A Most Bizarre Cat Story
On a beautiful September morn, I awoke at 6:00 AM to the songs of birds outside our bedroom window. I farted, and rolled over to greet the wife. Alas, her side of the bed was empty. Thinking that she must have gone down to the Sports Room for her daily tussle with the Tribune Crossword, I waddled down the stairs to check on her progress.
She wasn’t there however and when I looked out on the driveway, I discovered one of our cars had also gone missing. “Where could she have gone this early in the morning?”, I mused to myself. As I pondered her whereabouts, I let our cat “Boy” in through the back door, bringing an end to his usual overnight mouse hunting expedition.
I settled in to read the paper with SportsCenter blaring on the TV in the background. After about 5 minutes, I heard the front door start to open. I trotted up the stairs and encountered my wife entering the doorway, visibly upset as she was crying with tears streaming down her cheeks. Behind her was our 16 year old Stonewall, trying to be tough, though it was clear he had benn crying too.
“The cat is dead!” Kathy blurted out to me through her tears. “Boy got hit by a car on Buffalo Grove Rd a couple doors down!” she wailed.
“WWWWhat?”, I stammered as I didn’t quite understand what she said.
“Brettie saw him dead on the side of the road, so I stopped and we put his body on the front seat! He's dead!” she declared, sobbing.
“No he isn’t! He’s right over there eating his breakfast!”I thundered back at her.
Incredulously, Kathy darted beyond me into the kitchen to view Boy chowing down his breakfast – as it must have been a thin mouse hunting night for him. “Boy!”, she shrieked as she muscled me aside to get to him. She was literally shaking as she reached down to scoop up her cat.
“Then WHAT THE HELL is in my car?”, I demanded as Brettie eyed the cat in Kathy’s arms like he had just spotted Jesus having brunch on Easter morning.
Kathy started to talk but she wasn’t making much sense. As I was clad only in my underwear I bolted upstairs to put something on. I ran outside as Brett was pulling a clearly dead and stiff (and smelly) cat from the front seat of our Chrysler LHS.
I was stunned at what I saw. Brettie’s hands held a feline corpse that looked exactly – and I mean exactly - like our cat. Tiger face, white chest, same markings, and most hauntingly of all, immensely long raccoon tail. I mean he looked identical – like a twin, perhaps a clone. A dead ringer in the most literal sense of the expression.
Then it dawned on me – “Shit! Did I let OUR cat in the back door?”. So I snapped at Kathy clutching what I was starting to suspect might not be our cat, “Check his Fang!”. You see, our real Boy cracked a Front Fang off after losing his balance lounging on the roof of the house a year ago.
The dilemma was this. If the cat in Kathy’s arms needed a Front Fang Root Canal, we were in the clear. If it’s sporting a perfect Pepsodent smile, back on the horror roller coaster. Kathy jerked open the mouth of the bewildered cat locked in her arms and behold! The Front Fang was cracked clean off! It is our Boy! It is our Whirlaway! Alive!
After the CSI worthy forensic examination is concluded, we now turn our attention to the stiff, dead kitty still held by Brettie. Quickly the back yard State Funeral that Kathy had swiftly, and heart achingly envisioned is shelved. It is substituted for a black Hefty garbage bag – which Boy’s twin/clone is gently lowered into. (The garbage pickup is today)
We all look at each other in disbelief. Kathy’s beloved cat, thought to be dead as seen by her own eyes - is Alive! Talk about the agony and the ecstasy. Unbelievable.