Actually, the day started really well for Leo the cat. He lounged neatly on his beloved windowsill and yawned relaxed. The first rays of sunlight illuminated the large room and announced a beautiful spring day.
“High time for a delicious breakfast,” Leo decided enthusiastically. He stretched and strolled leisurely into the kitchen. People were still asleep and that’s when Leo had a wonderful idea. “Always having breakfast alone is boring! Today I’ll really surprise my family and set the breakfast table for everyone,” he mused. In a really good mood, Leo got started.
With a nimble jump he landed on the countertop, opened the cupboard doors and rummaged out colorful cups, plates and egg cups. He very carefully transported them to the table. “I think this is everything they usually put on the table,” he reflected briefly. “Well, they might be amazed!” he gloated.
To be on the safe side, he looked over his handiwork again, but still wasn’t quite satisfied. “Oh yes! It’s still missing a few flowers. With flowers everything looks cozier.” That’s what he always heard from his humans before.
He quickly dashed out to the patio through the built-in hatch and plucked three tulips. These were the only flowers in the garden right now. Quietly, he walked back inside. “Shhhh, don’t wake anyone up! It’s supposed to be a surprise,” he thought to himself.
Conveniently, the vase Leo needed for the flowers was already in the sink. “So fill it up with water and put in the flowers,” he purred happily.
The vase full of water was heavier than Leo imagined but somehow he managed to place it in the middle of the large table.
“Meow!” Now I’m really hungry. Now all that’s left is to put the flowers in the vase and then breakfast can begin.” He grabbed the tulips and was about to put them in the jar when suddenly a large bumblebee – buzzing loudly – flew out of one of the tulips.
Leo was startled! He had not expected that at all. He hadn’t had much experience with buzzing creatures before. He reached for it with his paw and forgot that he was standing in the middle of the beautifully laid breakfast table.
And there it was! A plate and a cup fell from the table and broke on the tiled floor with a loud crash and clink. The cat was still standing on his hind paws, flailing his two front paws at the buzzing bumblebee in an attempt to catch it. The bumblebee was quite unimpressed by this, however, and flew off toward the window.
Leo jumped off the table, chasing the bumblebee. He landed on the broken dishes and a loud and whining “Meeeooooow!” resounded throughout the house.
The cat had injured one of his paws and a shard was still stuck in his paw. “Meow, it hurts so much!” wailed Leo. “What am I going to do now?”. And when a small drop of blood appeared, Leo felt queasy.
“What’s all that noise this morning?”, Leo heard his humans shout. “And why is there such a mess around here?” They were standing in the kitchen by now, bending down to the cat. Leo’s master took an examining look at the paw, very carefully pulled out the shard and dabbed it with some stuff that burned a little.
“It’s not too bad, Leo,” he said to the cat. “We’ll get that fixed up.” “It’ll heal real soon,” he comforted him. And then he carried the cat to his basket.
So now Leo lay there. Injured, alone and also quite hungry.
“I had this morning sooo beautifully thought out. It was supposed to be a great breakfast together,” he grumbled. “And then such a mishap! Meow. Luckily they are not mad at me at all,” which calmed Leo down a bit.
He looked at and licked his injured paw again and again, but it didn’t hurt so much anymore. Now he heard the humans talking and he pricked up his ears curiously.
“I think that’s very nice of you to set the breakfast table so nicely! It looks so pretty with the tulips,” the woman said to her husband. “The very same ones are blooming in our flower bed at the moment”. “Oh! And I thought it was you,” the husband replied, puzzled, and busy getting the sweeper and mop out of the closet.
“But, what was Leo doing on the table again? He knows perfectly well that he’s not allowed to,” the woman continued. “And the beautiful dishes! I guess I’ll have to have a serious talk with our Leo about that. But first the doctor has to look at his paw. I’ll make an appointment at the doctor’s office right away.”
The cat found the conversation quite funny at first, because his humans, as so often, did not catch on to him when he gave them a surprise. He almost forgot about his pain and smirked slightly. But after he heard that he had to go to the doctor, his mood visibly changed.
“Who knows what the doctor will do to me?” The thought of the upcoming appointment made Leo all nervous. “He’s not going to give me a shot, is he?”. The cat’s furry hair stood up in an instant. It always did when he didn’t like something. “Let the bumblebee go to the doctor, it’s all because of her!” he whined angrily.
In the meantime, the shards in the kitchen were already cleaned up and nothing reminded of the small incident. Leo was about to make himself comfortable, when his humans came along with a strange box, into which he should now climb.
“Transport basket”, they called the thing. It didn’t seem to occur to them that one could get claustrophobic in it.
“I’m not going in there!” he was about to protest. “Nothing hurts me anymore, either!”. But before he knew it, everyone was in the car and the ride was on.
Leo felt very uncomfortable, as he always did when he didn’t know what was coming.
It didn’t get any better when they entered the vet’s office and took a seat in the waiting room. Somewhat comforting was that a few fellow sufferers seemed to be just as reluctant to visit the doctor as he was. They expressed this with quiet whimpers.
Leo was very nervous and when it was finally their turn, he would have preferred to stay in the narrow box. But it was no use. He was gently taken out and found himself on a kind of couch. The doctor had a pleasant voice and talked to his humans. Then, after a few crawls, the doctor began his examination.
He was thoroughly palpated, the paw was examined under a thick magnifying glass and the all-clear was given. “There’s no need for an injection, the wound is tiny and just needs a quick cleaning. For protection we just put a bandage on, then no dirt can get into the wound. In a few days, everything will be forgotten,” the doctor announced.
“This doesn’t feel bad at all,” Leo thought. “In fact, it’s quite nice here. So all that excitement was for nothing again, meow.” Leo’s mood improved abruptly.
A few minutes later, everyone was already back in the car and on their way home.
“Oh, Leo,” said the woman. “The things you always do! It’s a good thing today is our day off. I can’t imagine what would have happened if you had been home alone. Please pay a little more attention next time! And a cat has no business on the table anyway! You know that,” and continued to scratch him behind the ears.
The man praised Leo: “You did really well today at the doctor’s office! You were really very well-behaved.” “Sure thing,” the cat thought. “I’m not a scaredy-cat!”, and purred to himself quite proudly and contentedly.
After that, the man turned to his wife and said, “Who actually set the table this morning?”
Leo grinned and looked forward to his home.