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One Too Many Cats


    While driving to work the other day, a black cat ran out of the woods and darted across the road in front of my car.  They say that it is bad luck to have a black cat cross your path and this thought played in the back of my mind as I tried to figure out what this cat was carrying in its mouth as it ran, in a fevered pace, away from my car, into the woods, leaving its trail of bad luck for me to cross. And then it hit me.... it was carrying another black cat!   This was certainly the height of bad luck to have two black cats cross one's path, one in the mouth of another and I immediately spilled my coffee all over the passenger seat. The running cat did have a white spot on his back, so I convinced myself that this had to counter the double bad luck of this feline duo in the middle of the road.  In fact, I decided that this must be a sign of good things to come because what are the odds of having two cats run in front of a speeding car and nobody leaving the scene with coffee burns or road rash.  

    Later that day, I returned to my neighborhood where I spied a poodle who had been wandering our streets for days.  His ears and tail had been dyed blue and he was about as hard to miss as the two traveling cats of my morning.  I had to wonder why these oddities continued to cross my path, but more so, I wondered why anyone would dye an animal blue or any other color.

    As I pulled up to my house, my own feline pets greeted me with their little pollen covered feet and immediately walked across the hood of my once clean car.  I started to rethink this good luck/bad luck thing and wondered if I had assessed this all wrong.  A covey of cats sat on the fence and we eyed each other with uncertainty as I tried to recall if I actually knew each of their names.  It was a collection of critters brought home by my child who is unable to resist the call of an animal in need, no matter the color.  At some point, I simply stopped learning their names and they are known only for their personalities.  As "Good Cat" walked across my car, I wondered how bad the others were if she owned this title.

    I have known for years that my daughter possesses some kind of intangible force that draws animals of every kind to her.  A scene still plays in my head of her walking down the road in front of our house with an injured squirrel in her hands, a pet deer walking behind her, a white dog gently walking behind the deer, and a black cat bringing up the rear.  It was much like living with Snow White. The beautiful creatures of nature surrounded her.  My animal magnet seems to be a bit askew as I find myself surrounded by unnaturally colored dogs, yellow footed pets, and black cats resembling Russian nesting dolls.

When I grow old and my children are forced to take care of me, I hope they will pull out a copy of The Napping House and read it to me.  While only a child's book, it will remind me of the many animals who have passed our way, black, white, and dipped in blue.


Anonymous said…
This morning, approaching my neighborhood, a cat was casually crossing the street right in the middle of the marked crosswalk ahead of me. No coffee spilled, but I did literally laugh out loud, thinking of this story of yours.

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