Meow Meow Meow Meow Stephenie Meyer Meow Meow Meow Twilight.

I have just completed giving myself a bath. My copper tail is damp and swishes back and forth. I am happy. My stompers are home.

There are five stompers in our clutter. Two big ones and three little ones. For some reason the little ones stomp harder than the big ones but they give me the most food.

I'm hungry.

I jump down to stand in the middle of the room to greet them. It's a rule.

The low rumbling noise has stopped. Next will come the thumps, as many as four. And the more thumps, the more stompers.

Next is the crunching sound. Yes, here it is. I think they are all here.

I meow loudly when they walk in and then I run under the place where they sit to watch the light box. The little stompers always have hard covers on their paws when they've been outside and if they actually do stomp on me it will hurt. I remember. It will hurt my tail.

It's dark under here, cool too. There are lots of crumbs to sample. I like it. I will see when they open my can of food.

I'm hungry.

The stompers are speaking. They are only quiet when they sleep or watch the light boxes, but that's because stompers in the boxes are speaking.

I sniff the air. There are always new smells for me to gather when they have been out.



I smell another one like me! Here inside my borders!

Is it?...IT IS!

She is female, I think. She must be female because she smells ... wonderful.

I still don't like her of course, and I back up as far as I can in the shadows.

The stompers have never done this before, not in three shedding seasons. They wouldn't. It's a rule.

I do like her smell though. It's better than food.

I'm hungry.


I can hear her meow...

She is frightened...

Why is she frightened? Can she not smell me? I most certainly do not smell frightening. I smell delightful.

The little stompers are calling my name now. I know my name. I know all their names too as well as many other parts of their speak. They call me Edward. It has something to do with the light box, but when they watch the lights that speak my name there are always barkers. I don't like barkers.

The little stompers are looking for me. They will look here. They will find me. I should have hidden behind the plant. They never look behind the plant.

Upside-down eyes appear before me. It's Frankie, the youngest. The one who carries his bowel movements around with him in a white smelly wrapping. He needs to use my digging box.

Flo was next. She makes the loudest noises of them all but I sleep on her bed because she pets me the longest. She sees me and begins slapping her front paws together. She does this when she is happy. It is very loud.

She is stomping back to Mommy and Daddy. The big stompers are called Mommy and Daddy. Sometimes Howard and Judy. Mostly, Mommy and Daddy.

Can't they not hear her meow?

Why does she smell so good?

She is interfering that's for sure.

One of the big stompers is approaching. It's Mommy. She will not hurt me but I don't want to come out. When she reaches for me I scramble away but she grabs my leg.

She has me. Rats!

I will allow it.

She is carrying me to the eating room. She is warm and holds me close to her as she scratches my head. I can hear inside her body; it is beating with life. Big things have slower beats in them than small things. Except for tiny crawlers. I don't think any of the tiny crawlers have anything in them that beats, I've looked.

I am beating fast.

I can see that they have put a box on their eating place. She is in there, I can see something moving behind small holes.

I am not allowed to stand on the eating place.

SHE is not allowed to stand on the eating place. If she is going to stay, she will need to learn the House Rules.

Daddy Stomper finally opens the box and I see her. She has amazing marbled fur with some ribbons of orange like me, but also black, grey, white and brown. She is stunning and her eyes are the color of the hot season grass outside.

But she is filthy. I will need to wash her.

I squirm in Mommy's arms but she is not going to let me down. My tail slaps at the hand holding my two hind feet in a firm grip.

She is in the corner of her box looking straight up at us with her eyes wide and her ears flat against her head. That is not good. I put my ears back when I'm scared or angry.

She is looking right at me.

She hates me.

I open my mouth to greet her, but she hisses when she sees my fangs.

The little stompers keep speaking a new word.


I think they are speaking about her.

I think her name is Bella.


Bella hates me.

I am put in the older boy's den. He is called Fred. He smells almost as bad as the youngest one. His den is always damp. I would not wash him for all the treats in the world.

I sit under his sleeping place and listen. I can hear them through the gap under the slammer. I hate slammers.

They are speaking both our names. Bella and Edward. Edward and Bella.

