What happens when Zena the warrier cat finds her territory has been invaded by the White Menace.
Zena and the White Menace
Zena the warrior cat sprawled herself across the indoor-outdoor carpet, soaking up the rays of the morning sun through the screen of the open back door. It was a perfect day for doing nothing, and with no one to bother her, that’s just what she planned on doing.
Her adopted family was working in the garden as usual, doing what humans seemed to enjoy doing – or so she thought. Helen, Zena’s adopted grandmother, was hard at work pulling out the never ending weeds that kept springing up as fast as she pulled them out. Her husband Joe was kept busy adding more rocks to the garden in another effort to keep down the weeds while he contemplated the golf game he would be playing that afternoon.
Almost drifting off to sleep for a catnap, Zena caught sight of the big white menace that had started coming to visit them on a regular basis since the gardening season had started. Drawing herself up, she sprang to her box bed and curled up in the regulation breadbox position assumed by all cats when they are on guard.
Sure enough, the door opened and the white menace forced its way into her home with help from Helen and the white menace’s adopted mother.
"Here you go, Skye," said Helen, nimbly dropping the biscuit into the dog’s cavernous mouth.
Zena said nothing, glaring at the white menace as hard as she could in hopes that the darn thing would go home. Amazingly, it didn’t seem to be getting her message at all. It fact, it seemed to be getting the wrong message entirely. Or was it the food and water dishes strategically placed next to her bed that was drawing it closer?
Zena stood her ground as the humans around her got more absorbed in their conversation and oblivious to what was going on around them. The white menace advanced on her without the least hint of stealth. As it came almost nose to nose with her, Zena let out a hiss that made it pull its head back an inch or two in surprise.
"Did you see that?," asked Skye’s mother, stopping Helen in mid sentence and pointing. By the time Helen looked, though, Zena had jumped out of her box and the white menace was rummaging around in her food dish.
"Now that’s cocky," said Skye’s mother. "Zena looks very much like one of Skye’s own cats; I guess she thinks she can get away with it here too. Of course, her cats don’t have front claws. I presume Zena does."
"Oh, yes she does," replied Helen smiling.
After a bit more conversation, Zena was pleased to see everyone start moving toward the front door.
"I won’t be here tomorrow," said Helen, as she walked them through the door. "Tell you what I’ll do. I’ll leave Skye her biscuit on the concrete bench here," she finished, pointing to the white bench placed just outside the door.
"Thank you. I’m sure she’ll find it."
For the next several days, Skye and her mother followed their usual routine of walking around the block and stopping at Helen’s house to check for a biscuit on the bench – and there was usually one there. If there wasn’t one visible on the bench, Skye would go looking for Joe in the backyard to get one for her.
One day Skye got really lucky and conned Joe into giving her two biscuits, smelling the second one still hidden in his hand. Walking around to the front again, she told him there was one on the ledge above the bench by repeatedly sniffing at it – and of course she was right. Letting the biscuit drop to the ground, Skye caught it with ease. That made three in one day.
The next day, the routine continued, but this time there was no biscuit on the bench or the ledge when Skye and her mother stopped by. After missing biscuits for two mornings straight, they finally connected with Helen again and solved the mystery of the missing biscuits.
"Zena’s been stealing the biscuits off the bench," explained Helen. "I caught her one morning munching on one when she was outside. I didn’t know cats liked biscuits! Even a squirrel was trying to get at it, but she chased him away."
The following week was plagued with more missing biscuits and missing humans, before the last of the mystery was solved.
"Zena was smart enough to find the biscuit on the ledge as well, so I’ve stopped putting them there too," said Helen. Slithering into the house without letting Skye in with her, she returned with a biscuit and carefully dropped it into the dog’s mouth.
Inside, Zena was again sprawled on the indoor-outdoor carpet, enjoying the morning rays, a self-satisfied smile on her black face.
She, Zena the warrior cat, was once more queen of her domain.