An Unlikely Allegiance

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
An unlikely allegiance between a vain cat and an excitable dog.

Submitted: August 09, 2015

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 09, 2015

A A A

A A A


Winston was a vain cat. He would walk past the girls in the street with his fat plump grey tail waggling in the air. Everywhere he went he demanded everyone look at him. And love him or hate him, they did. This attitude had often rewarded him under the table offerings when his human held dinner parties. His sleep fluffy coat coupled with big round yellow eyes that portrayed an innocence only fur deep was a sure fire way to receive any (or none) of the attention he required. He was a sole animal in the Dunphy household; spoiled and brattish because of it but he did love his man and would often try and make him smile. Winston was not accustomed to sulking or hiding in the shadows.

Then John Dunphy, young and handsome met and married Elizabeth Priestley. She in turn began taking all the attention from Winston. He hissed his displeasure whenever she was near and this motivated her not to like or trust him. Understandable, if not irritating to Winston who despite the fact he hated what this woman represented, what she had taken away from him, had an insatiable need to be liked by everyone; even if he would rather bury them in the backyard along with his other hidden delights (usually consisting of dead birds and mice). Whilst John and he had once been “the boy’s club”, John now sided with his new wife over his long trusted companion.  Things would undoubtedly get even worse when Elizabeth began to get broody and sure enough the pair thought it a wonderful time to adopt a dog.

Winston was not old – he was a spritely 5 years old but he considered himself above all that ‘kitten’ behaviour. He chose to laze on the window sill rather than chase the red dot that John Dunphy teased him with. He cared not for frivolous playing. HE had watched the pair bring the bounding mixed breed up the pathway, tugging at the lead in Elizabeth’s hand as John lured the excitable mutt with a tennis ball. Winston hated them all then – the perfect family.

From the moment the animal placed one shaggy gangly paw over the threshold there was an orchestra of noise and the dog, a 2 year old shepherd mix who became known as Charlie, only knew how to bark all hours of the day. Winston initially regarded him with disdain at the way he would salivate over the dinner guests, stealing the scraps once destined to be the cat’s. He barked at the postman as Winston watched from his sunbathing spot on the oak tree. Charlie was loud and undignified and Winston detested the way humans lavished him with the attention usually reserved for himself. He listened to Elizabeth’s high pitched squeals of delight as Charlie performed endless tricks. But then Elizabeth got sick; every morning and at the smell of fish and when she started getting bigger the humans stopped begging Charlie to play dead. They stopped taking long beachside walks with Charlie running in and out of the water gaily.

Charlie had become sidelined as the couple prepared for the arrival of their first child, Victoria. That was when Winston’s real problems started; since the adult stopped treating Charlie like their baby he took it upon himself to annoy Winston day in, day out grabbing him and licking him like some common puppy. The acrimonious relationship lasted several years. Winston tolerated the invader in his home with the same contrived patience he aimed at the neighbourhood toms; from a far he hissed a ‘friendly’ warning but if they came closer he would swipe them. Charlie indeed was just like an irksome tom except bigger, fluffier and often much closer.

As Winston approached 7 years old he found himself not quite as spritely as before. This revelation came almost too late, in the heat of his sustained vanity as he goaded the nasty dog from next door. Ordinarily, and like many times before, he would tease and taunt it as he skipped delicately across the conservatory roof, the dog snapping as it clawed desperately at the glass panels. Then he would sit in the large tree at the other end of the garden. For a few leisurely few minutes he would take in the view and clean himself as he marvelled over the increasing desperation of the ferocious animal beneath him. When he was bored Winston would swish his grey bottle brush tail and retreat; trotting over the roof and traversing onto his own side of the garden all the while a barking and growling cheering him on. Except one morning, irritated by the human child’s incessant crying, Winston scampered over the fence, ignoring the questionable glance from Charlie in his dog house. From there he sashayed across the roof and noted the distinct lack of dog. He was disappointed but not stupid. He simply turned on his heel and began his way back. His paw slipped on a tile and he fell to the floor in a heap. Taking only a moment to mentally test his facilities Winston approached the fence, his leg hurt but he would not make a song and dance about it. When he saw the angry dog it was too late; he had no time to jump the fence, not at his age and especially not with an injured leg. Instead he darted for the small gap under the fence where Charlie had started digging a hole from boredom. No sooner did he dart under it, bogged down by age and pain, did the gnarled dog hurl its way under the fence. Its snapping jaws were moments away from grabbing Winston’s tail before it became lodged between the earth and the fence. For a second it pulled and wiggled but just when Winston was convinced it couldn’t get under, the animal pulled its way through surrounded by the sound of splintering wood. Winston looked for a way out; he had no time to limp into the house and he sure couldn’t climb the apple tree so he hopped up onto the dog house roof. He knew the dog could reach him there so his heart thudded as he wondered what to do. Before he had time to think a black and gold blur streaked from the corner of his eye. Charlie was pushing the meaner and much bigger dog back towards to the hole. He growled and snapped with a savagery that no one would have thought possible. Within moments the ordeal was over; the nasty dog had been beaten off and would never reappear through the enlarged hole even though it was never fixed and Charlie was licking the wound that was now apparent on Winston’s leg. His grey fur was now stained red from where he had either cut it on the broken tile or where he had fallen but it didn’t hurt anymore. More importantly things had changed between Charlie and Winston. Instead of seeing an opponent or an irritant Winston began to see an Ally, a friend even.

