She yowled, “MY NAME IS CHARLIE ROGERS!” as she bounded out the door sending squirrels skittering up the old oak tree in the front yard. “What is a Charlie Rogers?” they chattered as the little cat leapt to the rail of the deck. “Me-OW, me-ow, ME-OW! You better watch out! I AM CHARLIE ROGERS AND I’M FROM WALKER COUNTY ALABAMA!” The Barred owls up in the old oak tree turned their big eyes towards one another, both afraid to ask the other the obvious question, when they were saved by the squirrels who all repeated the question at once talking over each other, “What is an Alabama?” The owls laughed nervously mocking the simple-minded squirrels, “What is an Alabama? The squirrels are such dummies! “As if everyone does not know what an Alabama is!”
A raccoon, peeking out from a crook in the old oak tree whispered to the owls, “A Charlie Rogers is a type of cat. A cat is a type of raccoon without thumbs. An Alabama is it’s mama. When a small cat becomes a large cat it is called an Alabama. I know. I see the Charlie Rogers and her mama in their nest at night sitting together.” “We know that raccoon. We are owls in case you forgot. We don’t need thumbs because we have such big, wise, brains.”
“I’M CHARRRRRRRLLLLIE ROGERS!” She mewled with all of her might. “Yes. We all know you are Charlie Rogers now”, said the squirrels, finally catching on. “YOU BETTER WATCH OUT!” She growled at nobody in particular, just announcing to the whole Redberry Farm community that she was now both an inside, and an outside, cat. ‘I CAN COME OUT HERE ALMOST ANYTIME I WANT AND I’LL CHASE ALL OF YOU!”
“Why would you want to do that Charlie Rogers?” said the sweet possum lady with all of her babies on her back. “Are you going to eat us?” “I AM CHARLIE FARLEY ROGERS AND I MIGHT EAT YOU!” The sweet possum lady sucked her teeth at that and nestled down in her hole in the oak tree, “Such a rude little creature!” She huffed and all of her little babies nodded and cowered deeper into their mama’s fur to hide.
“EAT WHOOOOO?” said the owls both hooting with scorn down at the little cat. Charlie Rogers never saw an owl before and her eyes went wide at the sight of the cats with no ears way, way up in the old oak tree. “You mind your manners Charlie Rogers or we might eat you!” With that, an indignant and defiant Charlie Rogers took off running as fast as she could around the house to show everyone she very well could eat them if she wanted to do it. The bells on her collar let everyone in the yard know she was coming so the lizards laid low and the cardinals flew up in the Camellias until she raced by.
“I AM GOING BACK INSIDE NOW SO I WILL SEE YOU ALL TOMORROW AND MAYBE I WILL EAT YOU THEN!” The door closed behind the little cat as she bolted inside and a quiet stillness settled over Redberry Farm. The owls and the squirrels and the sweet possum lady and the raccoon all looked to the the big black and white cat with no tail and raised their furry and feathery eyebrows. “Don’t look at me.” said the big black and white cat with no tail. “I’m just glad she is not inside all of the time now.”