I stay where I am.

But I am curious.

I stay where I am.

But I am curious.

I stay where I am.


But I am curious.

I go to the gap in the slammer and sniff. Her scent is much stronger. They must have let her out of her box.


She's here...

Right...on...the other side...of the slammer.

I do not move.

I do not breathe.

I wish to greet her. I wish to convey genuine interest, yet maintain territorial superiority.


That did not go well. I sounded like the flyers outside. I hate flyers.

Bella stops moving. Mommy and Daddy are speaking quietly. They are watching her.

I crouch low to the ground and creep over. She still does not speak and I do not want to try again. I lower my nose and breathe in her beautiful scent.

I am dizzy. She makes me dizzy.

Our noses touch. Oh no! What now?

Our noses touched! Our noses touched!

Hers was wet. That's good.

Our feelers brushed too. Heaven.

I meow again and it comes out strong enough to cause the stompers in the other room to murmur.

This time she responds with a timid black paw under the slammer.

Maybe she knows how to open slammers. I will wait and see.

She does not know how to do it either. I have tried all these things.

I hear the little stompers coming.

I hope they will open the slammer.

They do.

I hide.

"Meow?" Her voice is wonderful, like the sound of cans being opened.

I poke my head out from under the sleeping place and she is standing in the room. She is looking at me.

I take a step toward her.

Her ears twitch, but she stays where she is.

I approach slowly.

I get all the way to her and the stompers are watching. They are not speaking.

I stand perfectly still as she sniffs me. She starts with my ears and moves down my body. I lift my tail politely.

She walks all the way around me and marks several things in the room as she does.

This is an outrage! Those are MY things! She can't mark them. It's a rule!

When she stops sniffing me, and marking everything in sight, she turns around and lifts her tail.

I am allowed to inspect her.

We are friends now.

It's time to show her around and explain the rules. I walk past her and she follows me. Good.

I go to my dish in the cooking room and sit. She sits beside me. Good.

When I meow, Flo stomps over and starts speaking our names, but Mommy is the one who opens the can and she is not here yet.

I meow again and look at Bella. This is how you get food. I meow again. I want Bella to meow now.

She does not.

I knew she would be difficult.

Daddy comes into the cooking room and sets down another dish in front of her.

It's bigger than mine! AND she did not follow all the rules!

This is intolerable.

I will now refuse to eat to show my outrage.

He fills both dishes with food. Crunchy food. I like chewy food better anyway.

She begins eating from the bigger dish and I watch.

I am hungry.

I must protest.

I am hungry.

She is crunching very loudly. That is also against the rules.

I must protest.


But I must set an example of proper eating too. Yes.

I start to eat from my dish and she immediately moves over to me, practically pushing me out of her way, and begins eating.

Wow. She's strong...and rude!

This is unacceptable! I will no longer allow her to distract me from my nightly meal.

I move over to her dish.

So does she!

I go back to my dish.

So does she!

I look up at the stompers for help. They never help. They only speak my name. How is that help?

I decide to lower my head next to hers and eat while there is still food left.

This isn't too bad. The whole sides of our faces are touching. Our feelers are laced together. Maybe this is what she wants.

We eat all the food in my dish and I am full, but she moves back over to hers. She is hungry.

I sit up, wrap my tail around my paws and watch her.

She is small...young too...and still filthy.

We will have to deal with that soon.

Flo picks me up and suddenly I am being bounced down the hall. She is taking me to her sleeping room. She will trap me behind the slammer again!

I do not want this!

I struggle and even bite her hand. It is not a hard bite but she drops me with a screech.

I run back to Bella.

She is gone.

I find her under the place where the stompers sit. It is still nice and cool under here. She sees me and looks away casually. It's a cat thing and it serves my purpose tonight. Her aloofness will allow me to get close.

I approach slowly. She is not going to like this, but she has no choice. She is a mess.

I pounce on her and pin her down. I begin washing her face furiously. If she resists then at least I will get the worst of it before she fights me off. She is strong.

Surprisingly, she does not resist. I scrape the muck off the top of her head with my rough practiced tongue and she just sits there and lets me. As I wash the area around her eyes, she begins to purr. This is good because I still have a long way to go.

