The cat is back!
The children ran toward it as you watched from the kitchen.
From your vantage point you only saw a slight rustle in the tall grass but the laughter was all you needed to hear.
Then one time you were barbecuing and you thought you heard a meow.
You turned just to catch a glimpse of fur.
A few more peek-a-boos like that and you were leaving food out for it.
Whatever it was, it liked Royal Roost turkey cat food.
The girls were full of stories of it, how it would lead them on giggling chases and show them fields of flowers.
How it was so cute and could they adopt it please daddy?
Telling them no was one of the most adorable things you’d ever seen.
Taking out the trash the porch light caught a glint off a pair of sparkling eyes in the bushes ahead.
Oops, you thought. Dinner is gonna be a little late tonite, bud.
Next morning when you went to bring the bowl back inside you saw a few drops of blood on the concrete around it.
Oh no I hope you didn’t get hurt.
The girls would be devastated.
Then you saw the squirrel.
Or what was left of it.
Its head lay on the flagstones next to one of its feet.
That’s impressive, you said. Disgusting, but impressive.
You kicked the remains under the hedge.
Finally one summer day you saw it, or almost saw it.
You were about to mow the lawn when you heard a meow.
Turning you saw a tail disappear into the brush.
That time you got close and made “psss” sounds to lure it out.
You followed the tip of the tail above the grass.
A soft sound of purring to your left saw you on hands and knees calling to it.
From behind the brush you heard another meow.
You leaned forward and craned your neck toward the waving tail.
Pss pss, you whispered. Come on out.
You wiggled your fingers in among the tall grass.
That’s when the paw came into view slowly, playfully.
Not wanting to get scratched, you withdrew your fingers slightly, watching the twitching tail above the grass to your left.
Hey kitty, you whispered, still twiddling your fingers hoping to lure it out further.
You saw whiskers. Then an eye.
But the tail was still visible. It now swayed far to your left.
Huh? Two cats? you wondered.
Not even one.