Saturday, September 4, 2010

“Tell a story, a complete story with an arc, including climax and -conclusion, in 250
words. It can be fiction, or memoir, or a fairy tale, or a mystery.”
Jennifer Traig, Part II The Autobiographer's Handbook

The Easter my sterile cat ran away, I continuously walked around our one square block searching the shrubbery and looking up each tree. After losing my grandmother months earlier, I was a skeptical seven year old convinced I would never see my cat again. I believed if we found my cat, that she would be bald and dead like my grandmother. I never would have thought to look in a barn a mile away where we found her shacked up with a scruffy black male cat.
    This particular childhood cat was a fat-longhaired-lazy tabby that cried when she up a tree, and relied on her humans' to save her. I could not imagine her surviving alone in the wild over the whole Spring Break. Turned out being a renegade house cat shacked up in a barn with a dinghy boy cat is similar to living in a two star hotel with room service. I can only assume she got him to hunt for her; she was not much of a hunter. I am not even sure she liked to kill bugs, maybe paw at them, but never follow thru with murder.    
    My mother sounded shocked when the barn owner called to say she thought our cat was living in their barn. This runaway took place before answering machines, so the fact that she reached my mother to tell us about a vagabond cat squatting in her barn was a miracle by today’s communication standards.              Mom rounded us up; we hopped in the Monte Carlo and headed across two subdivisions to a busy main drag of Saginaw Township. We pulled in their long gravel driveway and left the car running. My cat did not come running; I guess she did not recognize the car engine.   
    One of the farm-kids ran into the dilapidated barn and scooped up our Tabby. She was saved from a vagrant lifestyle hiding out in a wild unincorporated farmstead, dining on fresh kills, and living in sin in an unkempt barn. Purring in the back seat window, she was headed back to perpetual napping on Berber carpet and incessant eating of canned salmon.

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