My sister in law is a gifted artist. She is also a cat lover, having 4 cats who share her cottage in England with her husband Alan, a retired doctor (I say share here, because the house is very much their home as well). Molly is a gorgeous Bengal cat with superb markings that remind me of a Royal cat, one who should be lounging around, being hand fed luscious tidbits, and wearing a sweet bejewelled crown on her head.

bengal-cat-in-sun
Photo credit

There you have it …Princess Molly is born.

Inspired by Molly, I have started to write short stories, aimed at children. I hope to have them illustrated in the future, but in the meantime I’d love to share my latest story with you.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Princess Molly and the new toy.

Princess Molly sat in her favourite corner of the garden, washing her paws. There was barely a rustle from the house. Missy was in her studio, busily painting.

Suddenly, the large rhododendron bush next to Missy’s studio rustled, and a face appeared from its depths. Jack, the large tom cat from next door, blinked in the sunlight. His large amber eyes shone in the deep green leaves of the bush. He gave a long yawn, and stretched his paws.

Princess Molly liked to avoid Jack. Her princess ways were used to someone a bit more refined, not like Jack. She turned her green eyes away, hoping that he would take the hint, and jump back over his wall.

But he didn’t. In fact, he strolled right over to Princess Molly.

‘What you up to, Molls?’ he rasped, in that uncouth, pussycat way. ‘Do you want to check out the bins in the alleyway?’

Princess Molly looked disgusted. She stood up on her haunches, and stalked back towards the house.

‘Wait up Molls; I know you’re a princess, I was only teasing. Come and see what ‘s in my garden.’

Princess Molly stopped, tail in the air. She turned around, intrigued.

‘Okay,’ she replied. Her afternoon snacks could wait a little longer.

*

Moments later she was following Jack over the stone wall into next door’s garden. She had only visited Jack’s garden a few times, preferring her own, more refined one. But curiosity go the better of her. What did Jack have in here that was so special?

Jack’s garden was bigger than hers. It had a well cut lawn in its centre, and a cut out of dirt in the middle. Colourful flowers swayed in the breeze; reds, yellows and pinks. It was a feast for the eyes, and perfect for pussycats. She yawned in annoyance, suddenly bored. Hadn’t she seen this before? She plonked herself down onto the lawn, and started to lick that unruly patch of fur on her tail.

‘Over here, Princess Molly!’ Molly looked up, startled (it was a particularly satisfying scratch). Where had that voice come from? She looked around, and spotted a tail peeking out from a small door at the end of the garden. She had not noticed that part before. She stalked over, paws avoiding the course grass. What was the mystery?

The door had a gap at the bottom. Princess Molly poked her head through the gap, pushing against the door with her clean white paws.

Beyond the gate she stopped. Jack and the voice (she was still not sure whose it was) were on top of a huge colourful thing. As she watched, Jack slid down a bright blue slide, into a pit of sand. He shook his head free of the sand on his whiskers, and miaowed. The other cat (for that’s whose voice she heard) clung onto a coiled piece of rope, next to the slide. The cat, a very furry tabby, scratched and flicked its tail, purring contentedly.

‘Look what Abigail bought me – my own playground!’ cried Jack, climbing up the slide the wrong way.

Princess Molly forgot that she was a royal, very important and refined cat. She purred, and threw herself onto the slide, behind Jack.

*

Suzanne Bowditch, 2016

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