Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CAT (11/08/18)
TITLE: Life Lesson from the Cat
By Stephen Kimball
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“Can we get one Daddy? Pleeeaaase!”
My little one seemed entranced as the parakeets flitted about, but his attention focused when a friendly yellow bird climbed up the side of the cage, eager to make a new friend. Before I knew it, we were loading Mr. Affectionate into the back of the SUV. While I have never before owned a bird, I did grow up watching Sylvester and Tweety cartoons, so I should have known better.
Our mostly apathetic, gentle and loving cat was supremely interested from the moment we arrived at the house. Maybe he was just being friendly…but just in case, we hung the bird cage between the couch and the TV, far enough away from any possible launch pad and high enough that he wouldn’t be able to reach - or so we thought.
I’m pretty sure I noticed a hint of jealousy as he sat on the floor, looking up intently, licking his lips. After spending the evening getting acquainted with our new addition, and feeling fairly sure the cat would have already made his move if he was going to, we turned out the lights and went to bed.
Dawn was just breaking when I was awakened abruptly by my younger son. On a normal day, I wake to the purr of a feline engine in my ear. I might hit the “snooze” button but before long it comes back with a vengeance, usually to the rhythm of a twitching tail gently dusting my face. I mean, who needs an alarm when you have a cat?
“Daddy, Daddy…Tweety Bird is gone! You need to get up and find him! Come on, Daddy!”
I already have a “person” of interest in my mind as I head downstairs to investigate. My little one follows me to the crime scene. Sure enough, the cage door is open and no sign of our feathered friend. A lone yellow feather rests on the ground beneath the cage.
For a little guy, my son is pretty good at putting two and two together. Tears began to well up in his eyes and I tried to reassure him.
“Daddy will do his best to find him today, while you are at school…okay? Now go on, and don’t you worry…Detective Daddy is on the job!”
“Thank you, Daddy.” He said, as he slowly turned to join his brother in the car. My heart was breaking for him.
I turned to the cat who was sitting attentively on the couch, watching the whole thing play out, as if he were innocent.
“You!... Did you do this?!... Bad cat!”
“You better get used to this.” I scolded, as I tossed him outside.
I searched the entire house - no bird. “Guess he ate the whole thing.” I reasoned.
My plan was to get back to the pet store and secure a replacement before the boys got home, but as I was sitting at the table making lunch, I heard a flutter above me. I looked up, and sure enough, there he sat on the rafter glaring down at me as if he had just won a marathon game of hide and seek.
When the boys arrived, I got the happy face I was looking for and a hero’s hug for being a stellar detective. Eventually, we managed to corral the bird back into its cage and I had to apologize to my cat but somehow the lesson didn’t really sink in until the following day when I ventured into the kids’ room and found the blinds, which I had just hung the previous weekend, lying in a pile on the floor.
“Hon,” I yell to my wife, who was in another room.
“Look at this! We have got to get the kids to stop rough housing in here. Do you know how this happened? I saw them throwing the ball in there last night.”
She joins me to assess the situation…“Hmmm…I don’t know. But maybe we should talk with the kids before we go jumping to conclusions. Remember the cat?”
“Ouch, right…’Innocent until proven guilty’. Let’s ask them about it when they get home.”
John 7:24 “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
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