The fishing cat is a medium-sized wild cat of South and Southeast Asia. They are known to spend long periods of time stalking fish by the water’s edge. Let’s join Grandma while she tells an exciting story of a family of the fishing cats.
Johnny scampers into the kitchen where Grandma is feeding a can of tuna-fish to Shadow the cat.
“Grandma, what are you doing?”
“I’m giving Shadow a special treat. He loves tuna.”, Grandma loves Shadow because he has been with her for many years.
“Why does he love tuna? Tuna is for people, not cats.”
“All cats love fish. Haven’t you ever seen a cat stick its paw in a fish tank to try to catch a fish?”
Johnny thought for a second, “Yeah, I’ve seen a cat do that, but they don’t like water, right?”
“You’re right, cats don’t like getting wet, that’s for sure.”
“But, fish are always wet, so why do they like fish? I don’t understand.”
Grandma took Johnny by the hand and walked him over to the sofa and put him on her lap.
“Let me tell you a story about a special cat who goes fishing.”
“Okay, but I bet he didn’t catch any fish cuz he doesn’t like water… unless he had a fishing pole! Did he have a fishing pole? But how can he hold it? Do they make fishing poles for cats? Can Shadow go fishing? Can we go fishing together? I wanna learn how to fish.”
Grandma gave Johnny a hug and then said, “I’ll answer all of your questions; just let me tell you the story first.”
Johnny snuggled closer to Grandma and was ready to listen.
“Okay, here goes. Once upon a time there was a cat named Frederico Ferdinand Fisher, Freddy for short. He lived his life in the beautiful and very wet swamplands, where he spent most days rummaging for food with his brothers and sisters.”
Johnny interrupted, “Grandma, how many brothers and sisters? What were their names? Where’s his Mom and Dad? Do they have names?”
“He had two brothers and two sisters and a Mom and Dad, and everyone had a name. Danny, Doug, Suzy, Stephanie, and Mom and Dad. Is that good?”
“Okay, that’s good,” Johnny said.
Grandma continued with the story. “Freddy and his siblings spent much of their time fishing in the swamplands. His big brother Doug could dive into the water and catch 3 fish in under 10 seconds, and his sister Stephanie could catch 2 fish in 7 seconds. They were super fast. In fact, all of Freddy’s siblings could catch fish fast. Since Freddy was so slow, he couldn’t catch any fish.”
Johnny called out, “Was he sad? Why was Freddy so slow?”
“I’m getting there, give me a chance.”
“Okay, keep going,” Johnny said.
“Freddy kept practicing his dives over and over again, but he couldn’t get faster. Everybody blamed his tail. For some reason, Freddy was the only one in his family with a long tail. He didn’t like that his tail was longer than his siblings, but it was the only tail he had. Even though Mama gave Freddy some tips on how to get faster, nothing seemed to work.”
Grandma continued the story, “Before going back home to make dinner, Mama reminded all of the children to never fish alone. ‘You must always have a lookout when you fish. One of you gets to fish and the other must keep his eyes open in case Mr. Crocodile shows up. We don’t want Mr. Crocodile to eat you for dinner.’ The children nodded their heads and said they would be home for dinner in a little while.”
“Danny, Doug, Suzie, and Stephanie caught a few more fish then started to walk home. ‘Come on Freddy, hurry up, you’re too slow. You’re going to miss dinner.’, his siblings called out.”
“But, Freddy wanted to do just one more dive, so that he could bring home fish too. His mother’s warnings about diving alone flashed through his mind, but he thought one more dive won’t matter. So, he dove into the water and spotted a fish, but before he could claw at it, Mr. Crocodile came around the corner. Freddy scrambled to get away, but Mr. Croc was too fast. And, as Freddy maneuvered his body behind a rock, Mr. Crocodile snapped his huge jaws and bit off half of Freddy’s tail.”
“Grandma that’s horrible! Did he die? Is Freddy okay? Did mean ol’ Mr. Croc eat him? Does it hurt?” Johnny yelled.
“Freddy is fine. Mr. Crocodile did not like the taste of his tail, so he swam away. And although Freddy only has half a tail and got into a lot of trouble from his parents, the shorter tail made him a lot faster. In fact, now Freddy can catch fish faster than his brothers and sisters. He had practiced so much with the long tail that Freddy was already strong, so the short tail made all of the difference.
“Can a cat really catch fish?” Johnny asked.
“Yes they can. They are called fishing cats and they live in the swamp, know how to dive into the water, catch fish, and they all have a short tail. In fact, the short tail actually does help with diving and speed.”
“I’m glad Freddy is okay.” Johnny said.
“Me too,” Grandma agreed.
“Can we go fishing now?” Johnny asked.
“Sure, Johnny, honey, anything for you. But, I don’t think we have a fishing pole.”
“We can take Shadow,” Johnny suggested.