Authors: Holly Webb
Timmy heaved a massive sigh of relief and trotted over to her.
“Ooops!” Katie giggled. “I just walked into a chair! It’s so dark.” Timmy woofed in agreement. Dark, and lonely. He gazed hopefully up at her.
“Look, I’ve brought my duvet. I’ve come to keep you company for a bit. You’re used to having your mum to sleep with, aren’t you?” Katie curled up next to Timmy’s cushion, and he snuggled gratefully on to her lap. This was much better.
Katie smiled down at him, as he dozed off into a deep puppy sleep. He was hers, at last! The kitchen floor was chilly, and she had pins and needles in her toes, but she didn’t care. It was worth it.
Katie’s mum came downstairs on Sunday morning, and found them both curled up together, Katie with her head on Timmy’s cushion, and him snuggled under the duvet with her.
“Katie! I thought you were still in bed! Actually, I was surprised you weren’t up and playing with Timmy already.” Mum sighed, as she poured
Katie some juice and filled Timmy’s food bowl. “I should have known.”
Katie grinned. “Sorry, Mum. He was so lonely. I listened to him whining and crying for ages, and then I just couldn’t bear it any longer.”
“The thing is, now he’ll expect you to do it again tonight.” Mum watched as Timmy wolfed down his breakfast. “You can’t sleep on the kitchen floor every night, Katie!”
Katie wriggled her shoulders. “I know, this floor’s really hard. Honestly, Mum, I won’t do it again. I think he was just miserable the first night, that’s all.”
Katie was right. Timmy had never been left alone before, and he hadn’t been sure that anyone would ever come back for him. Now he knew that Katie
and the rest of the family weren’t far away, and he’d see them in the morning, he didn’t mind being alone so much.
In fact, on Sunday night, he was so worn out from playing in the garden with Katie for most of the day, that he curled up on his cushion and fell asleep almost as soon as she went to bed. He didn’t bother with even one little howl.
A couple of days later, Katie’s parents decided that Timmy had settled in so well that they could let him explore a bit further.
“Just downstairs, mind,” Dad said. “There’s so much stuff he could accidentally damage upstairs. Imagine
if he started chewing your mum’s shoe collection. She’d never forgive him!”
Katie nodded, though she wished she could have Timmy in her room. Still, she was really looking forward to curling up with him to watch TV in the living room.
“Come on, Timmy,” she called, standing by the kitchen door and patting her knees. “Come on, boy!”
Timmy looked at her with his head on one side. He wasn’t quite sure what was happening. He wasn’t allowed out of that door, was he? He’d been told no when he tried before. He pattered slowly over to Katie, then turned and looked at her mum, waiting to see if she’d tell him off.
Mum laughed. “It’s OK, Timmy. Go on, go with Katie.”
Timmy woofed with excitement, and trotted happily into the hallway. New things to smell! He worked his way curiously along Katie and Jess’s school bags and wellies, which were by the front door, then poked his nose into the living room. Jess was sitting on the sofa reading a magazine, with Misty on her lap.
Over the last couple of days, Katie and Jess and Mum and Dad had very carefully kept Timmy and Misty apart. They wanted to give Timmy time to settle down, and Misty needed to get used to the idea of a dog in the house.
Misty spent as much time as she possibly could in Jess’s room, only
coming into the kitchen to bolt down her food – with one watchful eye on the utility room door the whole time. She would then shoot out of the cat flap, and rely on Jess letting her in the front door when she wanted to come in again. Now she looked up at Timmy, and hissed.
“Oh, Misty!” Katie sighed. “Don’t be so grumpy.”
Timmy had almost forgotten his first meeting with the cat. He was only very little, and he was naturally friendly. He assumed everyone else was, too. He bounced over towards Misty and Jess, his tail wagging, and yapped excitedly at her. Misty shot on to the arm of the sofa and growled, her back arching.
Timmy’s tail drooped, and he looked
round at Katie. He was only trying to be friendly.
Why doesn’t she like me?
“Keep him away from Misty,” Jess said irritably. “He’s upsetting her.”
“Mum said we could watch TV,” Katie said. “There’s a safari programme on; I thought Timmy could watch it with me. Anyway, Misty and Timmy have to learn to get along. If we can just get them used to being in the same room, that would be really good.”
“I suppose…” Jess muttered. “Just keep an eye on him, though!”
