A loud knock on our front door Wednesday night startled the kids and caught Mike off guard. A family stood on our door step, begging help with an injured cat in the road.
Mike hesitated, wondering why they came to our door, as the injured cat was dragging himself across the road nearly 5 houses down from ours. It appears that our porch light was the only one burning on the street that night. The imploring eyes of the child in the family group made Mike grab a laundry basket, tell the littlest ones to stay inside, and took the route to the sad cat in the road. All in his bare feet, mind you.
He sized up the situation, terrified that our own young ones were now standing on our stoop yelling, "Is it OK dad? Did you find the cat?" and he was in the road several homes away, in the 9:00 dark.
He tried to scoop up the animal, who appeared to be full of spite and spitting his anger midst his painful injuries, nearly biting any of the rescuers that got close enough to help. The father of the group said, "Here, let me try." I never got the rest of this part, but someone got the cat into the laundry basket, and the laundry basket ended up in my bathtub.
Mike closed the door to the bathroom, finished putting our little ones to bed, and shortly after 10 checked on the cat that he figured would have passed into cat heaven by now. Nope. It half jumped/dragged its pitiful body out of the basket that was in the bathtub, and spit and clawed it's way to the far back of the corner under our clawfoot tub, as far from Mike as possible.
I swear, hearing this story at 5 am the next morning, looking at the calm cat in the cage, I would never have believed his antics of the night before just by looking at his pitiful eyes. Mike went on to describe how the feral cat had tried attacking him more than once, and he had to fashion a neck strap from an old pole and a USB cable. Quite creative, and he mentioned more than once how he had seen animals captured on the old show, "Wild Kingdom." Or was it "Animal Cops" ???
However it was accomplished, the cat was caught, offered a bowl of milk with some crushed VICODEIN to make him comfortable (or very, very sleepy) and off to animal control in the morning. He refused the milk, but spent the night peacefully in the cage.
I was trying to be sympathetic to what Mike had been through the night before. I was up early to take my mother to the hospital for surgery, and really, I wanted to hear the whole thing. As I left in the early morning darkness, wishing the injured kitty a peaceful day, I told Mike this story was begging to be blogged. He said, "But you don't know how it ended!"
I kissed him goodbye, flippantly throwing over my shoulder, "I am a writer. I will write my own ending."
So now I am at the point of needing to end this story. I would love to say that as he opened the cage, the injured cat came out, full of energy and remorse for what he had put Mike through the night before, completely healed of his injury.
Instead, Mike and Bella took him in the cage to the Animal Shelter, and Mike assured Bella that "they would know exactly what to do for the kitty."
To the others who came home from school at noon, "Kitty has gone on a very long sleep and he is not going to be hurting anymore."
And for me? I was glad I was not home to make the decision. Incidentally, Mom's surgery went well, and the gray cat is just another chapter in our memory book.