Rory sat staring out of the front door. It was his favourite spot in the house. Not only did the cool air rush over him and keep him from going mad in the high summer temperatures, but it allowed him to keep a close eye on the comings and goings on his street. Not that he was a busy body. Oh no. No, he just liked to… know. To understand. To be able to feel what was happening on his street, so he could protect his family to the best of his ability. Not that he thought he made the best protector. Well, that wasn’t quite true, he corrected himself. He thought he could make a fantastic protector. Rory could spot a threat from a mile away, smell it even. And he liked to give warnings (and the warnings were usually heeded by any one thinking of wrong doing). But the problem was, on the rare occasion that he was confronted by a dangerous situation, whenever it was right in his face and he knew he had to deal with it there and then, he would walk away. Stand down. He blamed that characteristic on his size.
Rory was not big. He was quite small. Which suited him most of the time. Small went unnoticed, and facilitated the watching.
A minute movement caught Rory’s eye. Where was it? He focused on the back passenger wheel of the car. There! There it was again. It was that cat. A new cat to the neighborhood had been noticed by and on the car several times this week. It annoyed Rory to no end. It was ruse and inconsiderate for cats to walk all over someone’s car. Cats left footprints, dusty little footprints, all up the bonnet, and usually the windscreen. Rory didn’t like cats. And he didn’t like the way this one was constantly coming out the front of his house, and sitting around his car! (Ok, it wasn’t just his car, but it belonged to his family so he felt a great deal of ownership over it).
The cat appeared to be lying down and having a sleep under the car. Rory couldn’t imagine how hot it was out there. The bitumen must have been nearly melting. He scanned the road and the front doors of each of the houses to see if anyone was looking for a cat. He couldn’t remember anyone moving in recently, or at a time to coincide with the cats frustrating arrival, and this worried him. What if it was a stray? What if it came into the house? If no one was missing it, and if no one was feeding it… he worried that someone in the family would see it as a wonderful addition to the family. He was torn between telling someone and not. His family put up with his behavior because it kept him busy during the day when they had more important things to do. And, every time he had alerted them to something he thought was crucial, they had told him he was being silly, or worse, ignored him. The cat raised its head and seemed to look at him, mockingly.
That was it. He wouldn’t take it. He started barking.