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  • Writer's pictureAlicia Dill

The trouble with family... - Part 1

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

It was a normal day for Kenny and Larry, despite both buddies still waking up in the middle of the night scared of a possible storm. Ever since the Derecho blew through town, Kenny and Larry were both in shock at the lack of trees to pee and squirrels to fight with. Simon survived but barely. And he was still talking about it months later…

“I’m telling you guys, it was arborcide,” he said. “All my favorite hang out spots are gone. We really need to rethink how I can visit.”

Kenny watched Larry shake his head. He was tired of hearing about it, no doubt from a meanie like Simon.

“Listen Simon, I’m sorry about all your friends. It is really sad,” Kenny said. “Now we have no one else to bark at when you’re not around…”

“But what Kenny is trying to say is, can we please talk about something else?” Larry asked. Then he started barking to make his point well known.

Simon relented but he was still shook up. The squirrel community of Skylark Lane was forever changed.

“Ok, well I guess I have some other news,” he said. “Now that you have a sorta of deal worked out with the OutClaws, I guess you need to know anyways.”

“Sure, what’s up?”

Kenny was digging another hole but he was still able to hold a conversation.

“Well, Pudding started a daycare and now his sister is in town. I guess she heard he comes from money now or something and wants to settle in.”

Larry and Kenny exchanged looks. “We didn’t know Pudding even had a sister. I guess that is cool that he has some family around,” Larry said.

“Larry is my only family I know of,” Kenny said, wagging his tail.

Larry shook his head. “You know we’re not related, right, Kenny?”

“Says who,” Kenny said. He batted his eyelashes of innocence.

“Well, I’m a Huskie and you are a pitbull,” Larry said.

“Yeah and that means you’re not related,” Simon said with a smirk.

Kenny was hurt. What did all this matter?

“Well, I don’t care if we’re not actually brothers. We’re family.”

Larry looked away. He did miss his real brothers and sisters. Kenny was a good friend to him though.

“Awkward! Anyways, as I was saying, Pudding’s sister is in town and according to Otis, he isn’t happy about it.”

Just as Simon was finishing his statement, a fellow friend appeared.

“Oh, here is the town gossip,” Otis said. She started bathing herself on the top of the fence. “So you know about Punkin.”


“Pudding’s sisters name is Punkin, or officially Pumpkin, but she’s a little different,” Otis said.

“Different like how?” Larry asked. “Is she going to be part of the Outclaws?”

Otis laughed. “I never thought about that. I guess you should ask Pudding. He’s all on his campaign to take us global.”

As they were chatting, Kenny and Larry’s human boy came outside to play soccer against the tree. It was a lonely venture, but some nine-year olds had to do it.

“Why don’t we catch up later after your walk?” Otis said.

“Sure,” Kenny said. “Tell Pudding we’re here for him. He’s the original orange to us.”

“Original orange,” she said. “Got it”

It was a short walk over to the old Victorian house where Pudding was conquering the world, one OutClaws new member at a time. Otis was still trying to understand how Punkin heard about Pudding’s new digs.

She jumped around the back fence and made a face at the little Pug dog staring at her from the neighbor’s window. Just because she was down with Kenny and Larry, doesn’t mean she still wasn’t proud to be a feline.

She knocked on the back door to announce her presence, and then entered through the newly installed cat door on its base.

“Hi Pudding,” she said, as she glanced over at Punkin who was painting her nails. “Hi Punkin!”

Punkin looked up, “Oh hellooooo,” she purred in a Southern belle accent. “Just where did you come in from, precious?”

Pudding rolled his eyes while he worked at the computer. His pink frames without lenses made him look smarter and dumber at the same time.

“I just came from Kenny and Larry’s house. It was a little get together I guess,” Otis said. “They were asking about Pudding. They call him the original orange.”

“Oh how clever,” Punkin said, batting her lashes. “It’s still so strange that you all are friends with those…dogs.”

“Yeah, but Pudding is pretty famous around here.”

“I guess I am.” Pudding said, staring on a screen. It looked like he was building some sort of badge.

“What’s that?”

“Oh this. I’m making official IDs for our OutClaws group. I think it would really help the recruiting if we had an official way to identify ourselves.”

Otis nodded. That sounded accurate. Everyone loved a way to show off.

“I think it’s just a totally ignorant idea,” Punkin said. “No one has time to carry around identifications. I mean we are cats, right.”

Pudding was at a level eight on a scale of one to ten with annoyance from his little sister.

“By the way, I forgot to ask,” Otis said to Punkin. “How did you know Pudding was here?”

“That was my fault,” Pudding said. “I just had to show off my new digs once Seth brought me in his home. That I told all my friends and family.”

“And it just so happened that I know how to ride on semi trucks to get where I want to go. Pudding picked me up yesterday after a long ride from Alabama.”

“You all are a real traveling bunch,” Otis said. “So how long are you staying?”

“Oh, we haven’t decided that yet,” Punkin said. “I just had to get a way for a bit. And I needed some help from my big brother for what I was planning.

“Planning?” Otis said. “What could you possibly need from Pudding?”

“She wants me to steal an election,” Pudding said.

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