m going to be inspired. The wind is blowing, everything’s waving and dancing. I feel it in my tail like a call to action. I’ll do a detour up the street and come along the bank from the other direction. Let’s go!
I glide from front garden to front garden. A young woman steps out of Witzer’s house – and there’s Witzer trotting along on a lead beside her. His little legs are pistoning up and down, but you can see he’d rather drop dead than fall behind. It’s the greatest event in a dog’s life, going walkies.
I keep going past Witzer’s house, then turn and cut between the next house and its garage. Their back lawn is all lawn, with columns of ants marching through the grass.
Strange critters, ants. They talk among themselves, but never to anyone else. Maybe it’s the six legs, but they don’t seem to live in the same world as anyone else. I might be a passing cloud for all they care. No appreciation! I’m wasted on them.
At the bottom of the garden is a colorbond fence. Yurrgh! I was going to spring over it, but not any more. I can’t stand the squeaky feel of plastic-coated metal under my claws.
I stop and lick a paw instead. It tastes delicious. I feel sorry for anyone who can’t lick their own paws.
Right. Now, where was I?

(Photo is Bibi - the real life original for Sassycat in the book)



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Richard Harland.