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Today I'm featuring another Honorable Mention entry from this year's Write a DearReader Contest.
Beth Dearing says, "I had no intention of entering this year's Write a DearReader Contest, but week after week I would read Suzanne's encouragements sent out to all those writers in the rough that read her column. And one day as I was reading her suggestions of topic ideas such as something that has happened to you, I simply wrote out the story of how my mother acquired her most recent cat. The latest one was only three ounces when she rescued him, and certainly wouldn't have lasted much longer without her."
Congratulations to Beth Dearing, an Honorable Mention winner in this year's writing contest.
It was late in the evening when she started the car and headed home. She adjusted her spectacles and hunched forward over the steering wheel, imaging the picture she made for any onlookers, typical little granny driver. She smiled at the thought; she was indeed a grandmother of six. She adjusted her hips in the seat to relieve the pressure on her sciatica and winced a little at the pain, she had realized recently that her body was starting to feel older.
Something in the road caught her eye and she hit the brakes harder than she meant to. The car screeched to a stop and it took a moment for her to collect herself. Looking up, she saw there was something in the road. She opened her car door and the chill October air touched her. Sitting in the center of the road, illuminated by the headlights, was a tiny orange kitten. She looked around but saw only corn stalks moving in the wind. No mother cat, no other kittens and no nearby buildings.
"Move along kitty," she called, but the kitten didn't move.
"Oh goodness," she said to herself as she maneuvered around the door and towards the little fur ball. Suddenly it darted sideways into the cornfield on her left.
"That's home? Ok then," she called after it. As she got back in and pulled her door shut, she glanced up and the kitten was back in the middle of the road. She tapped the horn but the kitten only stared at her.
She got out of the car again, hands on her hips, considering. As she got closer, she could see one of the kitten's eyes was sealed shut with ooze and its body was terribly thin.
"Well, come on then," she said and this time the kitten held still. She put it on the passenger seat and placed a hand on it to try to keep it still as she drove but as soon as the car started, the tiny body was all activity. It leapt up the seat and perched on the headrest. Then it climbed up onto the dashboard to explore and by the time she arrived home, it was seated behind the steering wheel blocking her view of the road. It began to talk in pitiful squeaks and mews.
"If only I understood kitty because you certainly have a lot to say," she noted as she carried it inside her house.
Leo and Francis, the resident cats were not pleased to see this little bundle come in with their food lady. They hissed and ran out of the room.
"Well, that wasn't very friendly," she told the kitten, but she laughed it off. They were not mean cats and they had been rescues themselves four years earlier. Her youngest daughter had found them not far from where this kitty had been and had gifted them to her because she couldn't keep them.
She put out a dish of milk but the little thing had no idea how to lap up the milk and only stepped in it crying louder. She found an eyedropper and was able to get the milk into its mouth until finally, full and exhausted, it curled up on her lap and fell asleep.
Looking down at the little body she asked, "What are we going to call you? I found you on Salem Ridge so how about Salem? It's kind of a Halloweenie name and its almost Halloween. And I keep hearing that orange is the new black." She smiled down as the little furry sides heaved in and out. She would have to keep it, there was no question about it.
"Three cats?" she wondered aloud. "How did this happen? I've become the crazy old cat lady of this street!" She shook her head laughing and then took the little kitten and went upstairs to sleep.
Honorable Mention, 2016 Write a DearReader Contest
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
AUTHORBUZZ: With so many new books out every week, we promise these titles deserves your attention:
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This month's Penguin Classics book is The Charterhouse of Parma, by Stendhal. Start reading now and be sure to enter the drawing for your chance to win a Penguin tote bag.