September 18, 2017 NEIGHBORHOOD CAT-ASTROPHE People complain about dogs barking, but do you have any IDEA how loud CATS can meow??!! OMG! Every night for the last WEEK, just as I’m falling asleep, this cat comes right outside my window and starts yowling its head off! Which of course sets Daisy off barking, but I can’t blame her. And then, even when the cat stops yowling, Daisy keeps barking all night! It’s like Battle of the Bands: Animal Edition. And the bands are TERRIBLE!! And THEN a couple days ago I woke up SUPER early in the morning because someone rang the doorbell. My first thought was that the cat was the one ringing it. Which I KNOW is ridiculous, but I was barely awake! And I’d gotten about two minutes of sleep! When I got to the front door, no one was there. But there WAS a note on our front door. An ANGRY note! It said: Puffy Fluffkins belongs to ME and I do NOT appreciate you luring him to your house! He is on a very strict diet and if he requires medical care due to what you’re feeding him, you will receive the bill!! There was a name and a phone number scrawled at the bottom, but I couldn’t read them. Well, whoever it was, they were CRAY-CRAY! We wanted Puffy Fluffkins to go home even more than they did!! I left the note on the kitchen table for my parents and went back to bed. But Daisy knew I was up and wouldn’t stop licking me until I got up AGAIN to feed her breakfast! In the kitchen, Brianna was shoving something down the garbage disposal. I probably wouldn’t even have noticed except she jumped and looked SUPER guilty when I walked in. “What are you doing, Brianna?” “Nothing!” she yelped. “Feeding…Daisy. Getting breakfast! Why are you always in my business, Nikki?!” I could NOT believe she got an attitude about the whole thing! “Okay, geez! Relax.” I got Daisy her food and waited for Brianna to let her guard down. Then I bolted over to the garbage disposal, reached in, and pulled out a scrap of paper. The piece of paper had the word, “Puffy Fluff” on it. Brianna had shoved the note from the angry neighbor down the garbage disposal! “Brianna, WHAT is going on? I left that note for Mom and Dad to see!” “Nothing, Nikki! Just leave me ALONE!” Brianna scurried toward her room, all hunched over. She thought she was being smooth, but obviously had filled the top of her PJs with something. Or a bunch of things. Which then clattered to the floor. It was a can of Chunky Chicken Soup. And another of Clam Chowder! And Meat Lovers Chili! Honestly, I was still so sleepy I hadn’t figured it out yet. But Brianna made it easy for me. She burst into tears. “Please don’t tell, Nikki! Puffy Fluffkins loves me! Every night, he cries at my window until I let him in! His owner only feeds him icky, boring kitty food, but he comes to Miss Bri-Bri’s Gourmet Kitty Café and I feed him what he likes!! Then he curls up on my bed and keeps me company all night long!” I sighed. “But Brianna, he’s not YOUR cat. His owners miss him!” Also, I hadn’t slept in a week. But I didn’t think Brianna would care about that. Turned out, she didn’t care about the owners, either. “His owner’s Mrs. Smudgins! She’s a really mean lady!” That was true. Mrs. Smudgins lived about six houses down, so we didn’t really know her. But once when we first got Daisy, I took her for a walk and she pooped on Mrs. Smudgins’s lawn and I had run out of poop bags. So I left it. I’m SORRY! I know I should have gone back, but whatever. I DIDN’T. And a few hours later to get even with us, Mrs. Smudgins left a giant grocery bag FULL of dog poop she had gathered from ALL OVER the neighborhood in our yard!! I sat down on the floor next to Brianna and built a little pyramid with the soup cans. “But, imagine if Mrs. Smudgins decided we weren’t taking good care of Daisy and just…took her. How would YOU feel?” “That would never happen. Mrs. Smudgins hates dogs!” She wasn’t wrong about that. “Okay, someone else, then. Maybe Mrs. Wallabanger decides Creampuff needs a friend. Or whoever! You can’t just take someone else’s pet. Plus, this isn’t cat food. What if there’s something in these soups that makes Puffy Fluffkins sick?” Brianna’s lip started to tremble. “I know you meant well,” I told her. “And maybe Mrs. Smudgins will let you visit Puffy Fluffkins sometimes. But you really have to stop feeding him!” Brianna just folded her arms and began to pout. I could see that wasn’t going to do it. “Besides, if you want an animal to keep you company, why doesn’t Daisy sleep in your room?” “Daisy sleeps in YOUR room, Nikki.” Brianna grumbled. “Well…maybe she could sleep in your room. At least some of the time. Would that help?” Brianna nodded. She looked SO sleepy. Apparently, this whole cat-astrophe had been keeping her awake too! “Okay, then. How about we start right now? Want to go back to bed and take Daisy with you?” I got her settled, put the canned food away, and had just crawled back into my bed when my door burst open. “Morning, Nikki!” my mom called. “Rise and shine! We’ve got SO much to do today! Get up, lazybones!” Hey readers, tell us a funny story about your pet! If you don’t have a pet, what type of pet would you like to get?