As the years ticked by, the pair started feeling their age choosing to spend their days lounging by the dog house instead of destroying things. When the lazy pair decided to venture into the world to chase a frog or a stray ball it was usually one half of the duo with the other obliging. And when Charlie broke his back leg Winston sat by his side, choosing to provide his friend with entertainment and company instead of killing mice.  It was an unlikely allegiance that puzzled even their owners but now it had been forged and cemented it was unchallengeable. When Charlie was moved inside permanently on account of his weakening joints, Winston came too. Charlie’s bed consisted of a large cushion and an old tartan blanket by the radiator in the harsh winter and by the door in the unforgiving summer. Winston snuggled on his own radiator cat pet looking down on his friend like a furry guardian angel. 


The pair grew older and Charlie’s black fur began to whiten and he started finding it harder and harder to get going in the morning  but Winston didn’t mind; he contented himself to laze about watching the world go by. Time passed and the Dunphy’s would take Charlie in their car and disappear for an hour or so every few days on account of treating Charlie for something Winston did not understand: ‘Hip-displacier’. But eventually even this became too much effort for the exhausted dog and that was when the big grey haired man with the booming voice began appearing regularly giving him medication and injections that made Charlie sick. Winston didn’t like this man and hissed whenever he showed up with his bag, choosing to loiter on the higher shelves or cupboards. Winston especially didn’t like it whenever he mentioned ‘Yoof-Naysa’. Winston had no idea what it meant but it sounded sinister and Elizabeth burst into tears whenever he said it. The cat had a foreboding sense that things were going to change. One morning a week after that horrid man mentioned ‘Yoof-Naysa’ the small family made an extra fuss of the loving dog that laid on his warm tartan blanket. Victoria, now 13, started crying and her quivering mother placed a hand on her shoulder as john bundled Charlie into is arms, wrapping the blanket tight around his frail body. Quiet tears slipped down his cheeks which Charlie weakly licked away.

“Good boy.” John murmured with a broken voice as he carried the dog to the car passing a questioning Winston on his way. Victoria bent to stroke the cat and for once he let her.

“Charlie’s going away now Winston.” She said with a watery sad smile. Then she was gone, running to catch up with her parents.

What did that mean? Where was Charlie going and when would he be coming back?

Less than an hour later the Dunphy family returned minus their dog. John held the blanket now bundled in one hand and the dog’s collar in the other. But Charlie was nowhere to be seen.  Winston watched as they trooped inside vowing to wait for his beloved friend on the doorstop; he knew that when Charlie returned from his trip he would want to see his best friend first and so the cat waited there all day and all night forgoing food despite John’s best efforts to lure him in. Winston was hungry but also adamant that he wanted to be the first thing Charlie saw when he came home. So the next morning after Charlie’s departure John put the food down for Winston on the front doorstep and to the cat’s surprise, sat down beside him placing a hand on his furry head.

“I know you’re waiting for him buddy, but Charlie’s gone to a place called Heaven now, Winston. He’s not coming back.” He said with a thick voice and Winston looked up at his aging owner. “You see he was very sick, in a lot of pain and we had to end his suffering.” John knew people would think he was crazy for explaining this to a cat but he was sure the animal was waiting for the dog to return and he felt strongly that he would die from a broken heart from waiting.

