It was the day of our departure for the mainland – the females of the family. BG announced at lunch, that this was the day to turn Puss over to the lady at the Asian Food Store who wanted him. “Where is the cat?” I asked. Puss had wandered off again, or had heard BG’s pronouncement and run off.
We continued with the plans as if he would return. This cat, like us, enjoys eating and we were pretty sure he’d show up for supper. I went over to the store and asked the owner if we could bring the cat today. She said yes, that she would be closing up the shop at 6 pm, so around that time was best. I told her Puss had run away, and we’d bring him if he returned. She seemed nonplused. Then she told me she wanted the cat to chase rats in her yard. That wasn’t exactly the ‘lonely me’ story she had told me earlier.
“No, I’m allergic to cats. You pick him up and Jade can drive.”
“But I’ve never picked up a cat. He might get away! Faye, can you pick up the cat? I’ll take pictures.”
“No, I’ve just showered and painted my nails for the trip and I don’t want cat all over me. Jade, you pick up the cat.”
“No, I’m driving, and it’s your cat.”
“It’s not my cat – we’re giving him way!”
And so it continued. We argued for about another 2 minutes, then BG made the executive decision: “Faye, you will pick up and hold the cat.” When it was time to go, we put Puss’ food and litter into the car, and Faye proceeded to grab him by the middle and attempt to put him in a box. BG yelled at her – “What are you doing? Just hold the cat!”
Meanwhile Puss ran away under the house. Both girls scrambled after him and found him under the lanai. They peered into the darkness. “Hey, I think he’s pooping (giggle, giggle)…Yup. Now he’s scratching some dirt on it. I didn’t know cats buried their poop.”
“Eww. I don’t want him on my lap right after he’s pooped!”
“Oh, man up Faye!” Clearly we didn’t deserve this cat – we know nothing about felines.
After he had done his business, Faye enticed Puss out from underneath the lanai, and grabbed him. She held him tenuously, trying not to let his butt touch her anywhere. We rushed to the car, opened the door and pushed Faye and her charge inside on the back seat. Jade sidled into the driver’s seat as I jumped in on the passenger side, having wrestled the prized job of photographing the event from all contenders. Puss had never been in our car, nor any car as far as we knew. He was clearly not happy with the situation, and gave us a hate stare so fierce it was almost scary. But that was nothing.
When Jade started the engine the cat freaked. Before she could get it in gear, Puss catapulted himself in one leap from the backseat onto the front dash. From there he jumped into Jade’s lap behind the steering wheel, found the space confining (as did she) and clawed her lap as he tried to return to the back seat the hard way, between Jade and the door. Of course she freaked too. All this time we shouted and yelled at the cat to calm down – not very conducive to achieving our desired goal.
He jumped to the back seat momentarily, then careened back into the front and onto my lap, clawing me. It was the first time he sat on me and it was not pleasant. He looked like a mountain lion, baring his fangs and yowling most hideously. “Go Jade!” I kept the cat out of her lap as she drove the one block to the store. Puss protested in a high loud pitch the whole trip.
“Oh get over it – now you man up!”
She found a parking spot right in front of the shop (one of the best features of small town living), and I leapt out to talk with the shopkeeper. Faye took over as photographer. Puss seemed calmer now that the engine was off, but not happier.
“Where is it?”
“In the car.”
She came outside and peered into the car window. “Oh, he’s a pretty cat,” she enthused.
“Yes. Where’s your car? We can put him in it.”
“My husband dropped me off today. He’ll be picking me up any time.”
“Well you’ll have to contain the cat somehow. If we let him go in your shop, he’ll just run out the front door.” She, like many shopkeepers in town, left the doors open.
She bustled around and procured a box with a detached lid: “We can put him in here, and put the lid on until I get him home.” I had my doubts about the chances that this would work, but it was her cat now. We walked out to the curb. Jade got out of the driver’s seat and came around to the back right door where Puss sat. Faye climbed into the front seat and also escaped through the driver door. That left Puss in the car by himself. Luckily, he didn’t move, but he was still giving us the death stare.
Cautiously Faye cracked the back door open, and pried Puss from the seat where his nails had dug in. She placed him in the box. But before Jade could push the lid on, he bolted out and ran into the nearby driveway. There he paused, as we all held our breath. But before we could advance upon him, he bolted down the middle of the street, then veered off along the side of the Honoka‘a People’s Theatre. He was gone. We were stunned – it happened so fast.
I finally broke the silence. “Well, if he camps out at our house again, we can try bringing him over when we return in August. I think we’ll have to transfer him directly to your car.”
“Can’t your husband bring him over?” she asked hopefully.
“No, he won’t.” And with that, we went home to relay the news to BG. “Sorry, we failed in our mission.”
The trip to the airport was quieter than usual. Our final words to BG as he left were to let us know if Puss returned. As we sat waiting for the plane, we talked about the cat. “If he comes back, I think maybe we should keep him.”
“Really?” Faye’s face brightened. “Really Mom?”
PS. BG reported that Puss showed up the next day. He also texted us this message: “As you know I have tried moist cat food in preparation for the time I need to eat it due to poverty. We all know how God-awful it was. I can now confirm for you that the dried stuff is not much better. It starts out reasonably pleasant but rapidly degrades into pure nastiness. I guess I will now have to experiment with dog food. Ugh. – BG.”
If you like my blog, you’ll enjoy my book, Manifesting Paradise, available on Amazon. Receive my posts automatically by filling in your email address in the “follow” box at the top of the right column. And please join my mailing list.