Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: CHLOE AKA RAMBO
By Norma-Anne Hough
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“Mom please come quickly.” Mandy, my youngest daughter yelled from the garden.
Running outside I saw her standing alongside our pawpaw tree, anxiously looking up. Before I reached her, I heard Chloe’s high-pitched meows.
Our pawpaw tree stands in the middle of our tropical front garden. The garden borders our entrance courtyard. It is a haven for birds, small lizards, frogs, and mice, colourful butterflies, with the occasional leguaan or snake. This was Chloe’s domain and she loved the area. The pawpaw tree had been left to grow wild, as it attracted birds and they ate the fruit we could not reach. Now almost at the top of the tree, Chloe was clinging on. Mandy stood helplessly by while I assessed the situation.
“What are you doing up there?”
“Mum she isn’t interested in you right now; we need to get her down.” Mandy moaned.
“Don’t worry Chloe, we are here. Mummy will make a plan.” Mandy soothed the cat.
By now our two dogs, Captain the German Shepherd and Sheba the Collie, had joined us under the tree. They were most intrigued and barked words of encouragement to Chloe.
“How did you get up there?” they barked.
“Keep quiet,” she hissed.
“Stupid cat.” They answered.
“Wait until I get my claws into you!”
“How on earth did she get up there?” I asked.
“Mum, I have no idea.” Mandy replied, “All I heard were her cries and when I came looking for her, I found her up there.”
Looking up I could see that Chloe was terrified. She was hanging on and crying pathetically. Mandy was also just about in tears, as she loved her cat and hated seeing it in such distress. Chloe was not normally afraid of anything.
“Mandy, listen to me, she somehow got up there and now she must figure it out how to get down.”
“Mum she is too terrified to move. She can’t get down.”
“Go and call dad and see what he can suggest.” I told her, secretly cursing the stupidity of the cat. I was quite sure she had been after the birds or something else and somehow had managed to get up the tree, but quite clearly was too scared to come down.
She was letting the whole neighbourhood know about her predicament and the dogs were happily encouraging her.
David came out and laughed his head off.
”What a stupid cat! There is no way we can get her down. She must figure it out. I do not have a step ladder that high.”
“Please can’t we call the Fire Brigade?” Mandy pleaded.
“No, I am not bringing them all this way on a Sunday morning for a stupid cat.” David told her.
“Leave her alone, she will come down.” David said, storming back inside to read the paper.
Watching her I felt pretty helpless, but secretly agreed with Dave.
“Mum please phone the Fire Brigade,” Mandy begged. “I am not going to leave her out here alone.”
Quietly I prayed for inspiration. Clearly, I did not want to go against David’s wishes, but Mandy was beginning to get very upset. By now Chloe had stopped crying and was watching us intently.
“Wait, I have an idea. Let me go and get her fish out the fridge and begin to cook it. That will bring her in like a shot.”
“Yes, that is an excellent idea. You know how she always races inside when she smells her fish.” Mandy replied.
As I turned to go indoors, I heard a scratching sound. Turning around I saw Chloe beginning to slide down the tree. Unfortunately, she had punctured one or two of the greener paw paws and the sticky white milk had come out and covered her.
Mandy grabbed her as soon as she could and she took her inside.
I telephoned the vet and asked his advice. Laughing he told me to bring her in so that he could check her out.
“Hi Rambo.” He greeted her as we walked in. He laughed as he examined her and said it was the first time he had ever heard of a cat climbing up a pawpaw tree. He gave her a mild sedative and cleaned her up. Luckily, only her pride was damaged.
Author’s note. This story is dedicated with love to Chloe, who sadly died from feline aids shortly after this incident.
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