A grandmother and her grandson were having a conversation.
The boy came into the house standing quietly, looking scared. He began to hyperventilate.
The grandmother ignored his breathing problem. “What have you done now?”
The boy just shook his head, “No, no…” His eyes were wide and scared.
“Tell me. Is it something bad, or dangerous? What is it?”
He shook his head, as if to clear his thoughts.. ”The cat…the cat…”
“What about the cat?”
"I was doing my Science project…"
“A Science project in the middle of summer vacation?”
“I was getting ready for next year…”
"You can’t be still for more than five minutes!
Go on! What happened?”
“I was doing experiments to see how far bubble gum could stretch and I was going to write it on my poster board.”
“And what does that have to do with the cat?”
The six year old swallowed hard and burst into tears. “The cat stole my bubble gum!”
“Grandma! The cat stole my bubble gum and now she is in the tree chewing my bubble gum!”
“A cat can’t chew bubble gum!”
“She was twisting her head like this at first…” The boy demonstrated how the cat acted when the bubble gum got stuck on her teeth.
The grandmother ran outside and surely enough the cat was sitting in the tree chewing gum—or something…she kept twisting her head from side to side.”
“What should I do? What should I do?" The woman ran in circles worrying.
They called and called but the cat just would not come down.
After twenty five minutes the grandmother made a decision to ask for help.
”I am going to call the Fire Department.”
This was so embarrassing! She hoped they would not send big trucks with horns blasting and blaring, scaring people half to death.
“Yes. I would like to report…a…a.....”
There was silence a moment.
“No. There is no fire. Our cat is…er…in the tree…and she’s er…chewing gum.”
The grandmother took a deep breath and started again.
"I said our cat is in the tree and she is chewing bubble gum!”
“Sir, I AM speaking up! Why do I have to keep repeating the same thing?"
“I said OUR CAT IS IN THE TREE CHEWING BUBBLE GUM! What part of that don't you understand?"
"No this is not a prank call. Please sir, if you could just send someone—And please not the big red trucks."
The little boy found his voice, “I want to see the big red trucks!
In about fifteen minutes a man in a red Fire Department vehicle arrived. He got out of his car with a disgusted look on his face.
Well, good morning to you, too.
The little boy spoke up, “Where is the big red truck?”
The Fireman and the Grandmother spoke in unison,
The Fire Chief stood looking at the cat for a long time. The cat was still chewing. The pink gum could be seen very plainly in her mouth.
“What is that in that animals mouth?
The grandmother tried to bring a little levity to the embarassing situation,
"If that cat blows a bubble, I'm moving to another state."
The Fire Chief turned and looked at her quizzically, his bushy brows questioning.
The boy tried to make a joke, too. "If that cat blows a bubble, I'm moving to Mars--or outer space!"
The Fire Chief looked at him quizzically, too. “Who gave that animal bubble gum?”
“Nobody. She took it herself and ran off.”
“Maam don’t you people know better than to keep hazardous materials like ...bubble gum on your premises?
Hazardous? Who knew bubble gum was hazardous?
“I didn’t mean hazardous. I meant dangerous. Bubble gum is very dangerous to cats.”
The Fire Chief gave another long sigh, and looked at them disdainfully.
Then he went to his car and put on a pair of thick denim gloves.
Reaching in the back of the car, he pulled out a shepherds hook- a long stick with a curved end.
He walked up to the tree and tapped the cat.
“He hit our cat!”
The cat fell down scrambling, and the Chief scooped her up. She tried to claw him but the thick gloves protected his fingers. Carefully he pulled the wad of bubble gum out of her mouth and then put her down. She took off running for parts unknown.
“Thank you, sir.”
“All in a days work maam. You folks be careful, please.
Keep dangerous substances like …well like…well…bubble gum ...just kept dangerous substances out of the reach of animals.”
The grandmother agreed. “We will."
She pointed at her grandson. "He’s going to school soon and things like this won’t be happening around here anymore.”
The chief agreed. “Yes, its been a long hot summer. Children need to be back in school.
We just rescued a dog from a roof this morning over on Elm. Kids had made him wings. They were gonna see how far he could fly!"