My normally calm husband was in an agitated state. Did you see that, he wanted to know, and then rushed on to explain that when he opened the hood of my car to check the windshield washer fluid, a cat jumped in his face. He was muttering about a near heart attack and I was thinking how strange it was because we haven’t seen cats in our area for years. Yes, strange.
Lately I’d been thinking of getting another cat. After more than three years, I still miss our Tiki terribly. Hubby is quick to remind me of our deal. Lexus and Tiki would be our last pets. At the time, it seemed reasonable. We wanted to travel.
What colour was it, I asked him. A striped green, he said. Green? There are no green cats. He insisted it had a greenish tinge to it. Big or small? My need to know every detail has always annoyed him. I stifled my other questions.
It was a puzzle why this cat was under the hood. It hadn’t been cold enough for cats to seek shelter. And where did it come from? Well, I reasoned, people sometimes drop off cats in the country. Dastardly act.
The next day my husband mentioned I should lift the hood before starting the car. He was quick to assure me that the cat wouldn’t be there. I guess he imagined how catastrophic it would be if it was there when I fired up the car. I can’t even think about it.
I packed the vehicle, opening and closing the doors and trunk until I had everything loaded. I got inside and buckled up. If there were a cat under the hood, it would be gone with all the activity. Besides, the sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning. I hesitated. What if? I’d never get over it. Neither would the cat.
I unlatched the hood and opened it slowly. There she was. Her ears were too large for her sweet little face. Just a young cat. She hunkered down, staring straight at me. Marv was right. Her colouring was very different. I should have reached out and scooped her up. I should have. Instead, I clapped my hands. ‘Git! You silly thing, you’ll be hurt if you keep doing that.’ What was I thinking? She flew off the engine and hightailed it across the yard.
For the next few hours, all I could think about was the cat. I phoned Marv. Watch for her, I said. If you see her, she’s mine. I’m naming her Taurus. Seemed fitting. He sputtered a reply. It’s not as if I was actively looking for another cat. After all, a deal is a deal. But she was there for a reason, and it wasn’t shelter from nasty weather.
After a couple of weeks, I returned home, parked in the same spot, and hoped for the best. The next morning, I gingerly opened the hood. Nothing. She wasn’t there.
Hubby said he hadn’t seen her since I left, and I sort of believe him. I think of all the heartbreaking scenarios. Our busy road. Coyotes. People who don’t check under the hood. I feel terrible. I should have picked her up for a snuggle instead of scolding her. Marv, tired of hearing me moan about it, told me she’d probably have scratched my eyes out anyway. After all, hadn’t she jumped in his face.
I know what you’re thinking. Go to the humane society and pick out a cat. No, it’s not the same. Taurus is out there somewhere. If she’s looking for a good home, maybe she’ll give me a second chance. I’ll be waiting.