A Cat’s Journey

The cat scratched at the door.  No one came to open it.  She continued scratching, letting out loud cries as the rain poured down, flooding the streets and side walks.  Her only refuge was the step she stood up on with her hind legs.  However, soon the water would rise.  She cried even louder.

Cars drove by not bother to stop by the house of the front step she stood.  The poor thing therefore got overlooked.

A man running through the puddles passed by the house when he heard loud crying.  “What the heck?  Why would someone abandoned a child in the rain?  Whoever did this crime should be strung up.  Indeed, I never thought someone in this neighborhood would do such a thing,” he muttered to himself when he turned back, and follow the cries.

Running up to the house, he found the angora white cat clawing at the front door.  He bent down, and took hold of her in his arms.  “You poor thing.  Don’t worry.  I’m going to take you home with me.  We need to get you dry.”

Upon entering his house, he set the cat down.  She ran through the living room, and went directly to the kitchen where she stood on her hind legs, clawing the garbage can.

The man grabbed a hold of her.  “You don’t want anything from in there.  I’ll get you something better.  Lets get a towel from my linen closet, and dry you off before eating.”

He used a plush towel which he patted against the little thing.  She cried, and gotfrisky.

Settle down, my friend.  I’m not trying to hurt you.  I’m just trying to prevent you from getting sick.  That’s all,” the man laughed.

The cat broke free of the man’s grip, and returned to the kitchen, clawing once again at the garbage can.

The man followed, picking her up into his arms.  “I don’t have any pet food.  Do you like cold cuts,” he asked, gazing at her, “Based on you cries, I can safely assume you’d eat anything.

He grabbed some sliced turkey from the refrigerator, put it into a plastic plate, and set it down on the floor where the little cat circled his legs.

She attacked the meat, eating every bit of it.

While she ate, the man stood next to the counter, eating a turkey sandwich.

The little cat began coughing.

“I forgot to give you something to drink.  Sorry about that,” he said while filling a plastic bowl with water.

He set the bowl down next to her, and watched her as she dipped her tongued into it.  “We got to give you a name,” he said, lifting her up, “I was going to call you Herb, but I can’t.  You’re more of a Henrietta, dear.”

She cried, twisting her body back and forth, dropping onto the floor.  Little Henrietta ran back to the bowl of water.

“Sorry.  I guess I should have waited until you finished drinking your water,” he laughed while kneeling down next to her, stroking her back, “I live her all alone.  I never thought I’d have a room mate.  But I need to make sure you don’t already belong to anyone, first.”

While Henrietta continued drinking her water, the man went to his desk.  He made a flyer with his computer.

By nighttime, the rain stopped.  Henrietta laid on the floor on top of a pillow, wrapped up in a blanket.

At sunrise, the man put some Cheerios in a small plastic bowl, and set it next to the cat.  He grabbed the flyers from his desk, and walked around the neighborhood, nailing them to telephone poles.  “I hope someone will know who she belongs to,” he muttered to himself, when a woman approached him.

“Excuse me, sir.  May I help with distributing your flyers,” she said while holding out her hands.

“I’m just trying to find the owner of this little one,” he said while pointing to Henrietta’s picture, “If she doesn’t belong to someone, I’ll keep her myself.

“Yes.  But you’re doing the right thing.  Maybe the police could do something?”  she smiled while accepting some flyers from the man.

“No.  The police have enough to take care of.  I know what I can do.  I could call the local news station, and get on television with the little cat.  It’s the perfect way to find the owner, if there is any,” he said, while leaning against the telephone pole, “Thank you for your help, Miss.”

“For what?  It was your idea,” she laughed while rolling up the flyers.

He entered the WJYK television station while holding Henrietta in his arms.

“May I help you, sir?”  The receptionist asked.

“Yes.  I found this cat on my way home from work yesterday.  I was running past the house where she was scratching against the front door.  I was thinking I could get on television with her,” he said as he set the cat on top of the counter for the woman to see.

“Yes.  Let me call me talk with the station manager first,” she said while pressing the button on the phone to buzz her manager, “Mrs. Clayton, there is man out here who needs to be on television.  He found a cat yesterday outside in the rain.  Maybe he can find the owner by being on television.”  The receptionist hung up the phone.  “The station manager will be coming to speak with you.”

“Thank you.”

Two days after his appearance on television, the man received phone calls from ten different people.  Many of them wanted to know if there was a reward for giving information about the cat.  “No, I’m sorry.  I just want to return the cat to the owner, if there is one,” he said hanging up the phone, “I can’t believe how stupid some people are, Henrietta,” and picked the cat up into his arms.

Henrietta meowed while digging her claws into the man’s shirt.

The doorbell rang.  The man sat Henrietta down, and ran to the door to open it.

An elderly woman stood in front of him, saying, “Sir, I’m here about the cat.  My sister lives at the address you mentioned on the television, of whose door the poor thing clawed.”

“Why was she outside in the rain?”  The mans asked.

“She cut through the screen door of the porch.  That’s usually where my sister keeps her,” the woman said while holding out her hands, “May I have the cat, please.”

“I’m sorry, but I need proof she belongs to your sister,” the man said.

“She has a scar on her belly.  It was from the surgery she had last year,” the woman said.

“Just a minute,” the man said while running into the dinning room to get the cat.  He turned her over, and found the scar the woman told him about.

When he went back to the door, he held Henrietta tight in his arms.  He handed the woman the cat while looking into Henrietta’s eyes, and said, “Henrietta, or whatever your real name is, It was good having you as a guest him my home.  I’ll miss you, dear.”

The woman accepted the cat and said, “Her name is Harriet, but you almost got her name right.  Thank you for taking care of her.”

“You’re welcome.  I was glad to do it,” the man said while smiling..

The woman turned around, and headed toward her sister’s house when Henrietta meowed in her arms.

© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2016

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