Author's note: …Not much to say. I can honestly tell you though that this is the quickest I've ever took at writing a fanfic: less than a week! It's quicker than the usual two months I take. I decided to post it today because this fanfic is set on a Monday, and because everybody hates Mondays, especially Garfield.
All Garfield characters belong to Jim Davis, who I am not (obviously).
"Come on, Garfield! Catch up!" Jon called behind him as he jogged through the park with Odie running alongside him.
Garfield was sauntering along behind, wheezing and panting at trying to keep up.
"Maybe if you took slower, smaller steps, maybe I'd have the chance," Garfield replied. "If there's one combination I hate more than cookies with raisins, its Monday mornings and exercise."
It was only a couple of days before when Jon had started doing his 'exercise rounds', which consisted of jogging around the city for a number of hours. Why Jon had started doing this, Garfield didn't know and didn't care. It was only the previous evening when Jon had decided that, after observing Garfield sitting on the couch watching TV, he should bring his pets along with him. While Jon was in high spirits and Odie was happily running alongside him, Garfield was not enjoying himself – not one bit. The only reason he had grudgingly agreed to accompanying Jon was because Jon had promised he'd cook something AMAZINGLY SPECIAL for dinner if Garfield came along. Garfield had suspicions that Jon was lying…so Garfield was considering to think up an evil revenge plan.
Jon Arbuckle was dressed for the occasion: a yellow short-sleeved shirt, red running shorts, yellow sports socks, red sports shoes, matching red sweatbands on his head and wrists, a water bottle in his hand and a pedometer attached to his waist. Garfield had one word that summed up Jon's appearance: dork. Garfield himself had a red sweatband wrapped around his forehead, though it didn't seem to have any effect, and some running shoes on his feet (obviously; where else would someone wear shoes?).
"Halfway point!" Jon announced, and he jogged up to a park bench and sat down. He took awhile to catch his breath, and took a drink of water. Odie didn't seem exhausted at all. In fact, he looked like he could run all day. After a moment, Garfield finally managed to catch up with Jon and Odie. He trudged up to the bench and slammed onto the ground, exhausted.
"Ah, this is some jog, right boys?" asked Jon to Garfield and Odie in a positive way.
"Yep, you got that right, Jon," retorted Garfield in a negative way. He took his running shoes off and rubbed his aching feet.
"We sure picked the right day to do this exercise round together," Jon commented. "There's cloudless skies, the warm sun, everybody getting along…"
"…Every muscle in my body hurting, the fact that it's a Monday…The list could go on forever," Garfield added.
Jon looked over to the exhausted cat and lifted him onto the bench. "Cheer up, Garfield. We're halfway through this exercise round already," he said wearily.
"Why do I get the feeling that's not true? And 'halfway' doesn't have the same appeal as 'completed'."
"Just keep this up and we'll be back home in no time…"
"Easy for you to say. I want an ice-cream before I melt," Garfield demanded.
"…And remember," Jon continued, "When we get back home, I'll make you something special." He said the words 'something special' as if it was a mystery.
"Guess that's a 'no' about the ice-cream. Thanks for your consideration, Jon," Garfield moaned.
Jon sat back in the bench. "You know, Garfield, I've always wanted to live an active lifestyle," said Jon.
"Wonderful," said Garfield in the least enthusiastic way possible.
"It's my coach from high school who I thank for that. He was an inspiration for us all," Jon reminisced. "He always told us that a little exercise never hurt anybody…"
"But in my case, that's an exception," said Garfield.
"…And then he'd throw a medicine ball at us and say we were pathetic," Jon continued.
"Lovely type. Yep that's real motivation." Garfield was getting bored at Jon's life story.
"But you know, I was really good at sports in high school," Jon said with pride. "Would you have ever guessed? You do believe me, don't you?"
"Sure, of course I believe you," Garfield mocked. "Where do you start?"
"My claim to fame is being fifth in the hurdle race of our high school sports day."
"Fifth out of a possible what?" asked Garfield.
"…I was fifth out of six." Jon didn't sound the least bit phased by this memory. "But not being last in the hurdles has always meant a lot to me…"
"Huh. I bet you only beat that one guy because he fell over a hurdle. I actually feel sorry for the guy."
Jon was going into one of those dreamlike trances you experience when you imagine something to match what you're saying. "…It made me realise I could go far with my potential to live an active, healthy lifestyle. It also means that people look up to me as a pillar of society."
"At this rate, it'll take a long time to convince me." Garfield rolled his eyes.
Jon changed the subject. "Well, we'd better get some rest before we continue. Its eleven-thirty," he read from his wristwatch. "We'll stay here for 10 minutes. Does 10 minutes sound okay?"
"How about doubling that a few times? Or tripling it? Or better yet, how about we just call it a day now, Jon?" asked Garfield. There was no reply. "Jon? …Jon? …Jon!"
