Weekly Communication, #2
Cookie was abandoned as a kitten along with her mom, two totally orange brothers and, like her, two calico sisters. Her mom and siblings were left without food or water during the middle of the summer in a hot apartment building. However, mother cat and her five three-week-old kittens were saved by the apartment building's owner when he came by to see if his former tenants had taken everything with them when they left. To his surprise, they had not!
Though this was a cruel thing that was done to the six cats, many kindhearted people helped Cookie's mom and all of her brothers and sisters get adopted to good homes with people who had plenty of love to spare. Several weeks later, Cookie came to live with me, my wife, two gerbils named Dash and Flurry, and another cat named Mittens. My name is Joel T. McGrath, and I'm a sucker for a purr-fect face and a hard-luck story.
Dash, Flurry, and Uncle Scamper
From the moment I adopted her, I knew Cookie was different somehow. She always looked me straight in the eyes. It was almost as if she wanted to communi-cat with me on some higher level.
The first sign of trouble didn't come with an itch, like I would have thought, but with a burst of wild behavior instead. Cookie tore through the house with reckless abandon. She acted as if she were running away from something. Though she was a kitten, this it seemed was more than just kittenish quirks, this was fear!
Cookie has never been outside, and she has nothing to fear inside the house, as Mittens, pictured below, is ten-years-old and cares more about sleeping than anything Cookie ever does.
Mittens in His Natural Habitat
Most of Cookie's wild behavior was explained away by the articles on the internet. She is a tortoiseshell cat, which have been known to have "Tortitude," and therefore prone to mischief. But she really acted like a tortoise*hell cat through and through.
Still, there was more to her outlandish behavior than the internet could explain away. Whenever I worked on my manuscript, Cookie would, without warning, jump onto the keyboard, thus causing typos, misspellings, and even the dreaded page deletion.
Then, one day she finally did it. Cookie completely erased my entire book in a single jump.
"Cookie! I can't believe you did that!" I said while frantically trying to retrieve my work.
I tried to grab her, but she casually walked behind the computer screen as if I were overreacting. That's when I noticed one word with a blinking cursor trailing its end. The word was "flee."
Was Cookie warning, worse yet, threatening me? When Cookie began scratching her neck, I parted her fur and found the real problem--fleas. After all that, it seemed she was just a bad speller. Cookie didn't mean flee, she meant "flea."
At first glance, they seemed like ordinary fleas. But upon a second look, these were not like any fleas that I'd ever seen before. These strange fleas were incredibly organized. Remarkably, there were tiny remnants of a flying machine on Cookie's back. I was unable to track the fleas because they all scuttled away from the light and into Cookie's lush dark fur. Like an army, they grouped together and took the broken pieces of their flying machine with them just as Cookie jumped away from my grasp and ran downstairs.