Chapter 1 “Curious News!”

There was a flurry at our back door. The cat flap on the door suddenly popped open and Polo waddled in—all animated. This was nothing new as Polo, our neighbor and friend, is excitable by nature. He just can’t help himself. He is a pint-sized Pekingese pup who lives next door. He has been good friends with our family since we came over to London from Paris.

We were lazing about on our porch enjoying the first rays of sunshine. By “we,” I mean myself, the pretty “purrrfect” Siberian kitty cat (if I may say so myself), the head of Missy’s family; my sister Cara, a pretty Siamese kitty with bright blue eyes; and my diminutive but energetic brother Fromage, the cheese expert in the family. As usual, our adopted hamster Charlotte, Fromage’s great buddy, was cuddled in his scarf snoozing away on Fromage’s neck.

“Fromage!” Polo declared, shaking with excitement and waking us from our drowsy catnap on the sunny porch. “There is a rumor going around the park that you were seen doing a brilliant trapeze act among the branches of the trees.”

Polo panted for a moment before continuing… “A sight to behold. You pirouetted amongst the branches like a professional trapeze actor, performing each move with ease and precision, like a real expert circus performer.”

Polo paused for dramatic effect…

“At the end of the show, you took off your beret and made a deep bow to the doggies watching below before strutting off with your tail high in the air, and then you disappear-ing into the treetops.”

A few more pants from Polo…

“Quite a cocky performance, I understand. I am just coming from the park where you are the talk of the town with the doggy kingdom residents as they take their walks in the park. It was as if you were thumbing your nose at the doggies with a Catch-Me-If-You-Dare challenge!”

“I met Terrance while out for a run, and he confirmed the rumor. He had seen your performance. I missed it as I took my stroll later than usual. Is there any chance I could see an encore?”

Polo said this with his tiny pink tongue hanging out, his round bright eyes filled with expectation. He was referring to Kensington Park, of course, which was just next door to us, where the neighborhood doggies went for their daily walks or runs with their owners

Kensington Park was a haven for doggy chitchat. The doggies not only took their walks in the park but also had the opportunity to exchange stories and generally gossip to their hearts content with the other doggies out in the park.

You wouldn’t imagine the stories we have heard through Polo about the neighborhood goings-on. Polo is a talkative bundle of energy, and he hangs around more with the gossipy circle of doggies.

“That’s impossible,” I scoffed before Fromage had a chance to open his sleepy eyes.

“Fromage has not moved from the house today. He didn’t even visit the cheese shop as Missy was on a short business trip for the day.”

Cara sat up and started washing her already immaculate petite face and said with a grin, “Fromage performing a trapeze act!!! Now that is something I would like to see.”

It was true. Fromage, our lovable brat of a brother, is anything but agile. He can’t even walk on the ledge of a bath tub without accidentally falling in the water. He is prone to mishaps. We love him dearly but he is a clumsy little fur ball.

Read the rest of Cats in Provence