Garfield looked over and saw Jon slouching back, his eyes shut, and 'Z's slowly floating out of his mouth.
"Huh. He's asleep. That was quick. Must be going nocturnal." Garfield got off the bench and stepped away, dragging his running shoes along the ground with him by the laces. "I'd better find somewhere to relax."
Odie was running around in circles in a world of his own. Garfield frowned. It was just impossible to understand that dog.
"Hey Odie, know a place round here I can relax?" Normally, asking Odie something would be a pointless thing to do, but Odie had been to the park more often. But it wasn't worth it anyway. Odie skidded to a halt and simply shrugged and gave him a look that said 'no, sorry'.
"I thought not," Garfield sighed. He watched Odie resume running around. "Well I guess this means I'll have to find somewhere myself."
Garfield wandered around the area, looking for a place to relax. There was no point hanging around the bench, because Jon could start snoring any moment. If he stayed on the lawn, Odie would just get on his nerves. He looked up. It was sunny, but the sunlight was being blocked by the trees, which were in full bloom because it was summer. Trees…
"… Aha!" Garfield had a thought! "That's it!" he exclaimed. Garfield slung the running shoes over his shoulder. He approached one of the trees – an oak, the largest one he could find nearby – and proceeded to climb it. All exhaustion he experienced after running vanished as he made his way up, scaling the trunk of the tree with ease. Climbing trees is a speciality amongst cats.
He was nearing the lower branches when he heard a sappy little voice from ground level. "Ooh, look at the cute little kittycat!"
Garfield looked down. It was a little girl with a ponytail, dressed entirely in pink and purple. She had a stupid grin on her face, revealing her stupid teeth, and she was pointing. The little nosey creep! Garfield grabbed an acorn from one of the nearby branches and readied to throw it. "Eat acorns or shove off!" he growled.
The little girl burst into tears and ran away. And with that problem solved, Garfield resumed his ascent up the tree.
He soon reached the large, sturdy branches of the tree. Garfield climbed onto one of the largest branches to try it out. The branch was big enough for him to stand on and walk about. There were still a lot of leaves (duh, it's a tree after all), but the sun was able to easily shine through them up here in a lovely golden glow. From the branch, Garfield had an excellent view of the world around him. He could probably see for miles from where he stood.
Garfield took the sweatband off his head and hung it on a neighbouring branch with the running shoes. He then put on a pair of sunglasses and lay back on the branch. "Ah, this is more like it," Garfield sighed. "It's the simple things in life that we should all appreciate. This is my kind of lifestyle: all relaxation and no exercise…"
He suddenly sat up. "Wait…if I stay up here, then Jon can't make me do the rest of the exercise round!" Garfield lay back down again. "This little moment has all of a sudden become a whole lot better."
Garfield heard some barking from below, and he sat up again and looked down to see. It was Odie, who must have been following him. Odie was gazing up at the tree, happy to see Garfield.
"Hey Odie, wanna bunk off Jon's exercise round? Come up here."
Odie started jumping up at the tree trunk. It was obvious that he wasn't interested in bunking off exercise; he must've thought it was a game or something by the looks of it. But Odie couldn't reach any of the branches. Garfield sighed to himself.
"Oh, I forgot dogs can't climb trees. Guess I'm up here on my own." He lay back down again. "Oh well, wake me up when Jon's finished."
Back on the park bench, Jon woke up with a start to Odie barking and licking his hand. He shot up like a lightning bolt.
"Bleurgh! Odie!" gasped Jon. Odie stopped and wagged his tail. Jon settled back down on the park bench and looked at his watch. "Just after midday; I must've dozed off. I hope nobody noticed…Where's Garfield?" Jon stared at the empty space on the bench beside him. "He was right here just a moment ago – I mean, half an hour ago."
Jon turned his head from left to right. "Garfield? Garfield? That's strange…it's not like him to run off when he's worn out. In fact, it's not like him to move at all."
Odie was barking and meandering towards the oak tree, which was not that far away, and he kept on looking back as if trying to lead Jon in the right direction. Jon stood up and began searching around the bench.
"You've got the right idea, Odie. We need to find Garfield before he gets in danger." As Jon searched, he called out. "Garfield? …Garfield?"
Back up in the tree, Garfield heard Jon calling for him. He sat up and placed a paw to his ear. "Oh, is that the sound of Mr. Fitness calling?" he asked himself. "Maybe I can get him to leave a message."
There was a moment of silence. Garfield heard Jon speaking again. "I'm worried, Odie. This could be serious! Something awful could happen!"
"Uh-oh. Jon sounds worried," Garfield said, wide-eyed. He lifted the sunglasses from his eyes (so they were perched on his forehead) and he looked down to the ground. Odie was speeding up towards the tree, and Jon was eventually starting to head over.