I am careful but thorough when I get to her ears, and she even puts her paws on top of my paws to steady me.

We are working together.

Does this mean that she will one day wash me? I doubt she will ever need to. I am already immaculate, of course.

I keep tickling her with my feelers. She twirls her ears when I do.

When I wash her mouth, she bites me. It is a playful bite. She is feisty. I let her have her fun, but then I hold her down again and finish the job. Rules are rules.

We doze together for a few blissful moments but we are pulled out from under the sitting place by small stompers to be placed on laps and petted. It is most disruptive.

Bella is not comfortable. Her ears are flat. Do they not know what that means?

Mommy comes in and picks Bella up from Flo's legs. I jump from Fred and follow her. He yells as my claws dig into him. Oops, I always forget about that.

Bella is taken to the room where I have a digging box. Oh no, I hope she does not intend...

She puts Bella in my box!

This is mortifying!

Bella sniffs as I hang my head and wonder what new tortures this day would bring.

She circles and does her business.

I turn my head of course.

Mommy seems pleased and purrs at Bella and gives her a special treat. I am also given one. I do not get them often. This is a good thing.

Mommy wants to shut the slammer. She calls my name. I hurry. I do not want to be separated from Bella.

Mommy then allows each of the stompers a few minutes to stroke Bella's now pretty fur. I sit nearby and can tell that Bella is nervous but warming to their affections.

After a while we end up sitting together on a white sleeping sheet Mommy has set up on the eating surface. We are just breaking rules right and left tonight. She drops several flower petals all around us and keeps flashing a bright light at us.

She is saying our names. Edward and Bella. Bella and Edward.

The thing in her hand flashes twice more and then we are free to wander the house as the last of the stompers go to sleep. We are allowed to wander around the darkened house.

Frankie's slammer is open. I do not go in there. He will wake up. I can smell that Bella has already marked this area as hers. That is against the rules.

Fred's slammer is closed. I hear his light box. His slammer has also been marked. Good grief!

Mommy and Daddy's slammer is closed. I hear them speaking. I can also smell that Bella has been in there, marking up everything she could reach.

Flo's slammer is open. I will go find Bella and we will sleep on Flo's bed. Maybe we can follow at least one rule before we go to sleep.

Bella decides to sleep under the light box. She is very difficult.

I remain with Flo until she and all the other stompers are asleep. Then I join Bella. I worry that she will not have my company, but she is welcoming.

She puts her warm belly against mine. I do not like breaking the rules but I like listening to her breathing. She kicks her hind legs while she is sleep chasing. I like that too.

It is morning now. Part of the floor in front of us has a bright warm spot on it from outside. I need to go sit in that spot. It's a rule.

Bella is still sleeping.

When I stand, she opens her eyes and watches me walk. When my fur gets into the light I shine like copper.

I lay down and meow. She needs to come over now before the light moves away.

She closes her eyes. Today looks to be no different than yesterday in the rule department.

She did use the digging box again last night and that is a very important rule. The stompers even know that rule. They made the first rules. I made the rest.

Bella has not followed any of my rules.

The house is quiet. Today must be one of the days when the stompers sleep longer and stay home.

Most days they're gone early and don't come back until after light comes in from the kitchen window.

I am alone in the house most of the time. Now it will be me and Bella.

She better start following the rules.

Flo comes into the front room after a while. She speaks my name and pets me. I get this for following the rules. I am a good boy. Bella fell back asleep. She is missing out.

She wakes up at the sound of Flo pouring sweet rings in a bowl and then adding delicious white water. I love that stuff. She sometimes forgets about her bowl when the sweet rings are mostly gone and I lap up the white water until my belly hurts.

I will let Bella have it today.

Flo turns on the light box and watches while she munches. I stand and stretch. I wonder if Bella is seeing this. I must look like a lion in this light.

I scamper back to Bella and together we watch Flo eat with a small metal scooper. White water drips freely onto the floor and Bella runs after it.

No! We are supposed to wait! That's a rule!

Bella licks at the wet spots on the floor and Flo...

