Annie awoke at dawn, on a soft, green chair, sleepily walked into the bedroom and jumped onto the bed, where she yawned. She spun around several times and eventually settled between two members of the pack, Darren and Nancy, who didn't notice her arrival. In a little circle, she occupied a small space between Darren's belly and the small of Nancy's back. Once again, she yawned, and then put her head on a rumpled bit of blanket, her eyes closing immediately.
In her little dog dream, Annie could speak in a faint whisper. She wore clothes in her dream, Nancy's jeans and sweater, and Darren's black Fedora hat. It suited her nicely, and she found herself wishing for shoes. She stood up and walked to Darren's ear, lowering her nose, careful not to let her whiskers brush him. He was deep in sleep, and snoring a bit. She spoke so softly that only he could hear her.
"Dearest human, when the sunlight slips through the window and cuts across your eyes, waking you up, there are a few things I'd like you to remember." Said little Annie as she looked around the room, particularly at Nancy. She was being careful not to wake anyone up.
"Never again speak angrily, for it is upsetting, even if the matter doesn't involve me. Walk me more often, and refrain from tugging at my leash, I find it annoying." Annie felt that a cat was nearby, and sure enough, Ghost jumped onto the bed and stared at Annie poised above her human's ear. They stared at each other for a moment.
Ghost spoke, also in a whisper, "You're taking a hell of a chance, dog." Annie insisted that she leave her alone, but she didn't. Ghost curled up at the foot of the bed. Annie decided to ignore her.
"Besides that, I'd like to thank you, dear human, for I know how harsh is the world on the little things." With that, she shifted over to Nancy's ear as Ghost watched intently. Annie said, "My love and my faith, you are new here, but you've proved your worth many times over. Your delicate hands reassure me, as does your voice. Something about your voice pleases me greatly."
Ghost interjected, "They don't need to hear this. We are a close pack, and the humans have never failed us." "Yes, but sometimes the big one speaks in a loud voice, and I feel compelled to hide." said Annie. Ghost shook her head and flicked her tail, "We are under their protection. They feed us and govern wisely, never letting a fight lead to injury. And we are always welcome on their bed."
"I wish they'd let me go outside, without the leash. I can protect myself." Annie ruminated. Ghost was quick to respond, "You're not bound for you own protection, you foolish dog, but to keep you from running away. I've seen you chase squirrels, you'd be gone in no time at all."
Annie's expression changed as she looked at Ghost. There was a bit of anger. "Squirrels need to be stopped, you know this. They need to know who is boss, and the way to do that is to chase them up a tree. It is so frustrating when the fat human holds me back, as if he cares about the welfare of the tree rat!"
Ghost looked annoyed, "He doesn't care about the wild tree rat, he just doesn't want you to slip away, get lost, and lose you forever. It wouldn't be an issue for me, as I think you are very different from us cats, you don't quite fit in here at the House of Four Cats." There was a long pause, and then Annie spoke, "We both know that if the fur-less ones accept me into the house, I'm cat enough to live here. "
"You're not a cat." said Ghost.
Annie turned to an old cat curse, "May a dark human find you and damn you to The Outside, where no smell is familiar, where you will find no kindness, food, water or the stroke and scratch of affection," She moved closer to Ghost, who started to back up to the edge of the bed, "where the rain and snow falls upon your head, and the feral dictate your fate!"
Ghost looked angry, but also more than a little frightened, "Choke on your doggie toys, hound!" With that, violence erupted. They soon found themselves downstairs, with the cat perched on the bookcase, and the dog staring up at her. Words had no place now, and all was communicated the the eyes.
Annie woke up to vigorous pats upon her little head, and a kiss.