It started downstairs.


My Wife and I were in the living room reading with something inconsequential on TV when we heard it.


A black streak came up the stairs, crossed the livingroom and disappeared behind the speaker at the end of our entertainment center. From downstairs we heard an echo—KaThumpKathumpKaThump!

This time it was a brown flash as our other cat came up the stairs, ran into the livingroom…and stopped.  Amber, our tiger-stripped tabby, is the mother of the black streak, Snowflake. Amber is the smaller cat. Snowflake is about a third larger.

Amber crept forward. Step by slow step. She stretched forward looking at the unseen side of my recliner. Step. Look. Step. Stretchhhh and look.  Pad by pad she crossed the room.

Finally, she had crossed the room. I saw a black shadow shift behind the speaker.  Amber froze but I could see her eyes shift towards the speaker.  Seconds passed. The shadow shifted again.  Amber’s head turned and she took a step towards the speaker.

A black ear emerged from behind the speaker. Then an eye.  Amber didn’t move.  There was a flowing potted plant a foot or so from the speaker.  It was between the two cats and blocked some of their vision.

Snowflake, not seeing Amber, took a step from the speaker, saw Amber and froze.  Seconds passed… More seconds.

Amber took a step forward. Another step and stopped.  The two cats stared at one another.  A black ear twitched. Silence.

Without appearing to move, Amber was before Snowflake. A paw flashed. Smack! Amber lashed out smacking Snowflack upside the head. She turned and a brown streak ran across the room, up upon the coffee table to our couch, up and over and…KaThumpKaThumpKaThump!… down the hall with a black flash…KathumpKaThumpKathump!…following down the hall to our bedroom.

Silence fell once again.  It was a typical evening at the Cat Races.                 

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