Friends

Friends

By Angie Brown, Guest Author

I was finishing after-supper chores one day, when there was a knock on the door. I opened it to find a little girl, about nine years old, with an impish grin on her face. “Can I use your phone?” she asked. “Sure,” I replied, realizing that she was one of the children who had recently moved in next door. The next day, about the same time, she came again. This time, she said, “I came to visit.” After explaining that I couldn’t visit right then, she left. This did not discourage her. The third time, she came to use the phone again. I sensed this was going to be a daily routine, so I said, “only in emergencies.”

A few days later, she burst into the kitchen without knocking. Holding up her hand, she said, “An emergency; do you have a band-aid?” I promptly got one, as I could see a small trickle of red oozing out of the palm of her hand. I fastened the band-aid on the cut. She thanked me, gave me a slight hug and left. Her conversations were always short and sweet.

I didn’t see her again until several days later. She was on her way to our back door, but before I could get there, I saw her mother following and taking her by the hand, and ushering her back home. That told me she was coming over without permission. She was like a puppy or kitten, always returning after interruptions in between. By this time, I had much love and compassion for Daisy. It was the quiet way she had of appearing out of nowhere, plus the smile on her, usually soiled, face that got to me.

We were having our evening meal on the porch one day, when she emerged again, this time with a gray and white kitten to show us. I asked her how many they had. She said, “Tons and tons.” Skipping away, she came back with a dish of ice cream and a spoon and sat down at the table to eat it. Believing that she wanted to eat with us, I offered her a muffin, which she gladly accepted. Upon finishing that and her ice cream, she left.

Later, while I was in the garden, she called me to come over and see her kittens. Her two sisters and three brothers were also waiting as I walked over. They directed me to an unused vehicle in the yard. There, on the inside, were many cats. “Tons,” as she said, of all shapes and sizes. That explained why I was seeing so many cats in the neighborhood lately! They were climbing over the seats and the instruments. The children were having the joy that only an animal pet can bring. Babbling all at once, the children proceeded to tell me which kittens belonged to which mothers.

A few months later, when I told Daisy we were moving, she seemed disappointed. She sat quietly for a moment, and I knew she was thinking. Then off she scampered. As she returned and handed me a single, pink rosebud, the loving expression on her face revealed it all: “Thank you for being my friend.”

(For more  short stories by Angie Brown, click HERE)

The Cat and the Collar

The Cat and the Collar

by James R. Aist

We have been cat people for many years now. Cats are a most entertaining animal form, if you just pay attention to them. Quite some time ago we had two cats, Bonnie and Clyde; Clyde because he had large feet and looked like a Clydesdale (horse) when he walked toward you, and Bonnie because, well, it goes with Clyde.

Now Bonnie had, somehow, learned to play “fetch.” One evening I was sitting in the dining room trying to write a letter, and I had a hard time getting the letter off on the right foot, so to speak. I had just tossed my third paper wad to the floor on my way to yet another fresh start, when I noticed that Bonnie had walked up to me with the last paper wad in her mouth. She looked up at me with that excited “Let’s play fetch!” look in her eyes. Now, how could I resist that?! So I retrieved the paper wad from her mouth, showed it to her and gave it a good fling through the doorway and across the kitchen floor. Now the kitchen floor was linoleum and very slick, whereas the dining room floor was carpeted and had really good traction. So Bonnie got off to a rapid sprint in a split second as she raced through the doorway in pursuit of the paper wad. Just then my daughter, Liesel, opened the refrigerator door to get a snack, not seeing Bonnie racing toward her. Bonnie, intent on retrieving the paper wad in record time, failed to notice Liesel opening the refrigerator door, which was square in her path. Seeing all of this unfold before my eyes, I was already getting ready for a really big laugh (don’t ask me why; maybe it’s a guy thing) upon her inevitable collision with the refrigerator door. Well, into the bottom of the refrigerator door she slammed at full bore — BAM — and then bounced back violently, from the impact. At first, this seemed hilariously funny to me, but then I noticed that Bonnie was flailing around on the kitchen floor “like a chicken with its head cut off.” That threw me into a panic, as I thought “Oh no, she must have broken her neck… I killed the cat!” So I sprang from my chair and rushed into the kitchen to see if there was anything I could possibly do to save her. She was still retching and flailing when I finally managed to get her into my grasp to see how badly she was hurt. Then I saw it. Her neck wasn’t broken at all. Instead, her lower jaw had gotten caught in her flea collar when the impact with the refrigerator door forced her head suddenly downward, and she was just struggling violently, in sheer panic, to free her jaw from the flea collar!

Whew, I didn’t kill the cat after all. Then the hilarity of the whole scenario struck me, and I began laughing so hard it took me a while to free her from that demon flea collar and send her on her way, relatively unscathed. Needless to say, that was the first, and the last, “fetch” of that evening!

(For more articles on TRUE TALES, click HERE)