THE SONIC BOOMER
Today’s topic: Cats. If you like them, please quit reading right now. Myself? Not a fan.
What. What? How can you not like a furry fluffball of love, caressing your calves with its tail, curling up in your nap for a snooze, purring like car that won’t start?
I trace it all back to my childhood where I had one best friend, Bonnie — delightful, inventive, fun, surpassing all others, loyal to the end, the yin to my yang, until she got… a cat. Then, to my nine-year-old mind, I had to share my friend. Her attentions waned, her loyalty faded, her love was suddenly divided in two! I remember Bonnie picking up the cat — a Siamese — and cuddling it as we were introduced: “Debbie, this is Suzi.” I reached out a hand to pet Suzi. Suzi reached out a claw and scratched me, as if to say, “Back off, little girl, she’s all mine now.”
The line had been drawn. Oh, how I hated that cat — it’s superior attitude, it’s pompous airs, it’s watchful glare whenever I was in the room.
There was one bright spot. Suzi was only a cat. I got to shut the door in her face when Bonnie and I left for school. If the door slammed loudly instead of closing gently — oh, well. Suzi could just sit on the back of the couch and watch us enviously as we strolled away.
I did have one good day with Suzi. In the home where Bonnie lived, there was a laundry chute on the second floor — a hole in the wall into which you tossed your laundry so gravity could pull it down to the basement. This laundry would land in a basket with others of its ilk and wait to be processed. Upstairs, Bonnie would leave the little door to the chute open because Suzi liked to perch on the edge and drink in the cool air coming up from the basement.
The good day was a Saturday. Bonnie and I were blissfully playing in her room, when a horrible screeching, clawing, thumping sound suddenly emanated from this chute. Suzi had lost her footing and been sucked down to the basement!
Bonnie leapt up to save her. I trailed behind, so elated I couldn’t contain myself. I was laughing out loud, thinking, “This is what happens when you are a pompous know-it-all… the forces that be cut you down to size.
We rushed into the basement and Bonnie ran to the laundry basket. No Suzi. She searched the area. No Suzi. We listened for a meow. Nothing. Could it have finally happened? Could Suzi have run off, never to return? Had my prayers been answered?
We found Suzi, still in shock, sitting in the rafters, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. Bonnie reached up and coaxed her down — petted her, soothed her, spoiled her. If Suzi could’ve stuck out her tongue at me, she would have. Her little slits of eyes gloating over me were enough. And Bonnie was less than thrilled with how I had behaved.
Fast forward to today. After decades of living, I now know that Suzi was just a cat, designed by nature to be loving to those who fed her, responsive to those who petted her and protective of her family. To her mind, I was the interloper. So, I’ve resolved my issues with Suzi.
Plus, she’s dead.