Flo sets the bowl down for her! Now Flo is breaking the rules!

I was going to let her have it of course, but this is not fair! I can even hear her crunching the sweet rings. I never get any of those! Not any that crunch anyway! Well, this is quite enough!

I march over and claim the bowl that is rightfully mine. I meow loudly startling both females. When Bella looks up at me, I put my head neatly into the hole she has just vacated.

Oldest trick in the book.

I begin crunching sweet rings and drinking the white water. It is all so delicious. Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum...OWWW! SOMETHING BIT MY TAIL!

I spring up and see Bella dash in from behind me and stick her head in the bowl!

This is inexcusable!

I look up at Flo. She is petting Bella!

Humph! I'm not really thirsty anyway. I walk back over to the warm bright spot on the floor and lay down with my back to them.

Everybody better just leave me alone…

I mean it...

Nobody better come over and bother me...

Nobody does.

I close my eyes.

Oh No! She has my tail again!



She is...

She is washing it.

She is licking the same spot where she bit me.

I will allow it.

She senses me watching her and is compelled to meet my eyes. She pounces before I can even blink. I try to react but it's too late. She is on top of me and licking the white water from the fur around my mouth.

I will allow it.

Bella takes great care in cleaning me. Maybe I have misjudged her.

She is economical in style but there is a certain art to her movements. I get only a few moments of bliss before she releases me at the sound of a slammer opening. It is Mommy and Daddy's slammer, I can tell. I can tell something else too, we both can.

We immediately smell the outside.

There is a smell to the air outside. A certain age. I can tell by the way her ears are twitching that she hears the tweeters already. There is a tiny box on a pole outside and tweeters go in and out of it.

Flyers sit in the trees and steal food from the tweeters because they can't get into the holes themselves.

I have tried the seeds. They are not good.

I trot towards the sound and Bella follows. Mommy and Daddy are putting on new fur. The stompers change their fur all the time. Different colors, different textures. It's weird.

I jump to their sleeping place and then up the window.

Usually there is a hard cold barrier that I cannot smell through, but today it has been moved aside and there is hardly anything separating me from the bustling back yard.

I make room for Bella, who jumps up with me. We both watch the tweeters but spend most of our time looking for the source of the other noises we hear. There are many pops and rumbles that we can not locate and the barking. Oh the barking is maddening.

We press our wet noses against the grid of tiny squares that hold us inside and move our ears almost as fast as our eyes.

Mommy is petting us and speaking our names.

Edward and Bella. Bella and Edward.

Daddy comes by and calls us both, 'Cat.'

We have a quiet day up here on the window ledge and we even take turns sleeping on each others paws.

I slip away once to use the digging box and now Bella has jumped down apparently to do the same. I do wish they would give us our own digging boxes, this is undignified.

I look outside as I wait for her and let the air wiggle my feelers. The day is almost over.

She comes back into the den and I watch her walk around on the big soft sleeping area before joining me. I don't blame her for taking her time. I like Mommy and Daddy's sleeping place. I take a nap here on days when the stompers are not home.

It's a rule.

Bella jumps up and I hear a tiny 'clink' sound and then just as quickly, she's gone!

Oh no!Bella!

She has jumped too hard and pushed that part of the window away!

She follows it down silently but in a flash she gets up and is running across the grass. She jumps up incredibly high and onto the tall barrier made of tree wood that separates our yard from the others.

Bella! No!

She is frightened. She doesn't see me.

I meow loudly, but she jumps out of sight.

Nooooo! My anguish turns into a yowl.

I take one last look behind me, at the house I knew.

Then I jump down after her.

I have been outside before ... once. But I learned a lot in that hour, and as I fall through the air I think about how dirty I am probably going to get.

I land on my feet, of course, and run to the tall barrier. It is brown like the trees.

Wow, that is high. I am standing below it crouching down, ready to spring. Can I even jump that high? Here I go!

I barely make it to the top, and scramble with my hind paws to get all the way up. I am able to balance easily and I start looking for Bella.

She is nowhere to be seen.

I meow.

I hear only barking.

I hate barkers.