"Had any luck?" asked Jon.
Odie reached the tree and looked up. Seeing Garfield looking down from the treetop again, he started getting excited. Odie leapt up at the tree, his front paws pressed against the tree trunk and his tail wagging, and he barked upward happily.
Jon looked over irritably. "Odie, now isn't the time to fool around. We've gotta find Garfield."
Upon hearing this, Garfield frowned. "Oh. That's it? I was hoping he'd realised these exercise rounds weren't all they lived up to be. Oh well, I'd better speed things up." Garfield picked up the discarded sweatband. "Want a hint, Jon? Here's a good clue to start."
Garfield flung the sweatband down to the ground below. It landed next to Odie, who yelped in surprise. Jon turned to see what had startled Odie, and gasped.
Jon rushed to the tree and picked the sweatband up. "Good work, Odie. He must be round here somewhere!" he said as he stared at the piece of cloth in his hand. Jon put the sweatband in his pocket and started searching again. He didn't even look up. Odie gave Jon one of those looks that said 'huh?'
Garfield shook his head. "You'd think it would be obvious, but nope, not for Jon. With Jon, it's always got to be that little bit more complicated." Garfield picked up the running shoes and swung them in the air like a slingshot. And with that, he threw the shoes directly at Jon's head. "I wouldn't want Jon to think I'm missing or anything. That would be inconsiderate of me," he said.
The shoes shot through the air, and then…SLAM!
Jon felt something hard bounce off the top of his head. Finally, he looked up, and a smile rushed to his face.
"What took you so long?" Garfield asked.
"There you are!" Jon's facial expression changed from joy to confusion. "What in the world are you doing up there? And how did you get up there?"
"Two answers: one, I'm relaxing. And two, cats climb trees, you know," Garfield replied sarcastically.
"I'm so relieved you're safe. I was fearing the worst," Jon said, pausing for breath. "Come on, you'll need to climb down from there now, Garfield," Jon called up. "We have to get going. I've still got…" (He checked the pedometer) "…5631 more steps to go before I'll beat yesterday's record."
But Garfield didn't budge. "Sorry Jon, but I'm not exactly the athletic type," he replied.
Seeing Garfield wasn't attempting at climbing down, Jon shouted back up. "Garfield, come on and get down from there! Now!"
Jon's mood was now darkening. "You're keeping us waiting!"
"No need to wait, Jon. You go on ahead and I'll catch up when you're done."
Jon's foot was tapping. "Garfield, I really mean it! I'm being serious! When I say 'get down', I mean 'get down'!"
"Give me one good reason why."
"You can't stay up there all day and night," Jon called up, "and I won't leave this park without you."
Garfield still would not budge. "If you really were concerned for me," he called down, "how about you climb up here and drag me down with your bare hands?"
"Alright then," Jon called up. He took a deep breath. "If that's the way you want it…I'm going to climb up there and drag you down with my bare hands…" Jon took a few steps back and readied himself. "Stand back, Odie," he said. "You don't want to get in the way. This won't be pretty." Odie obeyed and backed away for Jon.
And with that, Jon charged at the tree. Once he was a few feet away, he jumped up and grabbed onto the tree trunk. A few passers-by watched and pointed. Jon attempted climbing up, but he was just too weedy to go anywhere. He was slowly sliding down the tree trunk. His feet slipped and the bark crumbled as his hands gouged at it, trying to get control of the situation.
It was obvious what was going to happen next. Jon's grip loosened, and he fell to the ground with a thud. A couple of the passers-by laughed, and a couple of others shook their heads. Jon sat up, his own head spinning. "It's no use," he moaned. "I can't climb the tree…"
"I give that a 2 out of 10," Garfield commented. "One for the attempt and another for sympathy."
As Jon sat there, a horrible thought entered his mind. "What if Garfield's stuck up there? It would make sense why he'd refuse to come down and why I'd be unable to climb up too…"
"You've got to be kidding me!" Garfield ridiculed.
It was now Jon's turn for his eyes to widen. "He must be stuck up there! Oh no!" Jon leapt to his feet in a panic. "Garfield, don't move! I'm gonna get help!" he shouted up. Jon turned to Odie. "Odie, stay here and make sure he's safe!" Odie nodded in reply, his daft grin not once fading away.
Jon suddenly ran off, waving his arms in the air and screaming at the top of his voice like a lunatic. "HELP! I NEED HELP! MY CAT NEEDS RESCUING! SOMEBODY DIAL NINE-ONE-ONE! PLEASE! SOMEBODY!"
Garfield observed the bizarre sight of Jon screaming and flailing his arms about. Even Odie was stunned.
"Huh. That's one way of showing concern, but he's making a fuss over nothing. Oh well, at least he's getting the exercise."