“He’s gone to a better place now.” John said with an air of finality, patted his cat and then he was gone. Winston felt a sense of heavy loss and for the first time in his life he was sure he would die from the pain.

Winston didn’t quite know what to do with himself after Charlie had died. He wandered from place to place; lounging in the dog house like he had done for many years or perching on his radiator bed. But he never felt quite comfortable anymore, like he was missing his comfort pillow and in a way he was. His loss was reiterated every time he sat in the space that had once been occupied by his best friend. Charlie’s bowl, lead and most of his toys had been donated to a shelter and all that was left of his existence were the memories he left, his dog house out the back and the collar that hung from the key hook like a painful reminder. His tartan blanket had been washed and turned into a makeshift bed for Winston. It had already been agreed that the family would not be getting another dog and several weeks into the summer the family took down the dog house. Winston no longer had a club house to go to when he wanted solitary time but he knew that when his time came he would meet his friend again and it was this thought that comforted him in the last year of his life.

It was a warm sunny day, just under a year after Charlie died that Winston had ventured out into the neighbourhood like he used to. He strolled down Birch Street with his bottle brush tail swishing side to side and crossed the road with a ghost of his previous arrogance. He failed to see the silver ford until it was almost on top of him but Winston was not as agile as he used to be and so could not get out the way quick enough. He didn’t feel the pain right away and lay panting on the side of the street listening to the sound of a car door slamming. Moments later a foreign pair of hands was on him, the kind face of an elderly woman looking down on him.

Through the haze he heard her apologise and felt her groping for an address tag; she would not find one. Even though Winston was micro chipped he never wore a collar. He didn’t move, made no sound as she picked him up with sad desperation. Her car smelt different to his own – it smelt of another dog for one thing and there was no familiar perfume, this had been replaced by an unfamiliar whiff of rose water that was not all that appealing to Winston even as he lay bleeding on her front passenger seat. His head hurt now and a growing white light blinded him. The sound around him throbbed like he was underwater and as he lay there dying her heard a clear warm ad distinctive barking. He knew then in those few moments that he was at last going to see his friend and his journey was over.

Winston was a vain cat. He would walk past the girls in the street with his fat plump grey tail waggling in the air. Everywhere he went he demanded everyone look at him. And love him or hate him, they did. This attitude had often rewarded him under the table offerings when his human held dinner parties. His sleep fluffy coat coupled with big round yellow eyes that portrayed an innocence only fur deep was a sure fire way to receive any (or none) of the attention he required. He was a sole animal in the Dunphy household; spoiled and brattish because of it but he did love his man and would often try and make him smile. Winston was not accustomed to sulking or hiding in the shadows.

Then John Dunphy, young and handsome met and married Elizabeth Priestley. She in turn began taking all the attention from Winston. He hissed his displeasure whenever she was near and this motivated her not to like or trust him. Understandable, if not irritating to Winston who despite the fact he hated what this woman represented, what she had taken away from him, had an insatiable need to be liked by everyone; even if he would rather bury them in the backyard along with his other hidden delights (usually consisting of dead birds and mice). Whilst John and he had once been “the boy’s club”, John now sided with his new wife over his long trusted companion.  Things would undoubtedly get even worse when Elizabeth began to get broody and sure enough the pair thought it a wonderful time to adopt a dog.

Winston was not old – he was a spritely 5 years old but he considered himself above all that ‘kitten’ behaviour. He chose to laze on the window sill rather than chase the red dot that John Dunphy teased him with. He cared not for frivolous playing. HE had watched the pair bring the bounding mixed breed up the pathway, tugging at the lead in Elizabeth’s hand as John lured the excitable mutt with a tennis ball. Winston hated them all then – the perfect family.

From the moment the animal placed one shaggy gangly paw over the threshold there was an orchestra of noise and the dog, a 2 year old shepherd mix who became known as Charlie, only knew how to bark all hours of the day. Winston initially regarded him with disdain at the way he would salivate over the dinner guests, stealing the scraps once destined to be the cat’s. He barked at the postman as Winston watched from his sunbathing spot on the oak tree. Charlie was loud and undignified and Winston detested the way humans lavished him with the attention usually reserved for himself. He listened to Elizabeth’s high pitched squeals of delight as Charlie performed endless tricks. But then Elizabeth got sick; every morning and at the smell of fish and when she started getting bigger the humans stopped begging Charlie to play dead. They stopped taking long beachside walks with Charlie running in and out of the water gaily.