The barking is not coming from the area where she jumped, so I jump as well.

This is a very different place. There are very different smells.

SMELLS! I will try to smell Bella! I smell the ground and immediately pick up her glorious scent. YES! This will work. I step quickly but cautiously, looking around as I let my nose keep my feet on the right course.

I meow again, hoping that she will hear me.

I still hear only barking.

Bella's smell is thankfully strong, but stops just before another very tall barrier. Oh no! We will get lost if she moves too far away! I look back at the first barrier we jumped over trying to remember everything I could about this yard.

If I find her fast enough I should be able to follow our scents back home but if not I will need to be observant.

I jump up again. I am getting better at this.

I look around and I see some small stompers in this new area. There are many trees as well. Bella could be hiding there.

Wait! I sniff the top of the new barrier. She has walked along the top of it.

I follow it and the little stompers have seen me. They are calling me "Kitty Kitty." My own stompers call me that sometimes as well.

I prefer Edward.

Her scent suddenly ends on the fence. Did she jump down to where the little stompers were? No, she would not have done that. The other side is a narrow area, right next to a house almost the same copper color as me. It is shadowy in that area, she must have jumped down there.

I jump down and sniff around. Nothing! Oh no! She did not come down here!

I jump back up. Her scent is still here, but not as strong as mine is now.

The little stompers turned away when I jumped to the other side and they still do not see that I have returned. I jump down to their area and sniff the ground.


I look back up at the fence. I am tired.

I jump back up just as the little stompers see me and come running over calling me Kitty Kitty again.

Where has Bella gone?

I look around once more. She did not go down next to the house...she did not go down to the little stompers territory...

Oh no, I am going to lose her.

I look around and meow. This thrills the little stompers but the beating inside me feels like it has stopped.


What about the top of the house? It is close enough to jump to.

If I go up there, getting down to the barrier again will be very tricky.

I have no choice. I jump up to the warm surface and smell her immediately. Good, I am still on her trail. Her scent is faint though and I hurry to follow it. I hope to find her napping on the hot slanted platform but she has walked over to the front of the house where her scent disappears.

The front of the houses look very different than the backs do. Here there are many long black areas of very flat and hot ground and there are lots and lots of squishers.

Oh no! Does Bella know about squishers?

They will squish her!

I used to call them honkers, but that one hour I spent outside changed me.

It will be dark soon, this is bad.

I cannot jump to the ground. It's too far. What can I do? There are some bushes, but I don't like that. There is a stopped squisher but I would rather not.

There is a tree that I might be able to get to.

What would Bella have done? I sniff the area at my feet and all along that side of the house. She stood the longest in the area over the squisher. she must have jumped to it and then down to the ground.


I will use the tree.

I walk up to the top of the house. I can see all of the outside from here but all I want is Bella.

I run down to the edge and look only at the tree branch I want.

I spring from the edge but I know that I have not jumped hard enough!

I arch my back in the air in an attempt to help but I only begin dropping faster.

I will hit the tree trunk.

I hit the tree trunk.


Oh no...

Oh no...

I am hurt.

I manage to keep my claws hooked into the slightly forgiving surface, but my chest beats furiously and painfully.

At least that answers that question, my chest has not stopped beating after all.

I can only take small breaths.

I cannot move.

Noises of the outside world fade in and out and my strength leaves me. I tumble to the ground gracelessly and remain still. I have hurt myself further. I am unable to breathe at all now.

I close my eyes.

I am thinking of Bella. What if Bella is hurt?

I mustn't give up. I must open my eyes and find her.

The light outside is sideways. It always comes in sideways before it gets completely dark. When it gets dark, it gets cold.

I already feel cold.

I close my eyes again.


I open my eyes, the outside is dark now. I see specks in the sky like tiny light boxes. They are all playing the show where the stompers say our names. Bella and Edward. Edward and Bella.

It hurts to breathe.

I stand up slowly. My paws hurt too.

I look towards the area where I knew Bella jumped down. The squisher is still there but I know that I have lost her scent. Too much time has passed.

I walk through the tall spiky grass making a rustling sound as I do. I do not care.

I sniff the flat ground around the squisher. It's still warm from the day. It feels good.

