Writing 101, Day 12: Today, write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.
Mom was going through some old family photos and pawsed at one of a beautiful blue-eyed lynx point short-haired cat named Pepsi. She told me one day the family was heading out on a week long boating trip and had left Pepsi in the care of the grandparents. Having let her out earlier that morning mom figured Pepsi would have been back before they left, but when the time came to go, and after a quick glance at her watch and still no sign of her in the neighboring yards, Mom had to get into the packed car without saying good bye. Dad told her not to worry and Pepsi would be inside safe and sound by that night.
Every day for nearly two weeks after returning from their holiday mom had been outside calling Pepsi. The grandparents hadn’t seen her since the day mom had left. She’d thought about putting up posters on the telephone poles, along with all the other missing cat posters, but sometimes outdoor cats just take off and return when they’re ready, right? So mom waited. One day while outside doing some yard work, mom got to talking with the neighbour on the other side of the fence. He’d commented that a couple of weeks ago his kids had found a cat’s paw sticking out of the ground in their backyard, so he called the local animal shelter who came and took it away. Mom immediately called the animal shelter and asked if it matched the description she gave. The staff over the phone said it could be but the head was missing and the rest was very dirty having been buried. That’s what coyotes do he said, and went on to say that the last couple of decades has seen quite an increase in their urban population, and wished people would listen to the warnings and keep their cats indoors. Mom sent dad up to the animal shelter to ID the body. She had to know one way or the other. Regrettably he returned with a grim face confirming her worst fear.
Up until that moment, mom had always sided with those that believed that a cat must go outside in order to be happy. Before Pepsi, mom had a beautiful black cat named Coco who lived 18 years, and she was an outdoor cat. How she survived that long was remarkable. She had managed to avoid disease, parasites, cars, animal cruelty, wild animals, and toxins, but when her time came, her one-way trip to the vet’s x-ray revealed a surprise mom found hard to stomach. It’s location was harmless, and not the reason for her distress, but a pellet was fully engulfed in the folds of her belly skin. How long had it been there, and who would have done such a thing would never be answered. Mom had had five outdoor cats by then as well, but of them only one other had lived a full life, the other four just went missing.
So here I am, an indoor cat with plenty of supervised outdoor visitation and as much indoor stimulation as mom can find to keep me happy. Mom wishes they had at least taken Pepsi boating with them and maybe she’d still be alive today. She didn’t deserve what happened to her. Unfortunately along with teaching cat tricks and walking cats on a leash, it’s just not something people think of doing when it comes to cats. Dogs yes, cats no. I hope one day there are many more happy indoor cats like me, and like the long-lived outdoor cat, not an exception to the rule. Long live the cat! =^,,^=