Scraps2Catnip: A Collection of Life Stories Vol. 1
As the sun warmed my whiskers, I woke up to the rustling of a squirrel navigating the branches above. Ah yes, another glorious day in the great Vermont outdoors, living off the grid, free from the confines of house walls. I had been out there on my own for so long that I had almost forgotten what the comforts of inside-living were like. The summer months had been divine, full of hunting and gathering, exploring and sun-bathing. I mean I practically ran that town. I knew the best branches for prey-scouting and the best dumpsters for diving. They say the streets are no place for a housecat, so they labeled me, though I was sure there was nowhere I’d rather be.
But all that shifted. p[;’’’’’’’=–= fdddddddddddddd* When the trees changed color and dropped their leaves, they took with them the beauty of the life I’d come to know. The fervor I’d had descended into fear as the sun was no longer warm and the capture of a rodent grew infrequent. After some time in the cold, my ear began to throb, but the noise of my survival instincts were louder than the pain. It wasn’t until it stopped hurting, and grew completely numb, that I realized things were really taking a turn for the worse out there. Frostbitten and hungry, I started to wonder if I’d make it to the summer in one piece.
I was so weak. The cold had snuffed out every last spark I had within me. I struggled to even lick the salty scum from my matted fur. I knew I needed to stay up and moving or I’d become like the ice that enshrouded an abandoned robin’s nest, but I just hadn’t the energy. In my comatose state, I found a bush to huddle under. Its branches sheltered me from the wind and I collapsed into a slumber.
A sharp pain between my shoulders jolted me awake and I felt myself being ripped from my place of rest. Something had turned me from the predator to be feared, into the prey to be devoured! It was now or never, I told myself. I was either going to pull myself together and fight this beast or I was going to perish at the hands of cruel natural selection.
I began to regain consciousness as the pang of yellow, humming lights beat down on me. I was warm, I was dry. I had somehow made it out of the streets. I’d heard about these such places before, but I didn’t know the legends were true. Gloved hands poked and prodded my wounds. ‘A threat to the other residents,’ I heard. ‘Basement, four months.’ ‘Rabies?’
After what felt like an eternity in solitude, I was finally brought upstairs where they put me in a little hut of my own. To me it felt like a fortress, but the others around me called them cages, claiming that there is better out there. I watched as the friends and even enemies I’d made got taken away by strangers. ‘Home!’ they bragged, so I anxiously waited my turn, until one day someone came in and pointed at me. I had been picked, yes, but this house had two mini humans that would terrorize me day and night. Every time I defended myself they blamed the altercation on me, the ‘street cat.’ So very shortly I was returned, ‘unwanted.’ I’d given up hope, the feline dream of domestic bliss just wasn’t bound to be mine. I am sure you can sympathize, then, when I tell you how unsure I was when another human took me ‘home.’ They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I’m living proof that you can teach an adolescent cat new ones. This human finally turned out okay, and I’m very glad to have given up the stray life for a luxury penthouse in the Old North End.
*Sorry, I walked across the keyboard.
Categories: kay sheeger