Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kitty Treats

The first sentence is non-fiction.  Everything else spun out in my mind as I was putting away the ladder.

Kitty Treats

Toby’s daughter was sobbing, sobbing, sobbing because her beloved cat was trapped on the roof of the three story apartment building next door and he tried calling it, then shaking a can of kitty treats to lure it down but no cigar, so he grabbed a ladder from the shed, lugged it up the three flights of rickety wooden stairs built on the back of the building and climbed up, holding onto the lip of the roof with one hand while shaking the kitty treat can with the other until the cat strolled unhurriedly over.  He had the animal comfortably in hand just as the woman living in the upstairs apartment flung open her back door to find out what the ruckus was all about, and the bottom fell out of the world.  He was tossed three stories down onto a gravel driveway, spent eight weeks in the hospital, and over time developed a taste for Oxycontin and the handy workers comp check that came in the mail every month.  His wife left him about a year later, took the kids, let him have their house, the three stories of the apartment next door looming over him like an Old Testament God.  His daughter is in college now, though he doesn’t talk to her much anymore.  But she calls him on his birthday every year, and always remembers to thank him for saving her cat.


Last Tango said...


Last Tango said...


Mary said...

Parenting IS dangerous.

slommler said...

No good deed goes unpunished!! HA!

Laurita said...

Such a sad story, and yet undeniably funny. Life's like that sometimes, I guess. :)

Shayna Prentice said...

Confucius say, 'ladder & cat treats make for bad combination.' Clowncar, your mind certainly spins out in wonderful storytelling ways!

Margaret said...

Very tragi-comic.

"like an Old Testament God" - this association hits the spot.

Sabra said...

Cracking me up this am.

Clowncar said...

Brando: Ha! And again I say Ha!

Well put Mary. I have the scratched on my arm to prove it.

SA, in real life I was thanked profusely. Only in my fiction is the universe so relentlessly punishing.

Thanks, Laurita. I was going for the cheap ironic laugh. But cannot deny there's a worldview hiding in there somewhere.

Shayna, it told itself. The ladder was right in front of the back door, and I was wrestling the cat down while wondering if anyone was home, and what they were thinking. If they had opened the door the life may have imitated art.

Margaret, that Old Testament God line is the only stab at an a actual...well, not meaning. But context.

Daisy, glad you am cracked up. I miss the Big Bouquet! Send us your flowers!

Land of shimp said...

Oh deary me, a terrible price to pay, and a fun satiric comment on cats in general, parenting, and the pitfalls of the human experience.

Perhaps in a splinter universe he had the wisdom to seek help for his addiction, and stopped blaming the thing with a brain the size of a walnut.

Or the neighbor, for that matter ;-)

Cute story, and isn't that a fun thing to do? Take one sentence and spin it into a tale. I used to meet up with some friends online and do that for fun.

My favorite was: "It's three a.m., I'm drunk, I'm tired, and there's a dead seagull on my kitchen table." as the starter sentence for a story.

Goodness did we off that bird in a myriad of ways.

Clowncar said...

Shimp, I'd love to see that story from the POV of the seagull. It's 3 a.m., I'm dead, and this drunk guy is sitting next to me.

ArtSparker said...

What a wonderful thing the imagination are.

Enquiring minds want to know...were you laughing out loud as you wrote this?

Clowncar said...

Writing it out was a pretty dull mechanical process that took 5-ish minutes. But thinking it up in the first place was making me grin.

Sabra said...

I too miss the ramble that was the bouquet.