Moving is a very stressful event, even more so for Ricky. He had grown very fond of the cozy, 3 bedroom house he had grown up in. This new house was too large, cold and unfamiliar. He hadn’t yet staked out a place he enjoyed sleeping; for now he would be satisfied sleeping in Ellen’s bed. She was the least tumultuous sleeper of the family. Mom and dad kept their bedroom closed, so they were out. Darren, the oldest, also kept his room closed. The middle boy, Ron, tossed up a storm in the night. Ricky was awoken from sleep by a thump somewhere in the house. He sat up and listened about, stretching out his front paws and stretching his back. He loved a good stretch even if he couldn’t scratch his claws on the bed. Most noises he heard sounded like standard settling house noises. A creak there, a ting there, some skittering of bugs or mice. There was a mouse close by…not inside the walls by the sound of it…might be fun to hunt.
There was one noise he still hadn’t gotten used to: Sadie. The worst part of the move was that they felt the need to get a dog. She was young, only a year old, exhausting and energetic. Sadie’s tail would sometimes thump against the floor in her sleep and it irked Ricky to no end. He jumped down off the bed and squeezed through the crack in the door into the cold hallway. Sadie’s bed was downstairs so Ricky tended to keep to the upstairs. Ricky skulked quietly along the hallway to the open area at the top of the stairs. It was used as a family room, with a new set of soft chairs and sofa, a couple book shelves, plentiful lighting and Ricky’s tree. He took a few seconds to scratch at the base of the tree, a favorite morning routine.
“You scratch a lot.” Ricky jumped, spinning around to face Sadie coming down from the opposite hall where the attic hatch was. “Is it good?” Ricky’s heart was racing and was having some trouble focusing on Sadie’s question.
“Good? What? Oh, yeah, it’s good. What are you doing?” Sadie seemed less energetic than usual. She whined a bit and looked back at the attic hatch.
“There was a weird creature. Didn’t smell like anything. I followed it upstairs and it vanished.” Ricky sat back, a little more at ease, but wound his tail around his feet. Seeing the dog in a defeated way was a strange sight but he found it amusing, too. “We need to warn the family!” Ricky scoffed.
“Warn them about what? A bug you lost?” Sadie whined again. It gave Ricky no small amount of pleasure to tease Sadie. Ricky started towards her, feeling mischievous, when a horrid noise startled him. It was like a rattling growl that started low in pitch and grew higher as it faded out. Ricky’s fur puffed out and he sat back on his haunches, claws at the ready. Sadie was low to the floor, ears back and growling low. There was something in the attic, that much was for sure. However much Ricky had hated the move before, he felt certain he was going to hate it far more.