In general, Leo was a happy cat. Sometimes he did get a little bored. But he loved his family very much and fortunately they gave him a lot of freedom.
He especially liked to lounge on the windowsill, letting the sun’s early morning rays warm him. He was there now, snoozing comfortably and purring softly.
“This is a great way to spend a morning,” he thought, contemplating what he might do with the rest of the day. He hoped he wouldn’t be disturbed.
Yesterday, Leo’s family had been very busy. Even though it had been the weekend, they had spontaneously decided to do some spring cleaning.
Leo had thought everything was fine as it was, but sometimes humans have funny ideas. As a cat, there was nothing he could do to change their minds.
They had started with all the windows, then they had moved all the furniture and had vacuumed every corner. They had wiped every surface but they had not put things back where they belonged.
They had rolled up the carpets and taken them outside to be beaten out. They had used cleaning equipment so loud it was almost unbearable. No matter where Leo had tried to be, he had always been in someone’s way.
“Out of the way, Leo!” his mom had said. As Leo moved out of the way, someone else tripped over him. He had just been looking for a bit of attention!
Finally, Leo had crawled into the closet to escape the chaos. He wasn’t really allowed in the closet, but no one had noticed in all the hustle and bustle. He had looked at all the jackets, shirts, pants and other items of clothing that were neatly lined up on hangers or stacked on shelves.
He hadn’t been feeling sleepy so he had begun to take a closer look around. He had been particularly taken with a striped sweater and was drawn to its bright colors.
If he had a sweater like this, he thought, he wouldn’t always be dressed in gray and white and could stop worrying that his fur was too boring. “A little color would do me some good,” he said. He had continued to admire the red, blue, yellow and green stripes of the sweater.
“Yes, this is exactly the kind of sweater I need!” Leo had carefully pulled the sweater out of the closet and had tried it on in front of the mirror.
“Oh! It’s huge!” Even though Leo had been standing upright on two paws in front of the mirror, he had gotten tangled in the long sleeves. “It’s too big. Might as well put me in a sack,” Leo had grumbled. “I need a sweater in my size!”
Leo had folded up the big sweater and had put it back in the closet. He had started imagining how people would admire him when he was walking around in such bright colors. “Why didn’t I think of this sooner?” he thought.
Leo had crawled back out of the closet to start planning. He had made his way to the living room. Fortunately, his family had finally finished cleaning and everyone was sitting quietly on the couch in front of the TV.
Leo heard them call him over. “Well, finally they miss me,” Leo thought.
“Where have you been all this time?” Mom had asked Leo. Everyone had taken turns petting him as he passed by.
It was the next morning and everyone was leaving the house, going about their usual business. “Bye, Leo, see you tonight. Don’t get into any trouble!” Mom said before locking the door.
Now Leo could really focus on planning his new sweater. These things take time. He had a lot of thinking to do so he had come to his favorite spot: the windowsill.
He was about to doze off when he felt a sudden tickle on his nose. He pawed at it, but the tickle moved to his forehead. Then to his ear. And back to his nose again.
Leo blinked but couldn’t see anything. Then he looked up and saw a little spider swinging back and forth on a thread, hovering just above his head.
It gave Leo a terrific idea.
“You’re a spider, right?” He asked the little spider to make sure.
“Well, yes,” she replied, somewhat amused.
“Tell me, how do you manage to dangle in the air so easily?” said Leo.
“Well, it’s very simple,” said the little spider. “I spin myself a strong thread and then I can lower myself down with it or climb back up.”
“That’s great!” Leo exclaimed. “Can you make more than a single thread?”
“What’s with all these questions?” replied the little spider.
“Well, I’m wondering if you can also knit.” Leo told her about his dream of making a colorful striped sweater.
Leo raced to the knitting basket where there were lots of balls of colorful wool. He showed them to the little spider. “Can you please help me knit a sweater?”
The little spider couldn’t refuse. “I’ve never knitted before, but I’ll try!”
She set to work and Leo eagerly helped by rolling up the balls of wool and determining the color sequence. A red stripe, then a yellow stripe. A blue stripe and a green one.
With her eight legs, the little spider nimbly knitted with the wool. “There! Now you’ve seen how it works, why don’t you try it for yourself?” she said to Leo.
Leo started the pattern, but the wool kept getting tangled in his paws. Then he remembered how his mom used two long knitting needles. Maybe that would work!
He took the knitting needles out of the basket and started knitting. Under the instruction of the little spider, of course.
It actually worked! It was hard work, but he could see the progress he was making.
“Ouch! These needles are pointy!” Leo complained. He took breaks to see if the sweater fit. It tickled as the little spider crawled around Leo’s torso to take measurements.
The two knitted together. Leo worked on the back of the sweater and the little spider was almost finished with the sleeves. During the final fitting, Leo looked at himself in the mirror. He was happier than he had been in a long time. He thought he looked great in the sweater. The little spider said she had a lot of fun helping with this unusual activity.
“Say, what’s your name?” asked Leo. He remembered to ask just in time.
“Everyone calls me Zoe,” she said and disappeared on her silk thread.
“We could do something together again sometime!” Leo called out. But Zoe was already gone.
Leo still had a lot to do before his family came home. He quickly cleaned up and packed the remaining wool and knitting needles back into the wool basket. He tucked the new sweater in his bed to save for a special occasion.
When the family returned home, Leo was in his bed. He was exhausted from his exciting day. As usual, the family greeted him happily with lots of rubs.
“Leo, you look exhausted! And your paws look pretty rough! What have you been up to?”
“Meow,” was all he said.
Once everyone had taken a seat on the sofa and made themselves comfortable, Leo’s mom got the knitting basket to continue working on her scarf. “That’s funny,” she said. “Where did all the wool go?”
Leo didn’t make a peep. He grinned to himself, thinking of his beautiful sweater as he fell asleep.