48th Anniversary Story Contest – Honorable Mention, Shelby by Tom Magnus
by Tom Magnus
Green Belt, Hermosa Beach. Edge of the hedge.
“Meeooow!” (So hungry.)
“Meow! Meeooow!” (Miss you so much, Momma. Your soft fur, your milk.)
Cars whoosh by on Valley Drive. Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” from rolled down windows:
“Just waking up in the morning gotta thank God
I don’t know but today seems kinda odd”
Stay here, don’t cross!
Hunter and hunted, survival instinct. Hunt, fight, run, hide.
“Woof, woof!” Barking like thunder!
So big, so close. Right behind. Run, run, faster! Hunted.
“Screech! Rrrwaaa!” (No! Stay away!)
Bushes, cover, hide! Safe. Scent of Sage and Lantana.
Light time and dark time. Days and nights. So scared. Miss Momma. Brothers and sisters, all scared.
So hungry, always looking for food. Anything that moves. Instinct. Roach, threw up. Crickets, had quite a few. Spiders. Lizard, only got the tail. Crunchy, not so good. Hunter.
Days and nights pass.
Mmm, food! Yum!
Food again, same place. Food always here.
Scratch, scratch, scratch. So itchy and dusty.
Food again. So good. Yum, yum.
“Whaaahh!” (Who are you? Let me go!)
“Hiss!” (Caught! Can’t escape.)
Bath feels so good. No more itching.
Vet gives shots and spays. Hurt goes away in few days.
New home, nice people. Sheepskin, so soft like momma. Kneading and nursing. Miss momma. Weaned too soon.
Foster mom and family take carrier to Petco on Pacific Coast Highway in Redondo Beach. Curled up in the cage, quiet.
Is this one available?
Smart, funny, and loves company. Calico kitten like my Cally Jo of long ago. Do cats really have nine lives?
Forever grateful to Shelby’s Foster Mom and family of the nonprofit humane organization:
People And Cats Together (PACT) (310) 230-5974. P.O. Box 133. Redondo Beach, CA 90277
PS: PACT volunteers were also able to locate and fix Shelby’s parents. Although they have been wild for too long to be domesticated and will remain feral, they will be able to live out their lives without contributing further to pet overpopulation.