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The Cat and the Cardinal: short story about an unlikely encounter
Posted by wordsmith, Mar 10, 2009. 919 views. ID = 2450

The Cat and the Cardinal

Posted by wordsmith, Mar 10, 2009. 919 views. ID = 2450
This post was written in 1 minutes.
It actually took me about fifteen minutes to write this in Word. Please let me know what you think, does the ending make sense?
This post has been awarded 8 stars by 2 readers.

The cat spotted the cardinal sitting on the porch rail, picking seeds and bread crumbs from the dish of a wooden bird feeder. The cardinal did not see the cat. The cat began to inch his way forward toward the bird feeder, belly low to the ground, the tip of his tail twitching high in the air. When he was directly below the bird feeder he drew his front paws in, tensing his back legs for the spring, his muscles rippling all along his sides. The cardinal turned slightly to the side and the cat froze, holding his breath. Then he leapt, knocking the unsuspecting cardinal to the ground and pinning the bird with his right paw, left paw raised, claws extended, to strike the exposed throat, mouth agape with razor sharp teeth ready to rend feathers and flesh from bone.

“Wait!” shouted the cardinal, “Please, don’t eat me! I beg you, spare my life!”

“You can talk!” exclaimed the cat, utterly taken aback, “You can talk!”

“Well of course I can talk.” said the shaking cardinal, “The real surprise is the fact that you can talk too.”

The cat was so shocked at this unexpected development that he seemed frozen in mid-attack. His mouth hung open and his clawed paw wavered just inches from the cardinal’s throat. The cardinal himself could not quite believe his sudden luck. This was ridiculous! It was utterly impossible. In fact, it couldn’t possibly be real.

“After all,” thought the cat, “cardinals can’t talk.”

“After all,” thought the cardinal, “cats can’t talk.”

Yet however improbable the situation was thought to be, it had proven to be not impossible. Here they were, two creatures most opposite in nature, who up to now had each believed the other an uncivilized brute incapable of intelligible discourse, actually speaking to one another. Needless to say they were both completely surprised at the other’s transformation into an intelligent being and a capable conversationalist.

“Well,” thought the cat, “I certainly can’t kill the bird now, not after he’s gone and talked to me. It would be rude.” He closed his mouth, sheathed his claws, and slowly backed away from the cardinal.

The cardinal kept a wary eye on the cat as he flipped himself off his back and onto his feet. With a flutter the cardinal flew to the porch rail and began to straighten his disheveled feathers.

“I’m very sorry,” said the cat, “I had no idea you were a talking cardinal.”

“That’s quite all right,” said the cardinal, “it was an honest mistake, and besides, it wasn’t entirely your fault. If I had known you were a talking cat I would have announced myself.”

“Oh no,” said the cat, “it really was entirely my fault…”

“Oh no,” said the cardinal, “I really should have announced myself better…”

“I’m very sorry!” said the cat and the cardinal simultaneously. This was followed by a moment of awkward silence.

“Well… I must be going now,” said the cardinal, “places to go, things to be doing.”

“Oh yes,” said the cat, “I’m quite busy myself.”

The cardinal flipped his tail and fluttered his wings nervously. The cat licked his paw and washed his right ear.

“Well goodbye,” said the cardinal.

“Yes, goodbye,” said the cat, “feel free to visit again.”

“I believe I will,” said the cardinal.

The cardinal gave a little hop-skip and flew away from the porch rail. The cat soon lost sight of him in the forest of thick trees that surrounded the house. He sat watching the leaves blowing in the wind. The cat stretched out in a bright patch of sun, lie down, and presently fell fast asleep.

Copyright 2009 wordsmith. All rights reserved. has been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work. For permission to reprint this item, please contact the author.

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This post has been awarded 8 stars by 2 readers.


Mar 11, 2009
Were you punning the saying 'you can talk' when the cat said he was busy before falling asleep, or was it something different? I'm not quite sure.

Love the style, as usual :D.
   ~Posted by Eric, Mar 11, 2009

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