The Prisoners  
 
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Outside the house, Cricket and Molly were spying through the window to get a closer look at the miniature jail.  They could not see very well through the glare on the glass, but they were certain that they saw bars and someone very small locked inside.

 
 
 
 

"Pssst...psssst...." they whispered, trying to get the miniature prisoner's attention.

"Pssst.... Pssst... HELLO!" shrieked the prisoner.

"Are you in trouble?" they asked her. 

"Hello Trouble!" said the prisoner.

"Do you need help?" they asked.

"Help Help Help Hello!" came the reply. 

Squeakers couldn't hear them very well through the window.

Squeakers

"Those are the strangest looking dogs I have ever seen," whispered Molly. 

Patrick looked in the window.  "Those are not dogs you silly heads!  Those are CATS." 

"HELLO CATS!" shrieked Squeakers.  "Hello Noelle!  Hello Chip!  Hello ET, Hello Lacey!  HELLO CATS!

"I have never seen a cat before," said Molly, "why are they so small?  Why don't they wag their tails?"

"We don't wag our tails," said Noelle, jumping up on the window sill with ease,  "because we are Cats, and because we are cats, we are Purrrrfect, including our size." 

"Please accept my apawlogies," said Molly.  "We thought you might be the shrunken prisoners of the Animal Control Pawficer."

"Actually," said Chip, cleaning his paws, "we are just your every day  family. There are no prisoners here."

"Then why is that pawson in the little jail?" asked Cricket.

"That is not a jail," said Lacey.  "That is a bird cage.  Squeakers came to live with us because she has special needs. She lives in that cage so she won't get hurt."

"Then why are all of you locked inside this house?" asked Molly.

"Because we are CATS," said Holly.  "We are not locked inside, this is our castle.  We BELONG indoors, where we are safe."

"Why don't you have a fence like we do to keep you safe?" asked Molly.

"Because we can climb out of fences," said Dale impatiently.  "Fences are for dogs.  Castles are for cats."

"We should introduce ourselves," said the girls.  "I am Cricket.  This is my sister Molly, and this is Patrick O'Malley.  That is our friend Wiggle in the driveway."

"We know who you are," said ET, waking up from his nap. "The Grand Cats read your story to the grand kittens all the time.  The babies even have little Wigglebuses to play with."

Molly and Cricket looked in the direction that ET was pointing to. 
"That's Nicky and Lexi, and Holly playing with the buses," he said. 

The rest of the cats introduced themselves in turn.
"We all like your story, but we have been wondering when you would get to the good part," said Frankie, who was minding the kittens.

"What is the good part?" asked Cricket.

"The part where the cats show up," said Lacey.

"Squeakers loves Agent Beak the best," said Nicky.

"Agent Beak! SQUAWK!" repeated Squeakers.

"Maybe YOU could be the cats in our story!" said Molly.  "How many cats take care of their very own bird?"

"And we have a rescue horse too," said the beautiful lady walking in.  "And there is  one more cat who lives with us now named Truffles.  Her favorite castle is the Barn.  Henry is out there visiting her right now," she said.

"My name is Pawficer Ellen. Would you like to come inside?"

"YOU are the pawficer?" gasped Cricket, totally unaware that she was still peeking through the window.

"Dogs!" thought Dale, as Pawficer Ellen picked him up. 
 

 

"It sure is nice of you to make room in your family for  others with special needs," said Molly, scratching her head trying to figure out how such a nice pawson could be an Animal Pawficer.

The three sheepdogs were embarrassed that they had misunderstood what Animal Control Pawficers were like. 

Patrick was a little disappointed that she wasn't creepy for Halloween.  But all of them forgot their troubles as they watched the precious kittens playing with their tiny toys.