Romeo the cat had the regalest black coat of any feline far or near.
One day when he was climbing up a maple tree, he felt a prick in his thigh.
“Oooh!” he screeched, seeing a red arrow stuck in his back leg.
“You’ve been shot by Cupid!” said a blindfolded, tiny red boy with wings.
The angel-like creature held a red bow and several red arrows.
Then Cupid peered above the cloth blindfold covering his eyes.
“Take off that blindfold, and next time you won’t shoot anyone!” Romeo said.
“Love conquers all!” Cupid said. “Soon you’ll be overtaken with true love.
I’ve been sent by Saint Valentine, the patron saint of love, to spread his wishes.”
As Cupid flew off into the distance, Romeo noticed the cutest little dog he had ever seen.
A light brown cocker spaniel pranced down the sidewalk with a large pink bow and curls.
She wore a glitzy diamond collar and earrings that sparkled in the daylight.
“Wait, my lady! I must meet you!” Romeo called to the fancy canine.
“Sir, please, keep your personal space,” the dog said, as Romeo jumped from the tree.
“What’s your name? You’re the most gorgeous animal I’ve ever seen,” he said.
“My name is Juliet,” the dog said to the cat, sticking up her nose in the air.
“Let me sing you a love song with all my pure devotion,” Romeo said.
“I’m on my way to my weekly grooming appointment,” Juliet said, continuing down the street.
“My lady, then I will accompany you,” Romeo said, clearing his throat.
“You are as beautiful as a lily and a rose,” the cat crooned in a ballad.
Juliet’s face blushed, and she gasped, saying, “I’m running late for my appointment.”
“But a little boy named Cupid just said that I would find true love, and I did,” Romeo said.
“I’ve found true love with you, and we must never be apart!” the cat insisted.
“I am a dog. You are a cat. Other animals will just not understand,” Juliet said.
“We’ll only fight like cats and dogs,” she said, fluffing her coat in the wind.
“I must always be with you! You are my true love!” Romeo said, tweaking his long, fluffy tail on her nose.
“Oh, that tickles when you do that!” Juliet said, giggling to herself.
“You are like a shooting star and a full moon in the night sky,” Romeo sang in a soft voice.
“But I have other suitors, like Zeus, a Great Dane that’s friends with my family,” Juliet said.
“Zeus? I’m the one who loves you,” Romeo said, walking into the dog salon with her.
Romeo sat next to Juliet and purred as she underwent her beauty treatment at the canine spa.
The dogs in the salon sprayed cat cologne on him as a complimentary service while he waited for Juliet.
When Juliet was finished getting herself primped and polished, she hopped from the salon chair.
“My lady, will you please join me for dinner?” Romeo said to Juliet, holding out his paw.
Before Juliet had a chance to respond, a large, chocolate Great Dane strutted into the spa.
“Juliet, baby, I’ve been looking for you everywhere,” the dog said, pushing Romeo to the side.
“Zeus, I was meaning to . . . well . . . I got distracted,” Juliet said, mumbling to herself.
“Excuse me, Mr. Zeus, but I’m taking Lady Juliet to dinner at Bistro de France,” Romeo said.
“You’re a feline! You’re not worthy of Juliet,” Zeus said, growling in Romeo’s face.
“I challenge you to a duel on the sidewalk, Mr. Zeus. If I have to fight for my love, so be it,” Romeo said.
Romeo held his head high and walked out the salon door, ready to face Zeus in battle.
“This will only take a few seconds to solve,” Zeus said, barking at the spa owner Franny the Poodle.
Zeus jumped out the salon door, faced Romeo head-on, and threatened the black cat with his large teeth.
“My lady is worth my life, if I have to give it,” Romeo meowed, looking at her behind the spa window.
“Romeo, please don’t fight Zeus for me. Maybe it’s just not meant to be,” she called to him.
“I suppose I should announce the winner,” Franny said, marching onto the street with a dog whistle.
“May the best dog or cat win!” the poodle said, blowing the high-pitched whistle around her neck.
Just as Zeus was about to descend on Romeo like a Viking warrior, Cupid appeared in the sky.
“True love always wins!” Cupid said, shooting black arrows at Zeus as he ran toward Romeo.
This time, Cupid’s arrows had St. Valentine’s sleeping serum on their black tips.
As the tips pierced Zeus’ side, he collapsed in the street like a dead, lead weight.
“St. Valentine would not let me leave you, Romeo,” Cupid said, flying through the air.
“Now take Juliet to Bistro de France,” Cupid said, “and I’ll go on my matchmaking way.”
“I can hardly believe my eyes,” Franny the Poodle said, staring at the red little angel in the sky.
“Zeus never really loved me like you do,” Juliet said, running to Romeo’s side and kissing his cheek.
Then Cupid shot Juliet with one of his red arrows, saying, “Saint Valentine has blessed both of you.”
“My lady, you will always be my only love,” Romeo said, pulling the arrow from her thigh.
“Instead of fighting like cats and dogs, we’ll just have to love like cats and dogs,” Juliet said in a whisper.
Romeo and Juliet walked down the street paw-in-paw, creating a historic love that would last forever.
Copyright 2016 Jennifer Waters