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