Rainbow Cat’s Outdoor Adventure

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a cat named Rainbow on an outdoor adventure. Rainbow is any cat of any identification. What would draw a cat outside? Go where the prompt leads!

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Charli has challenged us to write about a cat named Rainbow.

In February 2020, she challenged us to write a story about a library cat named Rainbow who escapes. That prompt was followed up with another the next week to write a story that includes the open road.

I quite liked the idea of a library cat named Rainbow. I believe in the importance of access to libraries for everyone — be it a school, local or national library. A rainbow library cat gives the feeling of a place that is warm, welcoming, comfortable and magical.

I support the organisation Students Need School Libraries and am perplexed and dismayed by the current trend to close school libraries. I don’t understand how we can develop lifelong learners if they don’t have access to the tools to help them research what they want to know as well as books to read for enjoyment. Research tools include books as well as digital resources.

I also support the wonderful organisation Library For All, an Australian not for profit organisation with a mission to “make knowledge accessible to all, equally” through a digital library of books that is available free to anyone anywhere in the world. The focus is on providing high quality, engaging, age appropriate and culturally relevant books to children in developing countries and remote areas. I am delighted to have donated more than ten books to the collection, two of which are already published. While the digital books are available free, print copies can be purchased from Amazon.

I thought that, if you haven’t already or may have forgotten, you may like to read my original two stories in response to Charli’s previous prompts. To save you going back to read them, which you are welcome to do of course, I include them here for your convenience. Click on the title to read the post.

This is my response to the first prompt:

The Library Cat

The library cat is fatter than fat.

She sits by the door on the welcome mat.

She greets the readers as they come in —

Nods her head with a welcome grin.

Sometimes she’s in. Sometimes she’s out.

She’s especially quiet when a reader’s about.

She sits so still you can see her purr

When the reader strokes her rainbow fur.

She’s heard every story there is to be told.

Even the classics never grow old.

But read her stories of adventures rare

She twitches her whiskers, “I’ve been there.

No need of a cape. Reading books is my escape.”

This is my response to the second prompt:

Looking for Love

Rainbow Cat clawed through the rubble. One by one she pulled out the survivors — Little Red Riding Hood, Little Miss Muffet, The Gingerbread Man; even Wolf who promised to behave.

Where are we going?” squealed the Three Little Pigs as they piled onto the bus.

“Where children will love us, like before.”

For many, this was their first time beyond the covers of a book. As the bus roared down the open road, they peered through the windscreen and out the windows, dreaming up new adventures yet untold.

Spontaneously, they burst into a chorus of On the Road Again.

After writing the first Rainbow Cat episode, I developed it into a picture book manuscript. It has undergone a few revisions and suffered a few assessments, but so far no luck with publication. It needs more work still. One day …

This time, I thought I’d go in a slightly different direction with a new cat named Rainbow and an outdoor adventure unrelated to the others. I hope you like it.

Rainbow Cat’s Outdoor Adventure

Right on cue, the tabby sprang into the yard as the children tumbled out, scattering to various activities. Some stopped for cuddles before choosing. One picked it up, determined it would be his for the day. Preferring to be master of its own decisions, with a wriggle and a scratch, the cat leapt from arms into pots of liquid colour. The fingerpainters squealed as they became the canvas for the unintentional artist. Rainbow hands grabbed the cat scratch-scrambling on masterpieces spread to dry. The cat hissed and bounced away to safety as the children chanted, “Rainbow cat! Rainbow cat!”.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

49 thoughts on “Rainbow Cat’s Outdoor Adventure

    1. Norah Post author

      I like that idea, Anne. Maybe A Rainbow Book of Rainbow Cat Stories. It could make a nice little anthology. I’ll see how I go with that. 🙂
      Thank you for purchasing the Library For All books. Every cent goes towards providing more books for children around the world. A very worthy cause.

      Like

      Reply
  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Three wonderful rainbow Cat stories. I remember the first two and was glad to read them again. The third shows a cat of a different color(s)! But fun for the children.

    Yes, as schools look at trimming budgets, libraries and librarians do not get the respect they should and the disrespect and dismantling of libraries are pieces of the erosion of our democracy.

    Hang in there, Buddy. You will get that publishing contract.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, D. I’m pleased you enjoyed the stories.
      That’s true what you say about libraries and democracy. Why else would oppressors burn books? The result is the same when people don’t have access to books/knowledge/education/opportunity to learn, whether through physical destruction or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Jules

    I enjoyed all of your stories. I know a children’s author who has an illustrator – but ‘they’ are very protective of their niche. I have a few thoughts on children’s books that I think I could even illustrate. But I don’t want to go through the process of editors telling me that even short pieces need adjusting. So I’d have to go my own route – one of these days.

    I especially like the one where the characters get released from the pages – kind of like imagination giving a child (or an adult) wings to fly! Continued success in all your ventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Jules. I’m pleased you enjoyed the stories. I wish you success with illustrating your own stories. I’ve gone my own route on so many things throughout my life, this is one thing I want to do in company. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Jules

        I wish I had the support team to help me through it – I just don’t feel up to dealing with all the legal baloney, fees and business stuff right now. I know one gal who has her whole family involved. I’d ideally love to have some kind of mentor. And of course there is always that little grain of doubt that says I’m just not up to par to competing with what is already out there. One of these days though – maybe.

