Chased blocks away from my home by dogs and people, I finally stretched out under a car on a cool garage floor and fell asleep. I woke up to the smell of fried chicken, and voices—a man and woman I learned were Charlie and Sharon. Hungry, I picked up and ate a line of chicken pieces that took me close to them. Trapped. Charlie pushed me into a pillow case while Sharon talked to a vet.
At his office, the vet said I didn’t have a chip. Wrong. I do, too. You don’t forget a day like when I got my chip—and it wasn’t one you eat, like I expected.
Kimberly Holt, a famous author who went to New York and got on TV was in a Hastings store near us signing a skinny brown dog book Mom wanted. When Mom called for information about the book signing, she learned a group called AKA was selling chips real cheap, and I could get one.
I never found out what was skinny—the dog or the book, but I did find out about the chips, and they weren’t food.
At Hastings, we were in line with all kinds of dogs—from horse-sized on heavy leads, to small breeds shivering in their owners’ arms. A woman beside Mom looked at the name tag on my kennel and laughed. “Kitty Cat?” Then she saw me inside. “Oh, it really is a cat!”
Right. A putting-on-the-dog event, I was the only cat there. It was awful. When the chip lady picked me up, people laughed cuz I was a cat, and I could see the big dogs betting on who’d catch me first if the lady dropped me. Using a scary-looking needle, the chip lady put one in my back. “Now if you’re ever lost,” she said, “with this micro-chip you’ll be home in no time.”
Back to the present and in the pillowcase, I felt about as happy as a chicken waiting to get its neck chopped. “Bring him in Monday for an exam,” the vet said. “Except for a handful of fur missing from his tail, he looks fine. His ears aren’t torn, and fur isn’t matted, so he hasn’t been on the lam for long.”
My new home, I learned, would be that garage I’d mistaken for a safe resting place. My food? Well, they didn’t buy cat food when Sharon insisted they’d need a litter pan. “We’ve needed a good mouser,” said Charlie.
They drove into the garage, let the door down, and then dumped me out of the pillowcase. Thirsty and starving, I headed for the door to the kitchen. “Charlie!” Sharon’s voice hit the air like a firecracker. “Get that cat. I’m not having an animal in my house.”
Charlie closed the screen door to block me, but in a minute, he did put water out. “What do you want to name her?”
“Her?” I’m thinking Charlie’s a bird brain and Sharon’s meaner than the bitch that started the mess I’m in.
Closed in and feeling helpless, I did nothing for hours but stare at walls and wish for Mom and Dad.
Mom! -- Mom’s says something’s always better than nothing. I jumped up on garage shelves and knocked stuff down—jars, paint cans, plastic boxes that scattered stuff everywhere when lids came off. I’d already started yowling louder than Sharon’s screeches when the house door crashed open.
I scrammed as the garage door went up and Sharon screamed, “Get that cat outta here.”--Was after midnight when I got home. I could tell Mom had been crying. She told me how happy she was to see me, and cried some more. Go figure.
I’ll bet Sharon was glad she bought cat litter. I hear it’s good for cleaning up paint messes. And I’ll bet on Sunday Charlie bought some mouse traps.
(c) 2012, Bernice W. Simpson