“That’s impossible, I ran it over!… or at least, I thought I did.”
“Seems fine to me. And there was no kind of collar or anything? It certainly doesn’t act feral. Let me check to see if he’s chipped.” He runs a grass-green plastic device, shaped like a hot glue gun but with an oval display through the bend between the handle and the sensor, between the cat’s shoulder blades. The cat’s back twitches but no sound comes from the instrument. ”No beep means no chip. We have an incredibly lucky stray on our hands. And what did you say your name was, again?”
“I’m Carly. And I can’t believe it. I mean, I’m glad, but I was so sure…” She folds and unfolds her arms.
“Well, Carly, do you have room in your home for this guy?” Dr. Rogers scratches the cats back and it stands up and rubs against him. He looks behind it. “This un-neutered guy, I might add.”
“I… sure! I can take him.”
“No pressure! As you can imagine, we keep in contact with several shelters. But he seems like a nice animal. And feel free to bring him back here if anything pops up.”
“Okay! Thank you so much for this.” She picks up the cat, holding it under one arm. Its back legs hang and it does not squirm. Its pale green eyes scan the surroundings as they leave the vet.
In the truck, the cat cat sits in the passenger seat, tail curled around it. Carly glances at it every few minutes as they drive along.
“How did you do that? I know I ran over something. Did you get up and then lay back down again? You’re one lucky cat. And you’re going to be indoors from now on, since your hobbies seem to include attempted suicide.” The cat looks at her and blinks, a slow and otherwise expressionless stare. Carly smiles. “Glad we’re in agreement. Now to get you some food and a toilet.” They pull into the parking lot of a pet store chain and she gets out of the car. The cat sits up, peering out the window with its paws on the windowsill. “You’re not going to tear up my seats while I’m gone, are you?” She laughs, looking at the already tattered seats, spots of foam sticking out in the light of the parking lot lamp.
In the checkout line at the store, Carly heaves a bag of cat litter onto the conveyor belt behind the dry food and litter box. By all appearances she is the only customer in the store, and the other employees are cleaning and getting ready to shutdown. The cashier looks at her purchases.
“Looks like you have a new animal.”
“Yup! Gotta feed the roadkill.” The cashier raises an eyebrow, but Carly doesn’t notice.
“Your total is $83.27.” Carly grimaces and swipes her card.
The cart rattles and one of the wheels spins as she pushes the supplies out into the parking lot, straining against the weight of the litter. As she approaches the truck, the same squeaking meow can be heard, and she looks up, brow furrowed.
“Cat?” The cat has its neck wedged between the gap between the roof of the truck and the passenger window, paws holding it up on either side. Carly leaves the cart and runs over, unlocking the door and cranking down the window. The cat drops onto the pavement and rubs against her. “What in the world? I know I didn’t leave the window open. Must be loose. Just another thing to fix, and more money gone.” She sighs and looks down at the cat. “At least you don’t run off, but attempting to hang yourself? How many lives do you have left? Maybe I should name you Rasputin.” She sighs and places the cat back in the car, rolls the window up, and loads her purchases into the back. Pulling out of the parking lot, the cat resumes its seated position, no worse for the wear.
( ©2015 Sean Dorsey )