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Pussycat Tales

(an amusing look at a lifetime with cats)

 

We have always had cats. Just a few months after our marriage nearly 40 years ago, Mark’s friend found a stray kitten on the road. The kitten’s mom had been struck by a car; the kitten was about 3-weeks old, too young to be without its mama. The friend wanted to keep the tiny orange tabby kitten but his wife was deathly allergic so instead he looked for a good home. That’s when he spoke to Mark and that is when Pumpkin joined our family.

I was so excited. I had kitten food and play toys waiting. Mark put Pumps down on the floor and he found the food right away. We had to show him his litter box but he did well even the first time. Then I picked the little orange ball of fur into my lap and completely melted when he put his ear against my tummy and promptly fell asleep. He grew quickly and learned to shadow box with my dad while standing on his haunches (the cat, not my dad).

We were preparing for Passover and brought a 5-lb package of matzo into the kitchen when we got an emergency call and had to run into the city. We were gone for two days and my neighbor looked in on Pumps making sure that he had fresh food and water. When we got back, our kitten was happy to see us… he was also terribly constipated. In our absence Pumpkin had decided to sample a corner of EVERY piece of matzo. The poor thing needed kitty laxatives!

We moved into a ground floor condo with a back door patio; since he was an indoor cat, Pumps enjoyed the openness of the full length patio door view. Soon after a little grey tabby appeared outside on our patio with nose pressed against the sliding glass door. We couldn’t open the door without this little guy walking in as if he belonged there. Pumpkin hissed at the grey tabby, the grey cat hissed back. We brought the grey tabby to the shelter and hoped they would find a home, they told us he had 48-hours. The next morning, around 14- hours later, Mark went back to the shelter and adopted a little grey tabby we named Dusty.

After a few more hisses, Dusty and Pumpkin became best friends. They spent several lazy days together basking in the sun of our bedroom windowsill (inside only). The windowsill was just a few feet from the outside ground so if anyone was walking on the lawn, they would pass right by the window (we usually kept our curtains closed). The day a loose Doberman Pincher decided to growl at Dusty as he rested peacefully on the inside sill, he frightened the cat. That was when Pumpkin reared up on his haunches between Dusty and the window screen and let out the loudest shrieking hiss I have ever heard. I kid you not, the Doberman whimpered and ran.

It was chaotic with two balls of fur, one orange and one grey, seemingly flying across the 26-foot long living/dining area. We brought Dusty to the vet for a checkup and were told that the cat was “mildly retarded” and would never grow to full size or full cat mental maturity. Supposedly there was some kind of disproportionate ratio of bone to cartilage???? We were told the cat wouldn’t survive if he had to fend for himself outside. So he always remained a bit kittenish which Pumpkin didn’t seem to mind, he just took care of him even more.

The outside patio seemed to be our weakness as yet another furry faced critter pressed his nose to the glass. We resisted. Longing eyes looked on as Pumpkin and Dusty played, ate and caused havoc. We still resisted. This longhaired steel grey and white cat slept on our patio and was there to greet us each night as we came home from work. At first we didn’t feed him knowing that would be tantamount to an invitation. Eventually we gave in when he meowed at feeding time for our tabby cats. A little boy came to the patio one day and called the cat TJ. When the cat responded to the little boy I was thrilled – he went home that night.

The respite was short lived as the fur ball wound up on our patio again the next morning…

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The Many Faces of Chelle Cordero is a single author collection of short stories featuring Introduction, Pussycat Tails, Holiday Happiness, Not Alone, I Swear That Raccoon Just Knocked on the Door, Stormy Weather, A Mother’s Love, More Than a Friend, The Meeting, and The Vacation. Something for everyone… humor, drama, passion, suspense, and more! Chelle Cordero’s first short story collection gives the reader a glimpse into her writer’s mind, with humor, poignancy, love, suspense, and more with these short stories.

PREVIEW INCLUDED IN A TASTE OF CHELLE CORDERO

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