The hairs on my ears stand up...

I'm being watched...

I look underneath the squishier and see a pair of pale green eyes.

It's Bella! I have found her! But she's hiding underneath the squisher!


I walk faster than I should to get to her and I look up at the dirty thing as I pass beneath it. It hurts my chest to do so and I wrinkle my nose at the awful smell.

Bella greets me with a tiny meow and in it I hear a world of feelings. She is concerned for me. She wishes to help me but she doesn't know how. She is also frightened.

I meow back but even I can hear the pain in my words.

I do not want to stay under this thing. I meow my intentions to move but she is too scared to leave the dark secret spot. She doesn't know of the danger. I attempt to nudge her, hoping that urgency despite my injury will make her understand. She hisses at me and her eyes flash with a real threat.

She wants to stay here.

I will allow it.

Together, we watch the outside grow darker still. I try to rest on my stomach but am forced to lie on my side. I would rather be able to see behind me but I know that Bella is always watching.

I close my eyes and breathe her in.

Maybe I will rest some more.

We sit together and watch several squishers move by with bright eyes and loud stomachs. I do not know if Bella has figured out that we are sitting underneath something that could roar into life at any moment and it is my biggest fear that we will meet our end together before we even get to know each other. I wish to lay with her in the bright warm spots on the floor and fight over sweet white water. I wish to bathe her again.

We see stompers walking by and some of them have barkers. We remain very quiet but our tails are swishing back and forth together.

The barkers do not see us. Barkers are dumb.

I stand up, testing my body but careful not to let my fur brush the underside of the filthy squisher. It still hurts but I can walk. This is good, maybe we can leave now.

I meow my intentions once more.

Bella still does not want to go.

I meow a firm protest and she ignores it. She is maddening.

All I can do is wait for her to see reason.

A very large and very slow moving squisher glides past. Right behind it, chasing it perhaps, is a smaller but much louder one. There is a low pulsing from the smaller squisher, like it has a beater inside of it as well. Not all squishers make this noise though.

I look back at Bella. She is watching something. I hear it. I turn my head and see stompers. They are getting into the squisher above us!

I run at Bella hard. This is my last chance to get her out of here. She must move or we will regret it.

Bella rolls over when I hit her, but quickly gains her feet. She plants herself and bares her fangs at me. She is not going to move!

Well, I did what I could. I begin to run for my life, but Bella meows loudly. She wants me to stay. She is warning me to stay, actually. I don't understand how that could be.

Above us the machine thunders so loudly that my feelers vibrate and I almost jump into its spinning guts.

Bella walks to the middle and sits down. She looks at me calmly.

I must trust her.

I run to her just as the squisher begins to move above us. It rolls away and then we are in it's bright eyes.

Bella's own eyes flash just before she runs away at full speed.

Oh, NOW she runs away!

I try to keep up, but it hurts too much.

She runs to the middle of the flat dark part of the ground where the rest of the squishers move and she running much faster than I can.

I stop and meow but that hurts too.

All I can do is walk in the direction she went and use her very faint scent to tell me if she turned off anywhere.

A squisher is coming. I can see its bright eyes and hear its impatience. I freeze in place, not knowing what else to do and it passes me closely, shaking the ground and leaving behind a stink that all but covers up Bella's trail.

I can't go much further.

I walk slowly with my head down but my ears perked for the sound of approaching squishers.

Every time I hear one it's the same. I stop, it passes, it stinks.

Sometimes they come from behind me. I don't like that.

Sometimes they honk at me. I don't like that either.

Bella's scent is little more than a memory in my head but I am certain that I detect that it leaves the dark surface and so do I. I follow it onto soft ground to the side of a large house with two sleeping squishers. Yes, she has been here recently.

Her scent is not near them but I look underneath anyway. She is not there. That is good. She can't get into much worse trouble now.

I hear barking.

Oh no! This has something to do with Bella.

I follow her scent to another tall barrier. The barking is coming from the other side and I know that I will never be able to jump that high.

I find a hole in the wood and search for Bella.

She's there all right. I see her close to the barker. He has a metal rope around his neck and it is keeping him off the grass where she is standing.

