Monday, May 22, 2006

No One Noticed
The open garage door was too much of a temptation for me to dismiss. It spoke to me of freedoms I had only dreamed about while drowsily contemplating the back yard through the windows. I slipped right through and no one noticed.

At first, it was a lark. Feeling different textures on my old feline paws: the cool-freshness of the dirt, the scratchy-dryness of the winter grass. It was an adventure that I wasn’t about to miss. And the smells! My nose quivered with each unfamiliar odor. I couldn’t wait to explore more and find out the answers to the questions these smells put to me. They led me across the backyard and up to an old oak tree where I smelled my first squirrel.

No one in the house noticed as I climbed up. After all the years I dreamed of that tree, saw it from my carpet perch and wished someday to actually feel the bark under my paws and to see how high it actually went, I was finally here. It was harder than I imagined and the height was a little scary. Once I was up though, I couldn’t see a way to get back down. Part of that tree stretched over the roof of my house, so I cautiously crept across the barren branch to safety.
For hours I sat there and stared in wonder at the full moon in the sky. It was bigger than I had noticed before from inside my house. I was awestruck in its silver beauty. So much that I yowled my pleasure to its face.

No one noticed as I crossed to the other edge and made my way down to the front yard and across the road. Having made it this far, I was curious as to what lay ahead of me around the corner. I soon found out as I loped down the street. More and more wooden houses, similar to the one I lived in. Some had different colors, some different shapes. I felt confident that I could find my way home later, so on I went until my peaceful contemplation was interrupted by the snarl of an angry beast in the backyard of one of the strange houses.

"Stop! Where are you going?" the angry canine voice called to me from his doghouse.

I was too scared to answer and ran off in my fright. I never noticed that I was lost until it was too late.

By now I had reached a large forest that seemed to stretch for miles. Red eyes gleamed from within. Were they foe or friend, I wondered? Tentatively, I let out a questioning meow and listed silently for an answer.

It wasn’t long in coming.

"Whooo arrre youuuu?" it purred. It was a stray male cat. My mother had warned me of the wild ones, the ones who raped the females, so I didn’t answer and walked away. But he followed, all the while speaking to me of the joys of freedom, the pleasures of living in the forest. He called to me with each yowl and tempted me to stay.

No one noticed as he seduced me with his words and rubbed against me. Afterward, we ran through the forest together and celebrated our freedom. He brought me food I had never tasted before: wild mice that lived in the earth, and bugs that crawled through our claws. The world was ours and I reveled in it all.

Later that night, I slept. He lay beside me and kept watch.

Had anyone at home noticed I was gone? Did they care? I wondered as I fell asleep. I didn’t care too much. The outside was more wonderful than I had guessed and I wasn’t ready to go home.

Snow began to fall the very next day. I had seen snow, but didn’t realize it was so cold and wet. Each flake that landed on my nose melted. My tongue crept out to taste the flakes, but it was just like water, so the novelty wore off quick.

My paws were getting very cold and muddy. I tried licking them to keep them clean, but it was a wasted effort. My companion left me to find food, so I curled up under a fallen tree and slept a bit. When I awoke, it was almost dark and I was cold and miserable. Snow drifted down faster and faster and I finally decided to go home. I didn’t like being cold and wet. I wanted my carpet perch in the window, or my pillow near the fire. I needed to be warm.

So I walked.

I walked for hours, it seemed. I tried calling to my new friend, but he never answered. For as far as the eye could see was nothing but trees and snow. No haven for me to warm myself in. No home to be found. I sat and yowled in my misery. Yowled and yowled until I couldn’t make a sound. Curling up, I lay down in a patch of leaves and wondered if they missed me at home. I was too old for freedom and should have stayed inside.

No one noticed as the chill began to set in. No one noticed as I died.

*authors note: I know that this is a bit maudlin....well, a bunch, but this was an assignment and this is what flowed out of my depressed brain at the time. - Dana
Copyright Dana 2005
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Name: Dana
Location: Chicago, and if y'all call me a Yankee, I'll have to cyber-smack ya'!

I'm just a mom of two, a crafter of jewelry, and to keep my sanity among the Yankees (kidding)I write southern-themed poetry, short stories and memoirs. I have been published on the web on sites such as USA Deep South, Southern Humorists, Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal, Mosaic Minds and Long Story Short. I am also a contributor in Dew on the Kudzu and Weight-Loss where I write dieting humor.

And this is my blog... Kudzu, funny family stories, poems, family ghosts, snakes, sun-kissed southern memories all inside! Plus some travel reviews, recipes and more! I also make handcrafted jewelry! Check out my jewelry blog - Colors of the Woods

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Copyright  2005 Dana Sieben - All Rights Reserved

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"I believe that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you can not baptize cats." - Larry the Cable Guy

A Tennessee man and an Alabama man were both fighting in a war and were captured by the enemy.
"Before we put you to death," said the enemy, "do you have any last requests?"
"Yes," said the Alabaman. "Could you play 'Yeah, Alabama' before you shoot me?"
"Sure," said the enemy. "How about you, Tennessean?"
"Could you shoot me before you play 'Yeah, Alabama?'"

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