For the next half-hour, Misty glowered from the arm of the sofa, her tail twitching warningly, and Timmy shot her curious, sidelong glances from the armchair, where he was curled up on Katie’s lap.
Gradually, Misty started to relax, and after a while she dozed off on the sofa arm, with one eye half open.
Timmy sat quietly for a while, but
soon he began to feel restless. He slipped down from Katie’s knee, and went exploring. This was much more exciting! Katie was half-watching him, but the little lion cubs on the programme were so cute!
Timmy sniffed his way round the room, investigating behind the Christmas tree and sneezing at the dust under the big bookcase. He even managed to wriggle under the sofa. It was dark, and it smelled interesting. He could pop his head out from underneath as well, and then hide again, which made Katie giggle. It was a good game.
He crawled the whole length of the sofa, and poked his nose out at Jess’s end. There was an interesting fluffy
thing there, dangling down, and twitching gently.
Timmy was mesmerized. It went to and fro, waving at him. The fluffy thing was like one of the toys Katie had given him, a furry rat that squeaked. Maybe this one would squeak, too, if he bit it? He wriggled a little further out from under the sofa, just as Katie realized she hadn’t seen him for a minute or so.
“Where’s Timmy? Is he behind the sofa? Oh, Timmy, no!”
And Timmy pounced on Misty’s tail…
Misty shot up in the air with a screech, and Timmy howled in shock – he hadn’t expected the fluffy toy to do
… He peeped nervously from under the sofa just as Misty raced out of the room. Why was she so upset? Perhaps it was
“Oh, Timmy…” Katie said worriedly. She was trying to sound
cross, but she couldn’t help a tiny smile – Misty had looked so funny, like something out of a cartoon, as she’d leaped into the air.
“I’m telling Mum!” Jess snapped. “He did that on purpose, and you weren’t watching him!” Then she ran after Misty.
Katie picked Timmy up. “Oh, Timmy. That was her tail. I don’t think you knew that, though, did you? You didn’t do it on purpose, I know you didn’t. Our plan to get you and Misty to like each other isn’t going very well, is it…”
And things got worse and worse over the next week. Rather than Misty and Timmy getting used to each other as time went on, Misty just got more and
more furious about her peaceful home being invaded. She tried as hard as she could to keep away from Timmy, but she couldn’t escape from him. It seemed that wherever she went, there he was, too.
Timmy didn’t understand that Misty wanted to be left alone. She kept running off upstairs whenever he tried to play with her, and when he tried to follow he got told off.
He was allowed out on his own in the garden now, though, and he thought he’d had a stroke of luck one afternoon when he found her snoozing on the garden bench in a patch of winter sunlight – she couldn’t dash away up the stairs now! But she raced up to the top of the apple tree and
snarled at him, while he barked hopefully. But eventually, he gave up and ran over to Katie, who was calling him in.
Back in the kitchen, Timmy lay quietly on Katie’s lap, even though she bounced his squeaky ball for him. His ears were drooping, and he rested his nose on his paws, gazing sadly at the back door.
“You really want her to play with you, don’t you?” Katie sighed. “I think Misty’s a bit old for playing, Timmy.”
Timmy heard the worry in her voice, and rubbed his head against her arm lovingly.
But Katie was right. Misty was an old cat, and stubborn. She didn’t like new things, and she found it so strange and
upsetting having Timmy around that she didn’t even want to eat properly any more. Besides, her food was in the kitchen, where he was. It was easier just not to bother. As the days went by, she started to look thinner.
A few days before Christmas, Timmy was curled up on his cushion, feeling bored. Katie had left him in the kitchen, explaining that she had to go upstairs and wrap presents in her room, because they were a secret, and no one was supposed to see. Timmy still wasn’t allowed upstairs, but she promised she’d be back soon.
Katie had shut the kitchen door when she went upstairs, but Timmy had been practising, and he could claw it open unless it was shut really tight.
Timmy hooked his claws into the crack and scrabbled until it clicked open. Then he trotted cheerfully out. He was so clever! Katie had been ages. He was sure she wouldn’t mind if he went to find her, would she?
Timmy headed for the stairs, and suddenly felt a little less clever. They were very big. He almost couldn’t see the top. But he knew Katie would be up there. He could smell her, and as a tracking dog, his sense of smell was excellent.
