Animal Stories from


Ivana Gerhard
a fictional children's story for all ages
July 2015

Ernie the cat

Dorothy is a popular hostess, while Clarence, a night watchman by trade, on the other paw, was born to homeless parents, and is a bit more reclusive.

Dorothy is very good friends with the Squirrel sisters, Susan, Sharon and Karen, and often babysits their children. The Pitbull boys, Larry and Chase, the Wooddebby family, Kenny Catbird, Brian Bluejay and Mr. Turtlety all live close by the pink house. Diane and Danny Mole and their son, Timmy, also frequent night time festivities, but live and work in tunnels under the lawn during the day. There are birthday and holiday parties, TV watching fests, dancing under the stars to the Pitbull Boys duo, and any other reason they can think of to congregate. Clarence enjoys the company, but cautiously participates from just inside the bedroom door, under the couch, or behind the drapes. It is a happy life, and, of course, everyone’s extended families attend. The baby birds and squirrels play, nap and eat. The old folks talk about the old days, nap and eat. The young adults feast, dance, play cards, share information and discuss the problems of their world. In the evening, everyone gazes at the twinkling stars from assorted branches, stumps, chairs, window sills and velvety cool grass.

Mr. Turtlety

“Ah, such beauty”, said Karen Squirrel; “Fireflies”, yelled Mr. Turtlety: “Not as bright as they used to be”, said Danny Mole.

After one Christmas eve dinner, while rocking Suzy, one of the wee Squirrel children to sleep, Suzy reached up and hugged Dorothy’s neck, twirled her tail around Dorothy’s leg and sleepily murmured, “Love Mama”. Dot was overcome by the desire to have a baby of her own. “Oh, it would be so grand”, she purred, “to give a kitten a wonderful life, and help her grow up to be a caring, kind and responsible cat.”

Clarence and Dorothy

Later that night, Dorothy approached the subject to Clarence. “Well”, he said, “It would be nice to have a little one around. I could take him boating in the canal, play yarn ball with him and enjoy walks in the woods.” “Yes”, Dorothy exclaimed, “I could  teach her all about making catnip tea, tending the gardens, and catawaltzing  in the moonlight”. Although the partners in life thought it a splendid idea, they realized it to be a serious undertaking, and pondered the matter for weeks. They decided to make the commitment and proceeded to the Humane Society in Mr. Turtlety’s old taxi. “Only two more payments and Old Bessie’s mine. She clunks along, but we always get there.” This was a delightful trip for Dot, “I’m so excited I can barely breathe”, but difficult for Clarence because of his wary nature. However, his mind was made up , and he did what he had to do to accomplish the goal. Dorothy was very proud of him.

“Its no bother”, said Clarence secretly kneading his seat belt.

They were soon approved as parents, and then shown to the kitty cat nursery to see if there was a compatible match. Up and down the rows of mewing babies they wandered. “Meew”,” yawl”,” help”,” take me”,” I'll always be a good cat”,” Please, give me a chance”, It was heartbreaking to see so many felines crying out for attention. Dorothy had to go outside and compose herself, “This is the best and worst day.”

When she returned, although Clarence had wanted a boy, she found him in the get to know each other room with a snowy white ball of long-haired fluff curled up on his outstretched front paws. As Dotty got closer, she thought, “This is the most breathtaking creature I have ever seen.”

When the little kitten looked up at Clarence and Dorothy with her beautiful, big, blue eyes, and said “Mommy, Daddy”, a new family was born. Sweet baby, I want to name you Ernestine after my favorite aunt”.

Clarence and Dorothy

The snowy white fluff beamed with happiness. “Ernestine it is, I love that name, so elegant”, exclaimed Clarence, who forgot to be shy. Legal papers were signed, instructions for care of the baby given and her few little things gathered up and stowed in Mr. Turtletys’ trunk. “Lots of room” said Mr. T, as the cats piled in and Old Bessie left for the pink cottage with her precious cargo!

Clarence, Dorothy and Ernestine arrived home to find anxiously waiting neighbors and a welcome home party. Baked carrot sandwiches, vegicat cakes, catnip ice cream and bowls of spring mountain water were served under silver, pink and white streamers made from yarn and ribbons gathered in the middle of the living room into a big heart shaped ball.

There were thoughtful gifts from everyone. Mr. Turtlety gave Ernestine a GPS so that even if she was slow going somewhere at least she would be going in the right direction. Mrs. Wooddebby and her children Jay and Riley gave a brush and flea comb set and offered grooming and inspecting Ernestine’s ample fur for insects. The Pitbull boys gave her a new collar, a replica of their own, but pink and small. Brian Bluejay presented a silver whistle that sounded similar to his own shriek, in case she got lost in the pines or somehow crossed the canal in the backyard and was afraid to cross back. The Moles presented a tiny baseball cap with battery operated lights under the brim, in case she wanted to go for a moonlight stroll.

Kenny Catbird gave her a book titled Birds and Cats – One Big Happy Family.

A glorious time was had all, but it was a long day for the cats, and Ernestine was exhausted.

The guests left, and Dorothy rocked her baby to sleep, while Clarence guarded his loved ones from just inside the bedroom door, behind the drapes, under the couch, and finally retired to a big chair in Ernie’s room to make sure she slept through the night. After all, it was a strange place, but a place filled with happiness and love.

The more we love others, the bigger our “family”, and the more we will be loved. 

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