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The Extraordinary Cats of Riverstone: Chapter Three

Updated on June 5, 2012
Munchkin | Source

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and passion to reach for the stars to change your world." ~Harriet Tubman

The Big Town Hall Meeting

It was beautiful afternoon. The birds were gliding through the air. Their movements were incredible. It seemed so effortless. I could watch them for hours without tiring. I sometimes dreamed of being a bird for a day. Imagine all the places I could see. The possibilities were endless. I must have been daydreaming for awhile, because Munchkin waved his paws in front of my eyes.

“Earth to Sedonia. Are you there?” asked Munchkin.

“Oh, sorry Munchie,” I replied. “I was imagining that I was a bird. What’s up?”

Munchie smiled and handed me a paint brush. I smiled back at him. Chai was on the other side of the boat painting. I could hear her practicing her new lines that I wrote for her. Since it has been Chai’s lifelong dream to star in her own play, and me being a writer, I decided to write a play for her. When I gave her a copy of the play, I saw great big tears of joy in her eyes. She was on top of the world. She ran up to me and hugged me. I was so happy for her that I cried too. It feels so good to see other people happy.

“Hey, Munchie. Where’s the Professor?”

“He’s at the big Town Hall meeting.”

“What for?”

Munchie shrugged his shoulders. “I think it’s about our trip. I’m not really sure to tell you the truth.”

The Town Hall was a packed house. Almost every cat in town was there. The Mayor, the Dean from the University, along with many professors, business owners, the sheriff and his deputies, as well as many other folks, showed up to this important meeting. At three o’clock on the dot, Professor Cairo walked through the double doors and approached the front of the Town Hall where he was instructed to sit.

“Professor Cairo,” stated the mayor, “so glad you could make it.”

“My pleasure.” replied Professor Cairo. “So what’s this about Mr. Mayor?”

“We have heard that you plan to sail with Munchkin and his friends to the Orion Sea. Is that true?”

“Yes it is!”

The entire room was shocked by what the Professor had just said. One cat dropped his beverage on the floor, while a few cats fell out of their chairs. The Mayor stood up.

“Professor Cairo, you must be joking. No cat has ever sailed our river, let alone go in the water. It is common knowledge that cats are afraid of water.

“That doesn’t matter. I believe it can be accomplished.”

“Hey Sheriff!” shouted a cat in the audience. “Lock him up.”

Many cats laughed when the mischievous cat made that remark. The Professor wasn’t affected by the statement. The Mayor made a gesture for the cats to settle down.

“Professor Cairo, we urge you do stop this nonsense. Your reputation is at stake here. We beg you to stop Munchkin from trying to make a fool of you. Your fellow professors think you are losing your mind.”

“Why? Because I can think outside the box! I have learned a lot about life through Munchkin. He is not afraid to live. He is not afraid to explore the unknown. Gentle cats and lady cats, how are we are ever going to progress if we are afraid of change!”

The Dean stood up and shook his finger at Professor Cairo. “You are making a mockery of the University, Professor Cairo,” exclaimed the Dean. “We don’t want you mixing your foolish dreams with our respectable University. If you decide to follow Munchkin and his foolish friends on this ridiculous river adventure, then I will be forced to kick you out of the University. You will never teach again!”

Then, something magical and beautiful happened. One of Professor Cairo’s fellow professors stood up. “If you kick him out of the University, then I will go too.” Professor Cairo smiled.

Then one professor after another from the University stood up and showed their support to Professor Cairo. The Dean was really upset, but he was at a loss. There wasn’t anything he could do. He could not afford to lose all his professors.

“I don’t like this Professor Cairo,” said the Dean, “but I know when I’m beat. You can keep your job.”

“Thank you, Dean,” replied Professor Cairo. “I really enjoy teaching at the University. The students also teach me a lot as well. It would be sad to have to let that go.”

His fellow professors nodded their head in agreement. They knew how important Professor Cairo was to the University. His bold and innovative thinking could turn any problem into a solution.

“If there aren’t any more objections,” stated the Mayor, “I consider this meeting over.”

The crowd left. Some were smiling. They were excited about the adventures that Professor Cairo and his friends were about to embark on. Others didn’t know what to make of it. They thought the professor was out of his mind. They could not imagine doing something that has never been done before. To these individuals, a cat wasn’t supposed to leave their circle of comfort. However, Professor Cairo and his crazy friends were attempting the impossible. Cats don’t like water!

An acorn fell from the giant oak tree, landing by my feet. I picked it up and gave it a good look. This giant oak tree that I love spending time under to work on my writings was once a tiny acorn like this. I smiled. Nature was absolutely incredible. Many could learn a lot about life from nature, if they would only listen to her beautiful stories. Someday, I thought, someday.