Odie was still standing at the bottom of the tree, looking up at Garfield like Jon had asked. Garfield took the sunglasses off his head and held them out over the branches. "Here Odie, catch." Garfield let the sunglasses fall out of the tree into Odie's mouth. "I'm gonna need those when I get down. I'm going incognito for a few days; this is gonna be embarrassing for us three."
It wasn't long before the fire brigade arrived.
They came into the park with a 30ft ladder, which was propped up against the tree and a bulky fireman proceeded to climb up. A small crowd had gathered around the tree, curious to see what was going on. Jon paced to and fro, rubbing his hands and trying not to be too worried, while Odie ran alongside him, enjoying the exercise. Odie still had the sunglasses in his mouth.
When the fireman reached the top of the ladder, he saw an orange cat sitting amongst the topper-most branches, its arms folded and a scowl on its face.
"Hey, is this the cat that guy's fretting about?" the fireman shouted down, not looking away from the cat.
The cat fixed his eyes on the fireman. "Wanna take a guess?" Garfield huffed.
The fireman gulped at the icy glare the cat gave him. He grinned meekly. "…Uh…here, kitty kitty…?"
The scowl on Garfield's face made the fireman look away in discomfort. "I'll take that as a compliment," said Garfield. He stood up on the branch. "Well, I suppose I'll come quietly. Anything to save what reputation I've got left."
Garfield allowed the fireman to scoop him up with an arm and carry him down the ladder. "Shouldn't you be putting out fires instead of getting cats out of trees?" asked Garfield as they made their way down.
The fireman made it down to the ground and carried Garfield over to Jon, who was biting his nails. "Here you are, Mr. Arbuckle; one cat safe and sound. Seems you can't climb a tree like everyone else," the fireman groaned. (Yes, even the emergency services view Jon as a loser)
Garfield waved. "Hello again, Jon. Miss me?"
Jon took Garfield from the fireman and held him in a crushing hug. "Garfield! Oh, thank goodness you're safe!" he cried. "I was so worried! I thought you'd be stuck in that tree for hours!"
"…And a…good afternoon to you too…!" Garfield spluttered, struggling to breath.
"Come on, let's get going," said Jon. "We've still got to that exercise round to finish…"
At this, Garfield managed to break himself free from Jon's arms and grabbed Jon's shirt collar. "What? You gotta be kidding me! You bring the fire department to get me out of a tree, you embarrass us, and you think I'm willing to do more running after all of that?"
"Uh…" Jon began. He was trembling.
"That just doesn't cut it, Jon." Garfield jumped to the ground. "I know when I've had enough for one day, and I had enough the moment I stepped out the house."
The crowd watched silently as Garfield trudged off. Then they all stared at Jon, who was timidly eyeing left to right.
"Uh…" Jon began, "…That's Garfield's way of saying 'thanks'. He must be feeling a little tired…" No, that didn't work. "Was it something I said?" he asked himself.
Odie slowly began heading off in Garfield's direction, curious to see where his friend was going, and then Jon suddenly rushed off after Garfield. The crowd watched this disapprovingly.
"Wow, what a dweeb," whispered somebody.
"Garfield! Wait! Come back!" Jon yelled as he ran to catch up. "Don't be mad! What's gotten you so angry anyway? Uh…was it what I said about the exercise? I was joking! I'll call off the exercise round! I'll call off all exercise rounds!"
Garfield stopped in his tracks and spun around, a wide grin on his face. "Consider that a deal, Jon." He shook hands with Jon. "I want it written up, signed, laminated and framed and hung on the wall as a permanent reminder," Garfield added.
Jon was wishing for a hole to swallow him up. "Oh, so much for my exercise rounds. I was looking forward to a daily run with my two closest companions…"
"Never mind, Jon. In every jar, you'll always find a raisin cookie, I say," Garfield said, comforting Jon (sort of). And then he started walking away again, with Odie following him.
"What…you're still mad?" asked Jon.
"No. All's forgiven," replied Garfield, "but I'm heading home. I think I'll walk. Expect to find me on the couch and Odie on the kitchen floor."
A fed-up Jon sighed as he watched Garfield walk away with Odie. "Yep," he said. "I'm gonna miss the exercise."
Yeah, so Garfield didn't really get stuck in a tree. He just climbed up and refused to come down. It's just that Jon got carried away and thought Garfield was stuck.
I was originally going to end it with the 'somebody' in the crowd saying "wow, what a dweeb", but then I just couldn't let this fanfic end with Garfield being mad at Jon like that – they needed to be friends again – and I needed one of the main characters to say the final line, so I added the extra bit at the end.
I should point out that Jon's sportswear is meant to look like what you see him wearing in one of the quickies from Garfield & Friends (you know, the one where Jon challenges Garfield to a race, which results in Jon getting locked out of the house? Haha), with the only difference being that I added the sweatbands and pedometer. The quickies were based off of some of the comic strips too.