Monday, September 29, 2014


This is a true story.

“OZZIE, No!” Mary said as she saw her cat, Ozzie, jump out the living room window and race over the patio and across the yard. 

She ran down the hallway and out the door after him, but as she was making her way across the patio, her pit bull, La-La, spotted the cat and took off after him. Mary ran after La-La screaming and yelling for her to come back. A minute later she heard the screech of the cat. La-La came out of the woods with a mouthful of white hair and drops of blood on her nose. 

Mary’s heart sank; she grabbed the dog by the leash, yelled at her, and dragged her to the shed to tie her up. “You sonofabitch, if you killed my cat, I’m never untying you again!”

She was heading across the road to where she saw the cat enter the woods when her sister-in-law, Lima, drove up and honked the horn. Lima lived next door.

“Hey, girl, wassup?” she called out to Mary as she got out of her car. 

Mary walked over. “Lima, I think my cat might be dead.” 

“What? What happened?” 

“Ozzie got through the screen in the living room window and ran out; La-La got sight of him and ran after him. A minute later I heard my cat screech and La-La came outta the woods with blood on her nose and hair in her mouth.”

“Ah, jeez,” Lima said. She secretly hated that dog, but would never say anything to Mary. Lima was more of a cat lover, and Ozzie was a nice cat, friendly, with a big black and white, fluffy coat of fur.

“Okay, help me get my groceries in the house and I’ll help you look.”

“Okay, thanks.” 

Lima opened the trunk and they carried the bags in the house. Lima put away her perishables and then they walked across the road to where the animals had entered the woods. Right away they came across the place where the dog and cat had fought. Bits of cat hair lined the brush in a small clearing, but no sign of the cat. Lima went one way, Mary went the other. 

After about an hour of searching the woods, both women gave up and made their way back to the road. 

When Lima came out of the woods, Mary was coming out of her house, with glasses of water. Lima climbed the patio stairs and gladly took the water. It was a hot day, hotter in the woods. 

“Anything?” Mary said.

“Nothing. You?”

“Nothing. Not a sound. He might have been so scared that he just kept running. And if he’s been bitten, then he might be too scared to come back. Damn dog.”

They sat down at the patio table, drinking the cool water. 

“I’m gonna have to keep the dog tied on until he comes back, if he comes back.” 

“Well, if he can find his way back he’s gonna do it at night; you still let him out at night, right?”

“Yah, and he always comes back just before dawn, so maybe, just maybe he’s alright, and he’ll be back around then, I hope.”

“Well, don’t give up; cats have nine lives ya know.” Lima tried to keep it light. “Okay, well, let me know if I can do anything. I gotta get supper started. I’ll get Chris to look when he comes home later. What time is Drake coming home?”

“He said he wouldn’t be back until around eleven tonight, but he’s off for the weekend, so I’ll get him look again, if Ozzie doesn’t come back by then.”

“Okay, chat later.”

“Alright, thanks, Lima.”

Lima went home, put away the rest of her groceries, and started supper. She couldn’t help but feel sad for the cat. Her husband Chris came home from work and she told him what happened. After supper Chris and Lima went once again to look for Ozzie, but no luck. Mary couldn’t join in because it was bath time for her son, Kay, he was only three.

The next day Chris and Drake searched the woods calling for Ozzie, but there was no sign. The search was abandoned, there was just too much ground to cover, and everyone decided that it was in God’s hands now.

The following evening both couples sat around the patio table discussing the pros and cons of pet ownership and told stories about pets coming back against impossible odds. They were trying to be hopeful. 

Kay was asleep in his bed unaware of the situation. Mary had cleaned the cat litter and kept the trays out, to keep up appearances. Of course, being only three years old, his attention and interests lay in cartoons and toys, so he hadn’t noticed the cat not being around.

That night Mary tossed and turned, she just couldn’t get to sleep, she kept thinking about Ozzie. Was he dead? Was he hurt and suffering?  Was he right out there, close to home, but hidden from sight? Was he too scared to meow? Could he meow?

She thought about him all night. She thought about him so long that she thought she could hear the faint sound of his cry. The louder it came the harder she tried to ignore it. She knew it was all in her mind. 

Drake tossed next to her. “Did you hear that?”

“What? Hear what?”

“The cat, it’s the cat, listen.”

Mary and Drake listened. No sound. Drake was about to hit the pillow when it came again. This time he jumped out of bed and ran to the door. Mary followed.

As soon as he opened up the door, Ozzie came limping in, head low. He headed straight for the storage room and went under the dresser drawer.

“Holy crap, I don’t believe it.” Drake said. “He must be hurt. Did you see him limping?”

“Yah. And the way he was holding his head.” Mary turned on the light. “I knew I heard something, but I thought it was just wishful thinking.”

They got on their knees and tried to coax him out, but he would not move. Mary went to get water and food and placed it next to him. He made no sound, just closed his eyes and went to sleep. It was breaking daylight and they both had to get up for work, so they went back to bed, both astonished that the cat came back.

For two more days, Ozzie stayed under the dresser, he did not eat, he did not drink, he did not go to the litter box. He finally came out on the third day and allowed Mary and Drake to inspect him. They discovered a big hole under his chin and scratches on his nose. And, boy, did he smell bad.

“It’s the infection,” said Drake. “You have to bring him to the vet.”

“Yah, I’ll call now, hopefully we can get in right away.”

Ozzie got back to his feet and slowly found his way to his food and water. He ate some food, drank some water, then went back to the dresser.

Kay asked about Ozzie and Mary and Drake told him that Ozzie was just a little sick and he needed to be alone to rest, and that he needed to see the doctor to get some medicine to make him better. Kay understood this and let Ozzie be.

The following day, Lima stayed with Kay while Mary took Ozzie to the vet. 

“He looks better today,” Mary told Lima.

“I still can’t believe that he survived three days in the woods. He’s one helluva cat.”

“I know.” Mary sighed, relieved. 

“Don’t worry about dinner, I’ll get a barbecue started, it’ll keep Kay and me busy.”

Mary thanked her, kissed Kay goodbye, and was on her way to the vet with Ozzie.

That evening Mary, Lima, and Kay sat at the table on the patio enjoying salads made by Lima and Kay. Chris and Drake were chatting and flipping the steaks and chicken on the barbecue. 

“The vet was amazed that the damn cat survived that bite. Just another quarter inch and the jugular would have been severed and he would have bled out in minutes.” Drake told Chris.

“So, the vet gave him antibiotics and pain killers?” said Chris.

“Yep, said the cat would be better in another few days. Still can’t believe it.” Drake shook his head.

The meat was ready and everyone started digging in. 

Kay pointed at the living room window and screamed. “Mommy, Daddy, Ozzie’s trying to get out!”

They all looked at the window, and sure enough, there was Ozzie clawing at the screen. 

As Mary was getting up to take care of it, Kay yelled, “Dat damn cat gonna get him jugger served!”

Everyone stopped eating, looked at Kay, and burst out laughing.