What Did You Say His Name Was?
The moon filtered out from behind the grey clouds, so giving Mr Dylan ample light to look around. He sat on the pavement just outside the garden gate, listening and watching.
There was no wind, but the night was bitterly cold. Thick crusty frost covered the whole village like icing on a Christmas cake, but the kitten didn’t seem to mind, he fluffed out his thick black fur and sat blinking contentedly at the star littered sky.
Earlier that day the boy John had sawn up wood; hammered and banged, making a lot of noise, but eventually presenting Dylan with a snug warm box, complete with his own blanket. The kitten was really pleased and to prove it, he slept in it for most of the day.
The night was quiet and still; Mr.Dylan flexed his toes, his mind wandering to his box.
His ears pricked, a rising crunch… something disturbing the crystal frost on the garden path behind him. He was on his feet turning in a split second to face the danger.
The huge cat that confronted Dylan spit savagely, fur standing along its back like a yard brush. Two eyes flashed with fire and fight as the kitten trembled unwillingly before the power of the mighty intruder. “What have we here then”, snarled the big cat sarcastically. “Who might you be titch”, he growled, still crouched menacingly before the kitten.
Dylan swallowed, he too had taken on a stance of defiance, for instinct told him not to turn his back or run. He was so scared, so sure the big tom-cat could see him shaking.
His own growl spat back like a defiant child. “I live here”, Dylan hissed, “so go away” he said, amazed at his pure cheek. “Obviously, you don’t know of me”, the big cat leered back in the kittens face. “I’m Tombo, and I go where I like…WHEN I like”.
Dylan’s heartbeats grew louder and faster, for truly he had never seen such a large cat.’Tombo’, that being his name, was indeed a massive creature, his coat with markings like the wild tiger, beautiful stripes in varying shades of grey and black.
“I’m Mr.Dylan, and you shouldn’t be in my garden”. Well it was Tombo’s turn to prick up his ears. “You’re who?” he snarled. What did you say your name was, Mr.WHO?’ “Dylan”, replied the kitten, “I’m Mr.Dylan”. He almost succeeded in sounding brave. Tombo very slowly sat down, and still keeping both eyes firmly fixed on the kitten he said, “I’ve never heard that name before, all the cats I know are called Tiger or Tiddles, some have names like Tom, but you’re the only Dylan I’ve heard of”.
At this point Dylan made his first big mistake, for he completely mistook Tombo’s attitude and conversation for friendliness. He allowed his whole body to relax.
The old cat smiled as he watched.
Next month Part 5: “NEVER AGAIN”
Published with the kind permission of the author, Mrs Sylvia Hood.