Callie, the newest member of our feline family, leapt five feet into the air, crashed against the glass of the patio doors, bounced off and rattled the vertical blinds on her way back to the floor.

CallieShe sat and stared up the side of the doors. Her long fluffy, grey tail twitched back-and-forth with excitement. Her head swivelled from left to right, as her eyes followed her target.

I watched and wondered what she sought. A black house fly, which obviously snuck into the house when I last came in from the balcony, flew from behind the blinds, and sailed across the living room, through the kitchen and into our bedroom.

Callie, belly low to the ground and eyes skyward, flew across the room in hot pursuit. She disappeared into our room. I heard the rattle of the blinds on our window. The fly thought it could escape through the window, but it was closed. I couldn't see, but I knew Callie was on the sill and leaping with her claws extended to catch the intruder.

I heard Callie return. Her little paws skittered for support on the smooth kitchen tile. She skated across the floor, bounced off the dishwasher, gained control, leapt onto the table and disappeared behind the kitchen blinds, to where the fly hid.

CallieThe chase lasted for more than an hour. The fly zipped around the house. Callie followed. The fly landed on the patio doors again. I opened the door and set it free.

Callie, eyes black with full pupils, skittered from room-to-room looking for her target. It was gone.

I watched her and then looked at the floor of our living room. It was littered with toys on strings, paper bags, boxes and tiny balls with bells to amuse her. Most we got for free, but many were purchased to amuse a growing kitten and teach her hunting skills.

They were ignored. Callie found fun with a fly.

I don't need expensive toys either. Why should I spend thousands of dollars on all-terrain vehicles, giant television screens, etc? I can sit on my balcony; watch the eagles and hawks swoop for prey. The cows in the pasture are a never-ending source of entertainment. I can walk in the forest or go fishing. Clouds float across the sky. I picture faces and animals in their fluffy shapes. The changes of the seasons, a soft snow drifting to the ground or a falling star are wondrous.

They're beautiful.

The best things are free.

Michael T Smith, Idaho, US

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Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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