Charlie had become sidelined as the couple prepared for the arrival of their first child, Victoria. That was when Winston’s real problems started; since the adult stopped treating Charlie like their baby he took it upon himself to annoy Winston day in, day out grabbing him and licking him like some common puppy. The acrimonious relationship lasted several years. Winston tolerated the invader in his home with the same contrived patience he aimed at the neighbourhood toms; from a far he hissed a ‘friendly’ warning but if they came closer he would swipe them. Charlie indeed was just like an irksome tom except bigger, fluffier and often much closer.

As Winston approached 7 years old he found himself not quite as spritely as before. This revelation came almost too late, in the heat of his sustained vanity as he goaded the nasty dog from next door. Ordinarily, and like many times before, he would tease and taunt it as he skipped delicately across the conservatory roof, the dog snapping as it clawed desperately at the glass panels. Then he would sit in the large tree at the other end of the garden. For a few leisurely few minutes he would take in the view and clean himself as he marvelled over the increasing desperation of the ferocious animal beneath him. When he was bored Winston would swish his grey bottle brush tail and retreat; trotting over the roof and traversing onto his own side of the garden all the while a barking and growling cheering him on. Except one morning, irritated by the human child’s incessant crying, Winston scampered over the fence, ignoring the questionable glance from Charlie in his dog house. From there he sashayed across the roof and noted the distinct lack of dog. He was disappointed but not stupid. He simply turned on his heel and began his way back. His paw slipped on a tile and he fell to the floor in a heap. Taking only a moment to mentally test his facilities Winston approached the fence, his leg hurt but he would not make a song and dance about it. When he saw the angry dog it was too late; he had no time to jump the fence, not at his age and especially not with an injured leg. Instead he darted for the small gap under the fence where Charlie had started digging a hole from boredom. No sooner did he dart under it, bogged down by age and pain, did the gnarled dog hurl its way under the fence. Its snapping jaws were moments away from grabbing Winston’s tail before it became lodged between the earth and the fence. For a second it pulled and wiggled but just when Winston was convinced it couldn’t get under, the animal pulled its way through surrounded by the sound of splintering wood. Winston looked for a way out; he had no time to limp into the house and he sure couldn’t climb the apple tree so he hopped up onto the dog house roof. He knew the dog could reach him there so his heart thudded as he wondered what to do. Before he had time to think a black and gold blur streaked from the corner of his eye. Charlie was pushing the meaner and much bigger dog back towards to the hole. He growled and snapped with a savagery that no one would have thought possible. Within moments the ordeal was over; the nasty dog had been beaten off and would never reappear through the enlarged hole even though it was never fixed and Charlie was licking the wound that was now apparent on Winston’s leg. His grey fur was now stained red from where he had either cut it on the broken tile or where he had fallen but it didn’t hurt anymore. More importantly things had changed between Charlie and Winston. Instead of seeing an opponent or an irritant Winston began to see an Ally, a friend even.

As the years ticked by, the pair started feeling their age choosing to spend their days lounging by the dog house instead of destroying things. When the lazy pair decided to venture into the world to chase a frog or a stray ball it was usually one half of the duo with the other obliging. And when Charlie broke his back leg Winston sat by his side, choosing to provide his friend with entertainment and company instead of killing mice.  It was an unlikely allegiance that puzzled even their owners but now it had been forged and cemented it was unchallengeable. When Charlie was moved inside permanently on account of his weakening joints, Winston came too. Charlie’s bed consisted of a large cushion and an old tartan blanket by the radiator in the harsh winter and by the door in the unforgiving summer. Winston snuggled on his own radiator cat pet looking down on his friend like a furry guardian angel. 


