76: Finding Crimson

76: Finding Crimson

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?

Finding Crimson

You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals.

~George Mikes

In high school, my daughter was given a beautiful tortoiseshell kitten she named Crimson. Crimson liked both indoor and outdoor living and we loved spoiling her.

My daughter began college and Crim-Crim, as she called her cat, stayed with me. One day Crim-Crim went missing. I did everything but have her put on milk cartons trying to find her. Finally, I sadly figured she had taken off looking for my daughter.

Weeks later, driving down our road, I saw Crimson about six houses away from mine, lolling on her back on the sidewalk sunning herself. Two elderly sisters that lived there stood by watching Crim-Crim adoringly.

I stopped and stood at the end of the sidewalk calling “Crim-Crim!” She ignored me in that way that only cats can do. Finally, after I called her name repeatedly, she stopped wallowing and looked sideways at me.

The look was one only a cat can pull off. It said, “Who are you, and why are you calling me Crim-Crim?”

The sisters looked at me, each other, then the cat and back at me. “Oh, is this your cat?” Sister Number One asked me, verging on panic.

I reached to pick up Crimson. She growled at me and gave her best confused look followed by scratching.

“Yes, I was keeping her for my daughter away in school,” I answered, trying to look natural while being mauled.

“Well, she is just the cutest thing!” gushed Sister Number Two. “We adore her! We didn’t know she was anyone’s cat.”

Sister One chimed in. “Yes. We love her. She sprawls on our couch and beds. And, I hope it is okay we have been feeding her home-cooked fish and chicken. She practically devours it.”

Sister Two jumped back in. “We didn’t know she had a name. We just call her Sweetie Pie.”

Sweetie Pie? Really?

The ladies swooned while extolling the uncountable virtues of this cat who was acting like I was trying to return her to a cage of starving wild dogs. My arms and hands cursed me for not putting Sweetie Pie down.

“We understand if you want her back, angel that she is,” Sister One said rather sadly.

Sweetie Pie sprang from my arms and streaked for their house with a “won’t somebody save me?” look on her face as she glanced back at me.

“Oh well, she seems to love you two so much. I would hate to yank Sweetie Pie from her happy home,” I said, applying pressure to my brachial artery.

The sisters did a little jig and clapped their hands together. They practically hopped to their door to let Sweetie Pie in. It was probably time for her shrimp and caviar lunch.

~Linda Nicely Cheshire

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