Why doesn't she run? What is she doing?

The barker is pulling on his rope. He is trying to get her!

A stomper comes from the house and yells at the barker. I know all three words. "Shut up, Jacob!"

They don't want the barker to bark. Ha!

When the big dumb drooler turns to acknowledge the yelling stomper, Bella runs over to a big metal dish and begins pulling a large piece of meat back out into the grass. By the time Jacob sees her it's too late, she has gotten away clean.

He begins barking like mad. I am enjoying this very much and I can't believe Bella is doing this.

Bella looks at him very calmly then takes the big red strip of meat in her mouth and takes several steps closer.

She puts it down again, only a paws length away from him.

She is teasing him.

He is pulling so hard on his rope that only his hind legs are touching the ground and his strangled barking never lets up. When the stomper comes out to yell again, Bella grabs the meat in her mouth and runs right towards me. She is looking right at the hole I am peeking from. I think she sees me. She leaps up and out of sight and a moment later she lands next to me and keeps running.

She didn't see me.

I meow. Oh please, no more running.

Bella stops and turns quickly. She then walks over and lays the meat on the ground at my paws.

She chirps at me, happy with herself. She wants me to eat it.

I bite off a piece and give it to her before I do.

It does not hurt to eat. That is good.

We enjoy the barker's food and it seems like he can still sense us nearby because he keeps barking. His stomper eventually comes out and paddles him. I enjoyed that very much as well. This whole day might have been worth it just to hear that sound.

Bella and I eat everything we have and I feel better, stronger. Bella then allows me to lead her back to more familiar territory. I walk us back the way we came except that we do not use the surface where the squishers move. We walk in the front yards instead, ducking under bushes and going slowly to accommodate my continued pains.

I do not really know what my house looks like, but I know the houses nearby very well. I am confident that I can find them and make sense of things but I am starting to feel worse. It hurts to breathe again.

I am scared that if Bella runs off again I won't be able to pursue her.

I just wish we could see something familiar.

Bella knows that something is wrong. I have not fooled her. She walks with her body pressed against mine, supporting me. It works! I can even breathe better!

Her scent is everywhere. I get lost in the warmth of her fur and the brush of her feelers. She keeps me on my feet as we search for home but it is just taking too long. We are both getting tired.

We will need to sleep somewhere soon. I begin looking for dark places that might also be warm. I think she is doing the same thing.

A few minutes later, she begins steering me toward a big pile of stacked tree wood. There are many places to sleep here but all the openings are just big enough for one.

We will not be able to spend the night together.

I find a decent spot, but it is close to the ground because all I can do is step up. Bella is above me somewhere but I cannot smell her. The scent of the trees is far too strong.

All I can think about is whether or not she will be there in the morning.

I wake to the sound of my name.


I am being carried by a stomper.

I am being carried away from Bella!

No! This can't be! I can't lose her like this!

I struggle, but this stomper has me firmly gripped. He is not hurting me but when I try to slide my paws out of his grip, he clamps down with quick and endless strength.

I cannot escape!

I yowl loudly, hoping to wake Bella if she is still there. I cannot even look back.

The stomper who knows my name stops to speak to another stomper. They speak my name. The other one pets me. She is a female. They do not speak Bella's name.

I am carried for a short distance and when he turns to walk up to a house, I recognize the crunching sound his covered paws make.

Mommy stomper is here and she has me and I am inside my house. She is speaking my name.

My only chance is to get out before they close the slammer. Mommy does not let go until it is firmly shut.

All the little stompers are speaking. It is very loud.

I am released and I do the only thing I can. I run to Mommy and Daddy's sleeping area and jump to the window. I would do it all over again just to see her once more.

It is closed. I am trapped.

Flo comes into the room and speaks my name.

Daddy follows her.

He is holding Bella!

Oh Bella! He is holding Bella! She is here! She is here!

Daddy puts her down and picks me up. He looks into my ears and at each one of my paws.

I twitch when he touches the part of me that hurts and he carries me out of the room.

Oh no! I can never get away from Daddy!

