Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)
- TITLE: My Purr-fect Red
By Arlene Baker
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I once had a cat named Red
Who couldn’t get it into his head,
That cats have class
And cats have style
He thought he was a dog instead.
Red came to me in the late autumn of his life. Actually he was pawned off onto me by an elderly lady close to winter's end in her own, and my inability to say “no.”
Red needed me and I needed Red. His owner had moved on. My husband had moved on. He joined my family of three dogs and two other two cats: Shrek and Baby Girl. Shrek (can you guess when he came into my life?) was an orange tabby, and Baby Girl a gray one. Red settled right in, embracing all his feline and canine siblings.
Red had already lost a few things along the path of his life’s journey — his voice, claws, half his tail, one eye, and…um…his male status. He also had a mouth filled with rotted teeth.
My friendly feline was a huge tom cat, but that never stopped him from believing he was a wee cutesy lap dog. When he bounded up, I had to redistribute his bulk in my lap and avoid circulation issues.
The one thing Red had left intact was a roaring purr. He loved to soften me by his vibrating song, then he would perch himself upright in my lap, lay a paw on each shoulder blade and rub his face against me. Next he gazed at me with that one big, luminous aqua eye — and sneezed. Believe me; he had the breath that accompanies rotted teeth.
Red worked the neighborhood every time we moved, greeting everyone with his big grin and noiseless mews. I spotted his large beautiful snow-white-and-flaming-orange form on various porches up and down our street.
He escorted me to my car every morning and reappeared the moment I returned. Since I shared a driveway with my neighbors, Red added them to his greeting duties.
The neighbor took to calling Red “One-Eye.” Red answered to anything — all he asked in exchange was lots of love and attention. Every time Dutch returned in his mega-truck, Red was right there to greet him.
One day Dutch returned home with his young grandson. Instead of Red greeting him, Shrek ran to the truck.
“Look Grandpa,” squealed the excited boy. “This time it’s TWO-Eye!”
I miss Red.
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