First off, where has the time gone!!!! Oh my, I must have had an amazing summer and early fall because I let pretty much everything else go! Well, now the kids are back in school, routines are in place and I can once again commit!
Now, on to my nine lives story!
Several weeks ago, I was driving across the gully near my home when I noticed a dead animal in the road. As I got closer I realized that this poor animal appeared to be my neighbors cat named Squeaker. Before I go any further I need to explain a few things about Squeaker.
First, I am a dog person myself, but this cat is invaluable as a mouser and window well cleaner. Since his arrival at my neighbors a few years ago we have had nary a mouse in the house. We regularly have dead birds in our window wells from birds hitting our big picture window and this crazy cat gets them out and takes care of them every time. (So much nicer than doing it myself, and we really have been trying to find a solution to the bird problem, I promise!) Anyway...
Second, Squeaker is strictly an outdoor cat. It was one of the stipulations by the dad of the neighbor kids. He has the worst allergies of anyone I have ever met. They have tried all kinds of animals and it always causes a problem. When the kids brought Squeaker home they hid him from their dad for a long time. He finally noticed that he was having trouble with allergies in the garage and the kids fessed up about the cat. Their kind dad agreed to a compromise, as long as the cat never came in the house, he would tolerate the garage being a den of runny noses and swollen eyes. His wife is the one who does the yard work anyway because he works crazy hours, so it was a win win for everyone! But, he did tell the kids that once Squeaker died, there would be no more pets of any kind! A man's willingness to be uncomfortable can only go so far!
Third, the neighbor kids love and adore that crazy cat. My kids do too for that matter. He has a funny personality and he loves to tease any dog that walks near his hiding place. It is a funny thing to watch. That is, it's funny until the cat messes with the wrong dog, which he did one day when a stray happened into our neck of the woods. That is a story for another day, but let's just say the cat ended up with stitches and a drain and we didn't know if he would make it through the night. He did. Everyone rejoiced!
With all of that you can understand my sadness as I saw Squeaker lying in the street lifeless. I didn't want to leave Squeaker in the road because the kids would be coming home from school soon and it wouldn't be a nice thing for them to see, but, I had my 5 year old with me and didn't want her to see what had happened either, so I called my neighbor and told her where she would be able to find their cat.
Later that day the funeral was in the neighbors backyard by their big pine tree. They dug a hole, laid the cat to rest and buried him. Then the older brother gave the eulogy. The neighbor kids and mom were in tears, rightfully so, but the youngest in the family was beside herself. They all talked about what a great cat Squeaker had been and that Heaven was a better place because he was in it. No cat could ever have a nicer funeral.
Hand in hand, they walked solemnly together back towards the house and climbed the stairs of their deck. When they reached the door the youngest felt something touch her leg and looked down.
She screamed in shock!
Standing right next to her was Squeaker!
They could not believe their eyes. The youngest asked if Squeaker had come back to life and the mom wondered for a horrified minute if they had just buried him alive! The older brother ran to the pine tree to check, and to their relief the cat was still there. It wasn't Squeaker they had buried after all.
Tears and laughter and a hefty dose of shock filled the air. One of the girls asked if they should try to find the owner of the dead cat. Their mom told them that no, they should leave him in peace and that hopefully the owner would know that the cat had been well cared for in his death.
When the neighbors called to tell me that Squeaker was still alive I could not believe it. That crazy cat has gotten himself in more scrapes and situations than he should and this time he really dodged the bullet.
I won't jinx things by telling you how many lives he has left of the nine, but rather, I'll just say that I hope to be seeing him for a long time coming!