He puts me into the same box he brought Bella home in. Her scent is everywhere.

I meow loudly as he takes me back outside and puts me into the squisher.

I can't believe this is happening to me! Where is he taking me?

I yowl in protest as the box jiggles and I find it difficult to stand. He speaks my name occasionally, but I am still upset at having been taken away from Bella.

When the jiggling stops, I am grateful but do not slow the barrage of complaints.

He takes me into a building that has a thousand smells. Many of which I do not like at all.

I am set down on the ground and can see several other boxes like mine. I do not meow anymore. I wish to listen and not make my presence known.

I begin to shake.

What is happening?


I sniff some more and look around closely.

Yes. The Daddy stomper has brought me to a place I remember now. I am going to be touched by a stomper who calls me Slugger and feels my balls.

Daddy stomper speaks my name and puts his paw into my box, but I do not wish to be comforted.

I wait for this to end.

I hear my name called a moment before my box begins jiggling again. I do not attempt to stand.

I am walked into a small area with two slammers. A female stomper comes in and speaks with Daddy. He calls her Doctor.

Doctor stomper takes me from the box and looks into my eyes. I look back. Her eyes are brown and kind.

She squeezes my balls but calls me Edward.

She then touches my belly and when I twitch she presses her paws into me until I squeak out a plea for her to stop.

I am mercifully put back into my box.

She speaks to Daddy stomper and then he touches her paw and leaves without me!

No! He can't leave!

If he leaves how will I ever get back to Bella?

Are there simply no more rules anymore?

I have a horrible night. There are many Doctor stompers who touch me and wrap me very tightly in smooth white fur. I am forced to swallow some things, but then am given wet chewy food. The kind I really like.

It does not make me feel better. Just full.

I cannot see outside. That is the worst part.

No…listening to the barkers yell at each other all night was the worst.

No…not having Bella, that was by far the worst.

The light becomes very bright and a Doctor stomper takes me out of my metal box. She looks into my eyes and pets me. She gives me treats and allows me to move around the room. She then picks me up and carries me to a new box.

I am placed inside with a few more treats and then taken out where I immediately smell Mommy and Frankie, especially Frankie. Flo is there too and they are all speaking my name.

I smell Bella on them but I do not see her. I hope they will take me to her.

I am carried to the squisher by Flo and it is very shaky. I do not like this box.

The ride is long. The baby stomper keeps hitting the box. It is loud. I do not hurt as much anymore and that is good. I am still in pain though. I'm in pain without my Bella.

I feel the squisher stop and I get very excited. Are we there?

I hear the crunching sound and am banged into the slammer by Flo, but I smell Bella and need to get out.

I meow loudly and Mommy opens the box.

I am on the eating place. I am not allowed to stand here. It's a rule.

I consider how I'm going to get down, but Mommy picks me up and puts me gently on the ground.

I look around for Bella but I do not see her. I look under the sitting place and all of the sleeping areas, but I still can't find her. I am getting worried.

I look under the light box and on the window ledge but she is nowhere to be seen.

Where haven't I looked? Behind the plant!

I run over there and find her, watching me, her marbled tail swishing back and forth.

She steps forward and does something I am not expecting. She marks me.

I am hers.

She purrs as she marks me over and over again.

This is definitely against the rules.

But I will allow it.


This one shot was written several months ago for the Fandom Against Juvenile Diabetes fundraiser.

Last spring, my son was diagnosed with Type One diabetes at the age of 14.

He is an active, healthy, smart young man who just has to manually supply the appropriate amount of insulin for any carbs he eats. His condition is quite manageable, but think of this: For every meal and twice more a day he has to check his blood glucose level by poking his finger and drawing blood. Then he has to check it on a meter to make sure that he doesn't need to make any further corrections with his medication due to hyper or hypoglycemia. Then he has to inject the appropriate amount of insulin into his arms or stomach.

This will never end for him until there is a cure and believe me, medical researchers are close.

There are several different methods of treating the condition that are nearing the human testing phase and this means that we could see diabetes cured easily within our lifetimes. That is, if we keep the pressure on and you have contributed significantly if you are reading this.

From my family to yours, thank you.