It's Opening Day at Catsopolis Park, so..

Take Meeeeoowwwwt to the Ball Game

by Jean Goldstrom © 2001

Catsey Stengel, manager of the winning-streak Cats baseball team, was worried. He paced the dugout as he watched his toms out in the field playing the toughest team on their schedule - the Attack Dogs. His Cats had beaten the Weevils, the Gerbils, the Mice, the Rats, the Ferrets, and the LapDogs. But this, their toughest contest, brought them up against the also-undefeated AttackDogs.

So far the Cats had held the Dogs scoreless for seven and a half innings. But that could change - and it did, as just then Babe Woof, the Dogs' power hitter, waded into Whitey (The Persian) Ford's pitch with a mighty crack that sent the ball into center field like a cannonball. Catsey groaned. It looked like a double, or maybe a triple - then Roger (The Claw) Merris, the centerfielder stopped it. It shot him 20 feet into the fence, but The Claw came up off the ground with the ball in his teeth and tipped his hat to the screaming Cats fans, while the Dogs' devotees howled.

It was the third out, the Cats ran into the dugout, and Catsey patted them all on the back. To The Claw, he said, "Great catch, Rog. Are you okay? Hurt your paw?"

"Sure, I'm fine." Rog grinned. "I got another paw." And he put an ice bag on his injured paw as he sat on the bench.

Maury (The Manx) Wills, the shortstop, was up first. The Dogs' pitcher eyed him suspiciously, knowing the Manx's legendary reputation for base-stealing. The pitcher wound up - and the Manx was on first base. The Cats' fans went wild. The Manx tipped his hat to the stands. The pitcher - a burly Rottweiler - showed his teeth, and he had a lot of them.

Next up was Buffy (The Burmese) Bouton. He took his stance. The pitcher wound up - and the Manx was on second. The rattled Rottie finally managed to get off a pitch. Buffy popped up to short, but to no one's surprise, the Manx was now on third, and edging toward home.

The next Cat batter took his stance - and by then the Manx crossed home with the game's only run. The Cats fans cheered wildly. Again the Dogs' devotees howled as if in pain.

The next two Cats batters whiffed and it was time for the Cats to run out to the field - and try to stop the Dogs from evening the score, or worse, passing it.

Whitey (The Persian) Ford burned one in past the first Dog. Strike one. Two strikes later, the Dog angrily tossed his bat to the ground and stomped back to the dugout.

The second Dog hit a high fly to first, where Abyssinian Alvarez was under it for an easy out.

Catsey was thinking, if the toms can just hold together for one more out - but now Babe Woof was up again. Once he got hold of a pitch, well....and he did. The crack of the bat souded like thunder, and the ball flew like a bullet to center field. Roger leaped for it, but it bounced out of his sore claw - er, paw. Babe was rounding second by the time Rog threw it home - with his other paw, and the throw fell short. The Manx shortstop was on it in a second, and fired it home, to the Siamese catcher Chulalongkorn, who was not only smart, fast and muscular, but grandstanded with his claim of royal blood because he was named for a King of Siam.

The stands were going wild, with screaming Cats and howling Dogs. Everyone knew Babe Woof carried either the winning run or the losing out. Chula jumped for the ball as Woof thundered down on him like a runaway freight train. But the throw was wild, and Chula missed the ball as it lodged high in the wires of the batter's cage.

As Woof charged into home plate, the mighty dog discovered - home plate wasn't at home. He looked to the left, looked to the right, and then he looked up. Chula, perched atop the cage, smiled an innocent, blue-eyed Siamese smile - around home plate, which he held in his teeth. As he held the plate, he tapped it gently and repeatedly with the ball.

Umpires ran onto the field to confer. Fans ran onto the field, screaming and howling, to pick fights with each other. The yowling rose to such a pitch that only those closest to the umpires could hear the chief umpire yell, "Out!"

Then the fans went really wild. The Cats' loyalists carried their heroes around the field on their shoulders. In the dugout, Catsey Stengel smiled. He was going to have good news to report to the boss, Leo (The Lion) Durocher.

Note: If you liked this bit of cat humor, there's more at Enjoy!

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