Continued from page 1
The bewildered tom sent a few more air-raid siren noises into empty air. Then he fell silent. At last he wandered off in another direction.
After that Buster was accepted as a neighborhood cat in good standing.
BUSTER HELPS ME UP AND OUT
Buster woke me in morning by bouncing on my waterbed. I would dream I was in a small boat in a choppy sea. And gradually wake to find Buster leaping straight up in air and briskly landing on all fours on waterbed. KER-THUMP, KER-SLOSH. KER-THUMP, KER-SLOSH. The waterbed waves grew higher and higher as Buster briskly bounced . . . until, groggy and seasick, I rolled onto solid ground.
BUSTER AND THE ESSENTIAL KINDNESS OF AUTOMOBILES
Buster believed in essential kindness of people and automobiles. When summer arrived, I began hearing cars honk in front of house. And looked out to see Buster waking from a nap, which nap was taking place in middle of street. He found sun-warmed blacktopped pavement ideal for that purpose. Fortunately ours was not a through street; drivers were honking at Buster and waiting for him to leisurely wake up and move out of their way. But how long could that last?
Whenever I saw Buster napping in street, I yelled at him to get out. To which he paid no attention. I had to go into street, pick up his warm, luxuriously limp body, and carry him indoors.
And next day I’d hear a car honking again.
“Why didn’t you keep him indoors, you idiot?” you are thinking.
Well, with 20/20 hindsight I know I should have. But I hoped that honking cars would teach Buster not to sleep in street. They would have taught any other cat.
And, while I dithered, came heartbreaking day when Buster didn’t return from his happy neighborhood rounds.
I of course made inquiries -- and learned about his tours of home snack bars.
But he hadn’t been to any of them that day.
I asked a group of kids if they had seen Buster.
“Is he cat who chases cars?” they asked.
And then I recalled a half-forgotten memory: that of a little grey and white figure bounding joyously in wake of an automobile.
“That’s him,” I said.
But they had not seen him lately either.
I will never know for certain what happened to Buster, but clearly he trusted in essential kindness of people and automobiles one time too many.
Enjoy our cat mystery sleuth and find gifts and stories for cat lovers, at Janette Blackwell’s Cats and Flowers, http://catsandflowers.com -- or visit her at Food and Fiction, http://foodandfiction.com/Entrance.html