The pair grew older and Charlie’s black fur began to whiten and he started finding it harder and harder to get going in the morning  but Winston didn’t mind; he contented himself to laze about watching the world go by. Time passed and the Dunphy’s would take Charlie in their car and disappear for an hour or so every few days on account of treating Charlie for something Winston did not understand: ‘Hip-displacier’. But eventually even this became too much effort for the exhausted dog and that was when the big grey haired man with the booming voice began appearing regularly giving him medication and injections that made Charlie sick. Winston didn’t like this man and hissed whenever he showed up with his bag, choosing to loiter on the higher shelves or cupboards. Winston especially didn’t like it whenever he mentioned ‘Yoof-Naysa’. Winston had no idea what it meant but it sounded sinister and Elizabeth burst into tears whenever he said it. The cat had a foreboding sense that things were going to change. One morning a week after that horrid man mentioned ‘Yoof-Naysa’ the small family made an extra fuss of the loving dog that laid on his warm tartan blanket. Victoria, now 13, started crying and her quivering mother placed a hand on her shoulder as john bundled Charlie into is arms, wrapping the blanket tight around his frail body. Quiet tears slipped down his cheeks which Charlie weakly licked away.

“Good boy.” John murmured with a broken voice as he carried the dog to the car passing a questioning Winston on his way. Victoria bent to stroke the cat and for once he let her.

“Charlie’s going away now Winston.” She said with a watery sad smile. Then she was gone, running to catch up with her parents.

What did that mean? Where was Charlie going and when would he be coming back?

Less than an hour later the Dunphy family returned minus their dog. John held the blanket now bundled in one hand and the dog’s collar in the other. But Charlie was nowhere to be seen.  Winston watched as they trooped inside vowing to wait for his beloved friend on the doorstop; he knew that when Charlie returned from his trip he would want to see his best friend first and so the cat waited there all day and all night forgoing food despite John’s best efforts to lure him in. Winston was hungry but also adamant that he wanted to be the first thing Charlie saw when he came home. So the next morning after Charlie’s departure John put the food down for Winston on the front doorstep and to the cat’s surprise, sat down beside him placing a hand on his furry head.

“I know you’re waiting for him buddy, but Charlie’s gone to a place called Heaven now, Winston. He’s not coming back.” He said with a thick voice and Winston looked up at his aging owner. “You see he was very sick, in a lot of pain and we had to end his suffering.” John knew people would think he was crazy for explaining this to a cat but he was sure the animal was waiting for the dog to return and he felt strongly that he would die from a broken heart from waiting.

“He’s gone to a better place now.” John said with an air of finality, patted his cat and then he was gone. Winston felt a sense of heavy loss and for the first time in his life he was sure he would die from the pain.

Winston didn’t quite know what to do with himself after Charlie had died. He wandered from place to place; lounging in the dog house like he had done for many years or perching on his radiator bed. But he never felt quite comfortable anymore, like he was missing his comfort pillow and in a way he was. His loss was reiterated every time he sat in the space that had once been occupied by his best friend. Charlie’s bowl, lead and most of his toys had been donated to a shelter and all that was left of his existence were the memories he left, his dog house out the back and the collar that hung from the key hook like a painful reminder. His tartan blanket had been washed and turned into a makeshift bed for Winston. It had already been agreed that the family would not be getting another dog and several weeks into the summer the family took down the dog house. Winston no longer had a club house to go to when he wanted solitary time but he knew that when his time came he would meet his friend again and it was this thought that comforted him in the last year of his life.

It was a warm sunny day, just under a year after Charlie died that Winston had ventured out into the neighbourhood like he used to. He strolled down Birch Street with his bottle brush tail swishing side to side and crossed the road with a ghost of his previous arrogance. He failed to see the silver ford until it was almost on top of him but Winston was not as agile as he used to be and so could not get out the way quick enough. He didn’t feel the pain right away and lay panting on the side of the street listening to the sound of a car door slamming. Moments later a foreign pair of hands was on him, the kind face of an elderly woman looking down on him.

Through the haze he heard her apologise and felt her groping for an address tag; she would not find one. Even though Winston was micro chipped he never wore a collar. He didn’t move, made no sound as she picked him up with sad desperation. Her car smelt different to his own – it smelt of another dog for one thing and there was no familiar perfume, this had been replaced by an unfamiliar whiff of rose water that was not all that appealing to Winston even as he lay bleeding on her front passenger seat. His head hurt now and a growing white light blinded him. The sound around him throbbed like he was underwater and as he lay there dying her heard a clear warm ad distinctive barking. He knew then in those few moments that he was at last going to see his friend and his journey was over.


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