Wednesday, June 13, 2007

little sacrifices

I woke up to rain and my father's huge shadow in my bedroom door. He told me to get out of bed, he had something for me. In the living room floor sat my mother, a short haired black and white cat in her lap, my baby brother on his knees beside her looking on with his robin's egg blue eyes.

My father worked midnights and it was early morning when he left his office in the pouring rain. He drove a 1972 Chevrolet pick up truck in those days. The back was loaded with farm paraphernalia: baling wire, feed sacks, a fence stretcher, his tool box. As he walked to the truck he heard pitiful meowing from the bed of the truck but could see nothing. Finally he found her hidden underneath feed sacks trying to stay dry.

Daddy is allergic to cats. I had been asking for one for months. The drive from his office to our little town took him right at an hour. The grateful little cat curled up in his lap on the drive home and purred. By the time Daddy woke me his eyes were red and swollen. But something made him bring her home to me.

We named her Katie and within a few months she had gotten pregnant. She lost that litter of eight and the next one of six. Mama talked about having her spayed then she popped up pregnant again. Four this time, and three of them lived. All black and white, one long haired. I remember crawling behind my mother's olive green wing back chair to watch the kittens, amazed at the new life. My brother had just begun to talk. The long haired little boy had a face of mostly white, with an inky spot decorating his nose. My brother dubbed him Blacknose. He lived until I was seventeen.

Daddy is still allergic to cats. When my children found a pair of kittens someone had dumped on my parents' farm, they ran for their Pa-pa to help them. Daddy loaded the children and the kittens into his truck and took them all up to Mama. When I arrived to pick them up my mother was sitting in the middle of the floor with kittens in her lap and my children gathered around her.

I had no choice but to bring them home.


lady macleod said...

fabulous, fabulous story! I like your Dad.

thank you for putting me on your blog roll, that's very kind.

Iota said...

I love this story. I like your Dad too.

Kim said...

Good to see you're better, Lady M. I am glad you enjoyed the story. You belonged on my blog roll. I read you every day.

Iota, glad you liked it. I like my Daddy, too. He's pretty special. Thanks for dropping by.

jason evans said...

You're a very good storyteller. I like the nostalgic feel of your writing. :)

Kim said...

Thanks, Jason. I hope you enjoy my stories half as much as I enjoy yours.