Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, July 13, 2018

Cat-Astrophe

Another day, another kerfuffle.
You have to know that Sally and I really don’t plan any of these things. They just happen.
Really.
Okay, Mom doesn’t believe us either.
On with my story . . .
Sally has been more than her usual irritating in the past few weeks. I mean, when that girl puts her mind to something, she can really get going.
Usually, I’m on the same page. Well . . . at least in the same book. Somewhere.
But this time, she was on her own.
You see, Sally wanted a cat. And not just any cat—the big orange one that lived just down the road in Mrs. Ames house.
With Mrs. Ames.
And yes, there are just so many things wrong with this . . .
Anyways, Sally reasoned that as Mrs. Ames had myriad cats, she really wouldn’t miss the single, big orange one. That sat every morning in lonely glory on Mrs. Ames front porch, waiting to pounce on the paper boy.
Now the words: ‘single orange’, ‘lonely glory’ and ‘pounce’ are rife with significance. I mean, don’t they just scream to you that, not only would this cat be missed, but also, it probably wasn’t the sweetest-tempered animal?
Well, not to Sally.
Mom was still at work when Sally and I finished our shift at McDonald’s yesterday. She mistakenly thought we would be all right by ourselves until she got home.
I don’t mean to sound fatalistic, but what’s with that woman? Doesn’t she know shenanigans only happen when she’s out of the house?
As Sally and I cut across the Prince’s lawn on the corner and turned into our street, she happened to glance across at Mrs. Ames’. And there, again in lonely glory (see above), sat Mr. Big Orange.
Sally saw her chance.
Without a word, she darted across the street and scurried up Mrs. Ames sidewalk and onto her porch in her best sub-rosa fashion. Then she scooped up the enormous cat and retraced her steps.
I merely stared. What else can you do when your sister loses her mind?
She raced ahead of me, the deceptively-calm cat clutched in her arms and, banging the gate open with a foot, skipped into the back yard.
I followed slowly. No way I wanted to be mixed up in this, but I do, you know, live in the same house.
By the time I reached the back door, Sally was inside and cuddling her new friend on the living room sofa.
As I stepped inside, the cat turned and looked at me with slitted, half-open eyes.
I stopped.
“See!” Sally said excitedly. “It was so easy and he’s so . . .” She didn’t get any further.
Without so much as a twitch of warning, the animal in her arms suddenly turned into a spitting, clawing whirlwind. It clawed its way up her arms, perched momentarily on the top of her head, then launched itself to the floor lamp beside her.
And it was just getting started.
From the lamp, it flew across to the kitchen table, leaving long claw marks as it slid the length of the shining surface, taking both the puzzle we had spent the past month fitting together and Mom’s new vase of flowers with it.
The resulting crash seemed to wake Sally from the daze she had fallen into and she leaped forward, intent on corralling the out-of-control feline.
She missed.
At the same moment, thinking only of self-preservation, I fled to the front door. Then I stood there, frozen, one hand on the knob, and stared as the disaster continued.
Sally’s reaching hands seemed to provide impetus to the animal and it continued on to new heights, leaping from the table to the pot rack above the nearby cupboard.
Turns out those racks can hold a lot of cookware.
But no cats.
The entire frame ripped out of the ceiling and fell with a decisive clatter.
But even as it fell, the orange harridan had already launched itself toward the light fixture over the table.
Remember what I said about the pot rack and cats.
Well, ditto for lights.
The metal fixture, hit the table below with a hollow clang, leaving a deep indent in the formerly pristine and now clawed and dented surface.
At that moment, someone rang the doorbell.
The cat shot up the curtains, shredding them as it went and finally landed on the back of the sofa. There it paused, likely gathering itself for future atrocities, just as I swung the front door open.
Perhaps it recognized the rather piqued face of Mrs. Ames in the opening.
I favour the opinion that it merely glimpsed the outdoors and freedom.
Whatever the reason, it launched itself at the irritated women with every orange hair on end and all claws out.
She caught it before it could clear the doorway.
Then, with the spitting, growling creature in her arms, she gave us a level look, turned and headed out across the lawn.
For a moment, my sister and I watched as the woman continued up the street and out of sight, a fully-puffed orange tail sticking out from beneath her arm.
Then Sally looked at me. “See? I told you having a cat would be fun!”

Each month, Karen's circle of cronies like-minded writers, engages in an exchange of words. 
It's fun, educational and challenging.
And did I mention fun?
My words this month: sub-rosa ~ fatalistic ~ myriad ~ rife ~ kerfuffle
were given to me by https://wannabelinguistics.tumblr.com
Now hop over and see what the others have done with the challenge!

10 comments:

  1. Having THAT cat was definitely not fun. No way. But the story was.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved this story and I could see it perfectly! No wonder Mrs. Ames kept her cat outside!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would not want to be within 100 miles of that house when Mom gets home . . .

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMG. That sounds like one crazy cat. Your next post please... what happened when Mom got home???

    ReplyDelete
  5. Holy mackerel! I can see that big orange cat tearing through the house and making it look like a category 4 hurricane went through. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  6. It doesn't really sound like Sally learned anything from this little experiment . . . :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm willing to bet my last dollar that Sally was the only one who thought that was fun.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That'll teach us not to mess with "Mr. Big Orange" ;-) I have to admit I associated a two legged creature with that name...

    Great job using those tough words!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have this cat. I'm the only one in my house who can touch him and he IS deceptively calm until someone else tries. It's quite a kerfuffle indeed trying to give him his medication hahaha.

    ReplyDelete

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