This little story you are about to read it true. The names have been changed to protect against embarrassment…
The Return of Mr. Kitty?
My husband, Dan, called me at work today with important news. “I found an old friend by the side of the road today.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yes. I’m positive.”
It’s probably best to pause for a moment and explain. Mr. Kitty was our yellow tomcat. He was a marvelous mouser (the best I’ve ever met) and ridiculously snuggly sweet. A perfect combination! He just had this one little problem: He ignored the litter box, preferring to pee in truly important boxes, such as the ones where we stored the year’s tax documents or my husband’s archived artwork. We tried to discourage the habit, but to no avail. We eventually concluded that Mr. Kitty was meant to be an outside cat. Dan’s brothers have a great setup for outdoor adventures of the feline variety, plus they own Mr. Kitty’s brother cat, so we took him over to live at their house. He disappeared within a couple days. Dan went over to his brothers’ neighborhood and spent a morning looking for him while I was at work. No luck. Still, he promised to find him eventually, and now, four long months later, the missing cat had reappeared.
“It looks like rain, so I’ll plan on picking you up after work, okay? Then we can go see Mr. Kitty together.”
“Okay. Sounds good,” I replied.
On the ride home we went though the whole drill again.
“Are you SURE you found Mr. Kitty?” I asked.
“I was driving through my brothers’ neighborhood on the way to the school when I spotted him. I recognized him immediately, even from a distance. Luckily, I pay really close attention to how animals look and move, so I knew I’d finally found him! There he was after four months! So I slammed on the brakes, opened the van door and called him, ‘Here, Kitty, Kitty.’ He clearly recognized me. He ran right over from halfway down the block and jumped into the van with me. I had a few extra minutes before I had to be at the school, so I turned around, took him home, and called you! He’s the cat, I’m sure of it. Our dog clearly recognized him and he knew his way around our house. It’s Mr. Kitty. I closed him in the bathroom until we get home so he doesn’t do any major damage. Maybe we can keep him around as an outside cat. He’d be great for keeping the critters out of your garden!”
When we got home, we let the cat out of the bathroom. He bolted down the stairs and made a beeline for the basement. Something didn’t seem quite right. Standing on the basement stairs, I called his name. He turned around and I finally got a good look at his face. I recognized him, but he wasn’t Mr. Kitty.
“I think this is your brothers’ cat…”
“No, it’s Mr. Kitty,” said Dan.
A Facetime call interrupted our conversation. It was Dan’s brother, Grant.
“Give us back our cat.” Grant began, foregoing all pleasantries and getting right to the point. “I saw you take him today.”
“This isn’t your cat,” Dan insisted.
“Yes, it is.”
“Ama, go get the cat.” I scooped the bewildered cat off the ground and handed him over. Dan held him up to the Facetime camera. “Is this the right cat?” he asked.
“I told you: YES. That’s our cat.”
“Bryce?” Dave requested a second opinion from his other brother.
Tossing his head get the long strands of hair out of his eyes, Bryce peered at the cat. “Um, yeah…that’s him,” he quietly concurred.
“I can’t believe you STOLE our cat off the street!” Grant bellowed, jokingly.
By this point, everyone involved was laughing or at least grinning sheepishly.
All morning long, Dan had been planning a celebratory dinner trip to our favorite local restaurant, so we decided not to let the plans go to waste. On our way out to eat we returned a very confused Kitty to his real home. The poor kitty trembled in my arms the whole ride home, and as he scurried back to the porch he paused and turned to us with a look that clearly asked, “What’s wrong with you? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!?”
It only later occurred to Dan that his brothers call THEIR cat Kitty; that, after a four month absence, we are better acquainted with THEIR cat than with our poor Mr. Kitty; that our dog knows Kitty; and that his brothers rented this house before us, so Kitty is quite familiar with the surroundings. Also, the cats are brothers, and they really do look quite similar!
Oh, I absolutely love my sweet-hearted husband! I’m just glad the cat today wasn’t temporarily cat-napped from some poor little innocent child…
Dan’s final word on the subject? “I made a mistake and stole the cat, OKAY? Gosh! I was just trying to be sweet.”
(Originally posted on my old blog, Interim Arts, on June 11, 2013)