by Art Proctor
I was awakened to the sound of a cat meowing, and water splashing my face. The night had turned into day with a cold bite to the air and the slight drizzle of rain.
Somehow I ended up wedged between a hedge and a rod iron fence, next to an eave trough. I look down at my new friend, “where am I, and how did I get here?” I ask. I hastily apologize for my rudeness and I introduce myself to the kitty and ask its name. The cat meowed and sneezed. I laughed.
Carefully one limb at a time. I extricated the hold that the fence/hedge had on me. I did a quick visual survey of my environment and went to stand up and immediately sat back down. The prolonged sitting triggered a head rush. Due to my own dumb luck I am way too familiar with this physiological reflex from a concussion a year ago and I am still dealing with residual effects. Slowly, with measured movement, I center myself and raise my hands above my head, taking a deep breath and humming the tune to I Got Rhythm. The cat joined in with a meow or two, and in key no less.
Slowly bending down I pick up the wet and shivering kitten, and reaching in my pocket I search for my handkerchief to dry it off. That’s when I came across the cigar case that you gave me in the diner. It sparked the memory of your lips on my cheek as you whisper in my ear the cryptic phrase, “It’s time to come home.” The cat meows and looks up at me. Finding the cloth, I dry and wrap her, resting her inside my jacket.
Above me, a large window opens and looking up I see the outline of a woman. She is motioning to me and I think her motions are reminiscent of frustrated music conductor. There was a crash and then a scream. The sound startled kitty causing her to stab me in the chest with her tiny talons. Wincing with pain I drop her and she scrams into the bushes.
Oh great, now I have to get the cat.
I debate to go after it, or let it be.