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        1. Norah Post author

          A mentor sounds great, Jules. I’d like one of those too. I understand your final comments as well. Many of us suffer from writer doubts and imposter syndrome. I think it’s par for the course. Maybe we wouldn’t be ‘real’ writers if we didn’t doubt ourselves occasionally. Hang in there. Make it ‘one of these days’, no doubt about it.

          Liked by 1 person

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  3. Jennie

    “Where children will love us, like before.” My goodness, that is powerful! I remember your first rainbow cat poem, which is delightful. I was truly moved by your new rainbow cat story. Thank you, Norah.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Chel Owens

    I could help with the poem, although I think you’d do better to ultimately publish on your own. (I say, as a person with experience doing this, just reading of others’ experiences in the blogging world.)

    Like Pete said, our school libraries are intact. I have noticed cutbacks; I applied for an assistant librarian position last year and learned that they were trying to hire two assistants instead of one full-time (since it was cheaper). They wanted me, the potential hire, to come into the classrooms with books on the topic of what the teacher was currently covering, read to the children, and have an assortment of books prepared for the children to choose from. This was the COVID Plan -but, still, so much work for the same pay as a different job I ended up doing where I only had to put a check mark on a list for each student that took a lunch…

    Sorry for the side tangent. 🙂 I like the stories. Have you heard of the published book about Dewey the library cat? We read it for book group a few years back. Most of the story is autobiographical from the head librarian who wrote it, but the library cat was real.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Chelsea,
      I’m certain that you could help me with my poem, though it has undergone extensive rewrites since that humble beginning. However, it’s not just the rhythm and rhyme, it’s also the story arc. An agent was interested in it and suggested some changes which I tried to incorporate but failed at. Another publisher suggested even more changes. It’s had a couple of manuscript assessments (one with a specialist in rhyming picture books) and been through critique groups. I probably haven’t looked at it now for more than six months, so maybe it’s time. Perhaps I need to try it in prose. We’ll see. I’m working on others at the moment.
      Publishing picture books as an indie author is not part of my future plan. I already spend a lot of time self-publishing on my website. I’d like my picture books to be traditionally published. If I don’t eventually score a contract, I may publish them as stories on my website or in an anthology, but not as picture books. It’s too expensive when I can’t illustrate.
      I think you chose the better of the two positions, though I would love the library assistant position. However, as you describe it, it appears to be more of a teacher’s role than that of an assistant. This seems to happen everywhere. They want people to do more but pay them less. 😢
      And I don’t mind the side tangent. It’s interesting to hear your thoughts on the topic and I appreciate your sharing them.
      I haven’t read Dewey the Library Cat. Sounds like one I’d enjoy. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll put it on my list.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Chel Owens

        There are many decent illustrators who would be happy to collaborate on projects but I understand your reasons. Myself, I’m not even to the point of anyone considering my book of poetry because I haven’t written it! I have, however, a fantastic friend willing to illustrate. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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        1. Norah Post author

          That is so good that you have a friend willing to illustrate. I used some illustrators on 99designs for some of my stories that I published on readilearn, but even those work out too expensive to do too many of them.
          I look forward to your book of poetry – when you’ve written it!

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
  5. Pingback: Rainbow’s Outdoor Adventure « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  6. Charli Mills

    Oh, Norah, I so appreciate your revival of Rainbow’s association with libraries. I enjoyed both your previous flashes, and the most recent is a colorful joy to watch unfold. Your book is under the rainbow. Keep at it! And thank you for your dedication to libraries!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Charli. Libraries are so important – not only for readers, but for writers too.
      I was pleased to find another direction for this rainbow cat. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  7. calmkate

    lol Charli and her rainbow cats and unicorns 🙂

    First one was Dr Seuss style which I so love. Then love the idea of them all coming to life and escaping to adventures singing a fav song of mine. Latest one is also hilarious, I’ve often seen cat paws in concrete, etc … they love to explore where they shouldn’t be 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Kate. I’m delighted you enjoyed all my stories. Yes, cats and children – explorers all. 🙂
      And yes, Charli does love her rainbow cats and unicorns. Good thing I do too. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. petespringerauthor

    I enjoyed your piece, Norah. I think it’s great that you are trying to develop Rainbow Cat into publication.

    I am not aware of the trend of school libraries closing in the United States, although I do know that fewer schools now have a paid library position. That means school libraries are open fewer hours because the teachers are becoming the librarians. In one sense, I’m not surprised as teachers take on more duties with cutbacks, but what a sad state of affairs.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Pete.
      It is sad about the demise of our school libraries here. I’m pleased it’s not happening over your way. Classroom teachers already have an overfull plate without adding library duties. Librarians can offer so much more to teachers and students. They are important in the establishment of lifelong reading habits. School libraries and librarians forever!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Jacqui. I really enjoyed writing the poem and expanding it into a picture book manuscript. Sadly, I haven’t been able to interest anyone in publishing it – yet. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          I admire Indie publishers. I think it’s a tough gig. Seeking traditional publication is too. I’ve decided to go that way as I think picture books are more difficult (and expensive) to independently publish. Robbie Cheadle has done well with hers as she does such wonderful illustrations for her own books. I also consider myself to be publishing independently on my website with stories and poems there and have no desire to do that with picture books. If they (after many submissions) don’t score a publisher, then I may publish them as stories on my website or in an anthology, but not as picture books. I’ll see what happens. I’m pleased you went ahead and published your amazing books.

          Liked by 1 person

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