Gather around children and listen closely, for the story I am about to tell you, may save your lives. Those of you who are faint of heart or frighten easily should not listen, and those of you who have pups in the room should gather them near. For I am about to tell you the story of the Devil's Kitty!

It all began late one night in the autumn of my second year when I heard the rustle of dry leaves outside my windowpane. Strain my ears as I might, I could not discern the exact origin of the sound. All night I lay awake in my bed listening to the rustling and scraping sounds outside. It was more than simply an animal passing though my yard. This was a scratching, digging noise as if something was desperately clawing the earth in search of something it had lost. In the morning I could see the grass in my yard had been torn and the earth underneath broken. Someone had dug dozens of tiny holes overnight. I put my nose to the ground to see what type of animal might have done this, but the scent was like nothing I had ever smelled before.

Night after night I listened to this creature carry out its destructive work. Finally one evening I nudged a small wooden stool across the hardwood floor to the window. This time I would be ready. I could barely sleep in anticipation of catching a glimpse of our nocturnal gardener. Well into the night I waited, and just as I was about to fall asleep I heard a scratch, scratch, rustle, rustle that jolted me awake. I thought about barking to sound the alarm, but I knew that if I did my people would awake and chase off the creature before I could get a good look at it. I crept quietly to the window and climbed upon the stool. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness outside, I saw some movement near the garage. That is when I got my first glimpse of the Devil's Kitty.

In the darkness, I could barely make out the silhouette of a creature that was not much longer than a regular cat. It did not move like a cat. It hobbled as if it were carrying a great weight upon its back. As it moved its dark bodyline shown in stark contrast against the bright white of our garage wall. As I watched in amazement, the creature methodically tore at the grass making its way closer and closer to my window. I was just about to make out its shape, when the light came on and I heard a voice ask "Emrys, what are you doing up so late?" When I looked back to the window, the creature was gone. Although I returned to bed to as ordered, I did not sleep. Over and over the thoughts of what I had seen ran through my head. What could it have been? I knew then if I involved my people, they would only scare the creature away forever.

For two nights I waited, but there was no sign of the cat-creature. I began going out later and later at night in hope of finding some evidence of our nighttime visitor. Night after night I rang the bell and searched the yard, but there was nothing except the cold moonlit silence of autumn. For weeks I wondered, "what could it have been?" I even asked my older brother Bergamot if he had ever encountered anything strange in the yard. Bergamot replied smugly, "The only strange thing I have seen in the yard is you, and frankly I still haven't recovered from that yet." October is a busy time for Boston Terriers there are squirrels to chase, birds to watch, and children to bark at. Eventually the distractions of fall caused me to forget all about the strange black cat.

Then one early Winter evening just as the last leaves had fallen from their trees, I was in the yard patrolling the dark corridor behind the garage when I heard a faint digging sound. "Bergamot stop digging in the yard" I barked. Then as I perked up my ears and awaited his reply, I heard the sound of the treat jar being opened inside the house. At that moment, I realized that I was the only Boston Terrier in the yard. I froze with excitement. The rustling had stopped and everything was silent. Instinctively I knew it was the creature I had seen from my window. Quietly I crept along the path to the edge of the garage. As soon as I turned the corner, I found myself face to face with the Devil's Kitty. Its white teeth and beady eyes gleamed in the moonlight. To my surprise it had a bright white blaze up the center of its face just like me, but it had a long pointed nose and black narrow set eyes. What was this odd creature?

Before I could gather my thoughts, it turned and stamped its feet as if it were dancing with glee. With a flick of its devil tail, I was blinded. My eyes burned, my throat closed and I could not breathe. I rolled helplessly in the grass trying to break the spell. As the spell wore off my sight returned. I looked around furiously trying to locate the beast, but it had vanished. The only thing left behind was a pungent, demonic odor. I made my way toward the house rubbing my face in the grass the entire way. I could not get the devil's scent off of me. As I reached the house I could tell by the look of horror on my people's faces that something terrible had happened to me. In an effort to break the spell my people shouted what I can only assume was the name of the demon. As they whisked me to the bathtub, they mumbled the incantation over and over. With wrinkled noses they busied themselves mixing up a potion to cure me. They coated me in an effervescent solution and wrapped me in towels. I remained that way for some time. After that they began to rinse the devil's mark off of me while muttering the demon's name repeatedly through clenched teeth. I was wrapped in blankets and put to bed. I did not sleep at all that night.

The next morning the yard was still heavily laden with the demonic odor. I knew that I must have narrowly escaped with my life, because my people accompanied me into the yard every trip after that. Even our house smelled of the beast for several days. Eventually the smell faded and life returned to its normal routine, but the memory of that night still remains etched in my mind. Some people say that the Devil's Kitty was summoned to avenge all the cats that have been chased by dogs. Still others believe that the Devil's Kitty is a guardian that patrols the night marking anything that might harm a cat. It is said that dogs, automobiles, and even people are not spared its wrath. I think it is truly the Devil's kitty put out for the night and searching the earth, digging in yards trying to find its way back into hell.

Sometimes on damp evenings when the wind is just right, I get a whiff of a familiar odor. On those nights, I know that someone else has met her and seen the dance and felt the curse. If you hear a rustling of the leaves in your yard on a cold autumn night, snuggle deeper into your warm bed and be thankful that you are not outside because you do not want to dance with the Devil's Kitty.

© Copyright 2002 All rights reserved.