“Professor, what happened at the meeting?” I inquired.

“Nothing, my dear,” replied the Professor. “At first they wanted me to not go on the river adventure, but I stood my ground, even when the Dean tried to threaten me by kicking me out of the University. As you might guess, this didn’t happen. My fellow professors all stood by me. They said that if I am kicked out of the University that they would all quit. The Dean, feeling defeated, let me keep my job.”

“How did the other people respond to the idea of us sailing to the Orion Sea?”

“Most of the cats thought we were a bunch of crazy fools, but a few of them liked the idea of an adventure. I think these curious souls know there is more to life than Riverstone. There is a whole world out there to explore.”

I ran up to the professor and hugged him. He kissed me on my forehead.

“Professor, you know something. We are making history! We are doing something that has never been done before.”

“I am very excited too, my dear. We are definitely making history. Life is meant to be explored. We don’t grow and progress if we live our life solely from our comfort zone. Sedonia, bring Munchkin, Chai, and yourself to my house tonight. We are celebrating.”

I smiled. I was happy to be part of this wonderful adventure that we were about to embark on. Who ever said a cat's life was dull. If they have, then they have never met my friend, Munchkin.

Munchkin on his boat. Artwork by Marilyn Santis Rojas.
Munchkin on his boat. Artwork by Marilyn Santis Rojas.


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    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      Michelle, you are making great progress. The Great Professor would be proud of you. The cats are very lucky indeed! I think it's very neat that Daisy had a art school called Out of the Box! When I was in art school, the instructor made us draw trashcans. LOL.

      I think it's great that you love being out of the box; it's not fun being stuck in there. Personally, you can feel the sunshine much better when you are outside the box. I also think it's wonderful to support one another. I know what its like to not be supportive. On the other hand it feels so much better when you are there for people. I love the support that you, Marie, and Daisy have shown to others, each other, as well as to myself.

      My wife is in the process of looking for an agent. She is also doing some editing work. I know what you mean. I don't buy as many books as I used to. They can be a bit pricey. When I was in my early twenties, I loved buying hardcover books. Now, I'm content with a softcover book, or even used. I'm looking forward to reading your future book. Take care and have a beautiful week as well. Blessings

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Whhheee I am now in Chapter 3..reading the chapters from time to time allows me to reflect and ponder about life which I love to do often hehehe Hmmmm Terry, yes, I find myself also thinking how lucky they are to have a professor who can be out of the box. Do you know Daisy used to have an art school called Out of the Box? :) Yes, I love being out of the box too. And it is wonderful when people support you in your endeavor, makes you less afraid of going into the unknown.

      Wow, you and your wife are writers...awesome! I wish it isn't so expensive to buy books online...esp. the shipping. And I can order so many books. Have a beautiful week ahead my friend. :)

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      I would say that Munchkin is obsessed with water. lol. It has been really fun writing this story. I know you will also enjoy my wife's book. She uses birds for her characters. My wife and I don't have any children as well. Like you, we like to connect with the child within. I love the sense of wonder and awe that children possess. It is sad that many adults have lost touch with this aspect of themselves. There is a lot that we can learn about life from children. :)

    • VioletSun profile image


      6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      My goodness you have a cat who loves water? How cool! It's wonderful you and your wife are writing positive books for children. Yes, I would like a copy even if I don't have children. It's for the child in me. :)

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      6 years ago from Southern California

      Marie, thank you very much for the kind words. Chapter three is a very important part in the story. It is a demonstration of true friendship. Glad you were rooting for the Professor. He is a lover of science, philosophy, and spirituality, but most importantly, the Professor understands the importance of supporting one another, as you have already seen in the story. As you also pointed out, the story is about having the courage to step into the unknown and to follow one's dreams. The story is very autobiographical. There is a lot of me in the characters.

      The idea for the story was inspired by my cat Munchkin. He loves water. Every day he has to have his water from the kitchen sink. In the hot summer days, he likes to stick his head under the running water.

      The book isn't completed. I am only at chapter three. I will try to get chapter four done as soon as possible. My wife on the other hand has written a children's book entitled "Which way Is South?" She is in the process of editing the story. I keep pushing her to finish it. It's a children's story about following one's dreams, the importance of non-judgment, as well as supporting others.

      When I finish the book, you will be one of the first to get a copy. :)

    • VioletSun profile image


      6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Very well written! Even if I have not yet read the first two chapters, I was rooting for the professor and smiling at the cats falling off their chair in shock. haha. I like the way you are teaching children the importance of support for one another and having the courage to try the new. Is this book completed yet? Would like to order if it is!


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