Welcome back for the 5th and final installment of Joe’s story…at least for now. When we left Joe yesterday, he was happy, enjoying his new family and his new home. But change happens, as Joe is about to find out.
I’m Joe, and I’m a dog—but you know that. Things have been going great with Ethan and the new family. We’re a happy go lucky pack! At least, that’s what I thought…but this morning, I was in for a surprise.
Ethan and Bella were at the table, eating the marshmallows out of their breakfast cereal and leaving the good stuff. I don’t go in for marshmallows—they get stuck in my teeth. And this morning, as usual, they started arguing with each other.
“Mom!” Ethan yelled. Mom gets yelled at a lot. I think she must be the most patient human I’ve ever known. “Bella is feeding Joe her cereal!”
You know I love Ethan. Of course I do! But they weren’t eating the crunchy stuff so what was the harm? Bella just giggled. I gave her a friendly bump and grabbed a few more pieces.
“Bella, stop feeding Joe,” Mom said, coming into the kitchen.
“My doggy!” Bella declared. I wagged my tail. I’m a family dog, all the way. Big on sharing!
Ethan, however, was not. “No, he’s MY dog, Bella! Come over here, Joe!”
Mom listened to this back and forth for a minute, and then broke through it with her usual cheerfulness. “Don’t worry, kiddoes! We’re going to get Bella a furry pal of her own today! Remember?”
Remember? Definitely not! I’m pretty sure I’d recall any discussion on adding somebody else to the family. Remember what I said about sharing? Forget it!
Soon after that, the humans were all off together, and I was left to wonder about this new furry friend of Bella’s. I hoped he’d be big, like me. I have to watch myself with Ethan and Bella so I don’t knock them down too much. I wouldn’t mind someone I could really wrestle with! Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad! I heard the truck pulling up outside. I ran to the window, trying to catch a glance of the new arrival.
Here’s what I saw: Mom, Dad, Ethan, and Bella. Bella was following close to Mom, tugging at her shirt, demanding to hold…something. Mom had a little bundle of fur in her arms. A tiny bundle of fur. A puppy? That was okay, I could teach the little guy a thing or two. Still, he was awfully small.
I didn’t have to wait long. Soon the family came marching into the house, and as soon as they did, I knew that wasn’t a puppy. My eyes are usually pretty reliable, but I never doubt my nose. Bella had brought home a kitten!
This was a big surprise! I wasn’t going to be able to wrestle with a cat, let alone a kitten. I sat down. I’m not a cat chaser—I’m much too dignified for that. I tried to look dignified now, but nobody noticed. Well, almost nobody.
The family—my family—had put the kitten down on the couch. She was just sitting there, trembling. She had orange fur and pointy little ears and what I can only assume was a useless, scrunched up little nose. She looked around at Ethan and Bella, Mom and Dad, and gave herself a shake. Then she turned those big eyes my way, stood up on her tiny legs, arched her back and puffed out her fur. And then she hissed! At me! I was astounded.
Things got noisy after that. I mean, would you have just sat there and taken a hiss? I barked my loudest, and it was pretty easy to see who was in charge. Eventually, the kitten calmed down and Ethan got back to where he belonged—petting me.
Bella named the kitten Tadpole, even though everyone tried to talk her out of it. I love that kid! Tadpole! Ha! And I think we’re going to get along okay, once she loses the attitude. That’s the thing about cats.
This evening, we were getting ready to head up to Ethan’s room for bed, and I glanced over where Tadpole was curled up beside Mom on the couch. She stretched out and almost looked like she smiled at me. She pretty cute for a cat.
But then, just as we headed up the stairs…was that a hiss?!
Thank you for reading Joe's story! While this was purely a fictional story, there are dogs and cats all over the country, waiting for a home. We'll be announcing an initiative soon that is focused on helping our furry friends find a forever home and family. And who knows? This might not be the last we hear from Joe and Tadpole!