Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GOING HOME (from vacation) (09/03/15)
- TITLE: Little Friskies
By Lisa Hudson
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Years ago, before I was married and had children, I had the opportunity to visit with my brother who was in the Army, stationed in Butzbach, Germany. His wife is German, and they had two children, both born in Germany, so I was excited to meet my niece and nephew for the first time. Because the length of my stay was indefinite, and I was actually considering staying in Germany to be able to see other parts of Europe while there, I had purchased a one-way ticket.
Because I was young and naïve, I also arranged to bring Spider, my black cat. Spider had been with me through everything, and I just couldn’t bear to part with him. I made all of the arrangements necessary for him to come with me, including the acquisition of two tranquilizers to help calm him during the long flight. The first pill was for the trip there, and the second for the eventual trip home. The flight there was uneventful, but when I finally made it to my brother’s house and let Spider out of his cage, he disappeared for a week, other than to come out and eat and drink, and well, you know. He was very upset with me.
I was able to stay in Germany from September until March, before I decided it was time to come home. I did get to see some lovely places in Germany, and being a single American female amongst many handsome soldiers who were longing for a bit of home, I felt very popular at the time. Ironically, it was there where I met my husband-to-be, but that’s a different story. Again, due to my youth, and not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to fly home to Pittsburgh, where my sister lived with her family. I chose Pittsburgh because I had no real plans, and was open to where fate would take me. And because my sister paid for my plane ticket home.
I said my goodbyes to my brother and his family as I boarded the plane in Frankfurt. Spider, well doped up on his second tranquilizer, was on his way up the luggage ramp to endure the flight below the plane in the baggage compartment. To my dismay, we had a four hour layover in Brussels, Belgium, and since I was broke, I would have to wait it out in the airport. I was worried about my poor little cat sitting on the plane for hours, so with the staff’s limited English and my playing charades to explain that I wanted to see my cat, they managed to get him out of baggage for the duration of the layover. Imagine these strangers’ looks as they walked by and saw me holding my passed out cat, who really appeared to be dead. Hours later, Spider was back in baggage and I was above him in my seat, anxious for the trip to be over. I was going home, and I was thankful.
My sister was there to greet me as soon as got off of the plane. We headed to baggage claim, and I was desperate to see how Spider was faring. He was wide awake now, literally ‘yelling’ at me for his nightmare. We grabbed a cart to stack my luggage, and placed Spider and his cart on the very top, so I could hang on to him. In an effort to apologize to him, and stupidly thinking he might be hungry, I placed a dish of dry cat food in his cage.
I was telling my sister how glad I was to be back home, and that I could finally read the signs all around me. I took my hand off of his cage, and my beloved cat crashed down on to the floor of the airport lobby. Little Friskies scattered all over the place, and Spider’s cage was literally upside-down. I clamored to pick him up and make sure he was alright, as onlookers stared and tried not to slip on the little pellets of food everywhere. Yes, I was embarrassed, and we tried to get out the door to go to the car as quickly as possible, but I was so thankful to be home again. I think Spider sensed that we were home again, too. It didn’t take him long to claim his throne once we arrived at my sister’s house. And he wasn’t mad at me at all.
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