He heaved himself up on to the first step, which wasn’t too difficult, except there were a lot more of them before he got to the top. Timmy sighed and set about the next step. It took him ten minutes to get all the way up, and he nearly went back to his comfy cushion several times.
But the exciting new smells upstairs soon made him forget how hard it had been to get there, and he set off snuffling along the carpet. Ah! An open door! Maybe Katie was here. No, it didn’t smell like Katie. But there was Misty, curled up asleep on the pink bedcover. Timmy trotted eagerly into the room. He was delighted to see her. If he woke her, perhaps she would play with him. He stood up with his front
paws on the edge of the bed and licked Misty’s nose. He could only just reach.
Misty was sleeping peacefully, knowing
was downstairs and she didn’t need to worry. Then she woke up with a sudden fright.
He was right there! There, in Jess’s room! Was nowhere safe any more? Misty leaped off the bed, and raced across the room, looking for a way to escape. Timmy was whining, trying to show her he was friendly, but all Misty could see was Timmy in the one place she’d felt was safe. Desperately she clawed her way up Jess’s curtains, and up on to the top of the wardrobe.
The scuffling and barking brought Jess running upstairs; Katie rushed in after her.
“He’s not meant to be in here!” Jess yelled. “Get him out of my room! Misty, it’s OK, come on down, puss, puss…” She turned back to Katie, who was standing by the door, looking horrified. “Go on, get him out!” she cried angrily.
Timmy flinched back. Jess was so angry with him, and Misty was cowering on top of the wardrobe… It had all gone wrong! He’d only been trying to be friendly. And now he was in trouble again!
Katie scooped him up and hurried downstairs. “Oh, Timmy! What were you doing up there? You mustn’t chase Misty, it’s mean!”
Katie sounded cross, Timmy thought miserably. He sighed. He hadn’t meant to be naughty.
“What’s going on up there?” Mum was standing at the bottom of the stairs looking worried.
“Katie let Timmy get into my room, and now Misty’s stuck on top of my wardrobe!” Jess yelled from upstairs. “Mum, we have to shut him in the kitchen so Misty can calm down, it’s just not fair.”
“Oh, Katie. He didn’t upset Misty again?”
Timmy whined sadly as he heard another cross voice.
“Jess is right, Katie,”Mum said firmly. “Put Timmy back in the kitchen, and make sure the door’s shut tight. And hurry, Katie, we’ve got to finish off the Christmas shopping this morning, remember. We need to get going.”
“But Mum, he doesn’t really like being shut in…” Katie started to say, but Mum gave her a stern look, folding her arms. Katie sighed. “Sorry, Timmy. You have to go back in the kitchen. Stay here and be good, all right?”
Timmy watched, his big, dark eyes mournful, as she carefully shut the door. He was all alone, and everybody was cross with him. He howled miserably at the ceiling, then slumped on his cushion, listening to Katie and Jess and Mum in the hallway, getting ready to go out.
Timmy wriggled around sadly, trying to get comfortable. A piece of pink material was hanging on the radiator, and he knocked it down as he turned. It made him jump, as it fell
on to his cushion. Timmy took it in his mouth to pull it out of the way, but he had it tangled in his paws, and it tore a little. This was fun…
The pink fabric was good to chew. It made satisfying tearing noises as he shredded it and shook it and rolled around the floor with it. He felt much better afterwards, but quite tired. It had been a busy morning climbing all those stairs.
Timmy fell asleep, covered in small bits of pink fleece.
A couple of hours later, Katie, Mum and Jess came back. Timmy could hear them outside the kitchen, and he scratched the door a few times, hopefully, but no one came to get him. He could hear Jess talking to Misty.
was allowed out. It wasn’t fair. He trailed back to his cushion, and nibbled a bit more pink fleece.
“Where’s Misty’s blanket, Mum?” Jess called. “It’s not in my room, and you know she likes to sleep on it.”
“Oh, I washed it, Jess, it was so dirty. It’s hanging on the kitchen radiator to dry,” Mum said.
Timmy could hear Jess coming towards the door, murmuring to Misty. “It’s all right, we’ll get your blanket, then you can have a nice sleep.”
As Jess opened the kitchen door, cuddling Misty, a guilty-looking brown and white puppy stared up at her, with shreds of pink blanket hanging out of the corner of his mouth.