The Hero
Библиотека - Проза о кошках

by Clara Wersterfer



 As quiet as a shadow, Honey Girl came into my life.    I walked out to feed my cats one morning and there she was, sitting apart from the others -- a scrawny tabby and white cat.

The first thing I noticed was her very pregnant tummy.  Great, I thought, she thinks this is the feline maternity hospital.

One nano second after the food made contact with the dish, she dived in ear deep.  After cleaning the dish, she departed, hopefully forever.  No such luck!  Dinner time she was back.  I spoke to her, but she hissed and showed her teeth.

The next morning I dubbed her Honey Girl and started calling her by name.  She hissed.  I extended my hand and she took a swipe at it.

Two weeks passed without progress.  This might have gone on for years except for the storm.  It was one of those hard-driving downpours, accompanied by wind, thunder and lightning.  Literally raining cats and dogs.

Over all the noise of the storm, I heard a definite meowing at the kitchen door.  I opened it to find Honey Girl in a highly agitated state. She was pacing to and fro and practically screaming at me.  Right away I could see she had lost about 20 pounds since morning.

Honey ran down the steps, stopped and meowed at me, and ran back to me.  Twice more she repeated the process until I realized she wanted me to follow her.  Grabbing an umbrella (which lasted all of 2 seconds in the wind before it was discarded), we dashed into the solid sheet of rain.  She led and I followed her to our fence.

There, beneath a shrub, in a little burrow she had made, were three precious, newborn kittens in a puddle of rapidly rising water.  With trepidation, trembling hands, and visions of wearing gloves for the rest of my life to cover the scars she would make with those claws, I picked up one of the babies and held it close.  I still had my hand, so I quickly snatched the other two and ran for the comfort of my house -- Honey Girl at my heels.

Honey stopped at the door and refused to come inside.  I didn't have time to argue with her, so I went the bathroom and towel dried the kitties, who were not moving, and picked up the hair dryer.  Putting it on low, I waved it over them for several minutes before being rewarded with one of them wiggling and mewing.  Another couple of minutes of warm air and the other two responded.

Mission accomplished!  They were okay, but I was still soaked.   I covered them with warm towels and left them alone to change clothes and dry off.  Upon my return, all three were squirming and crying for food.

Placing the babies in a bed, I carried them outside to a corner of the porch to meet their mother.  Without hesitation, she climbed into the bed and began to groom her children.  After she was assured they were unharmed, she gave me a look of pure gratitude and let me pat her on the head, without hissing.  She got some well-earned sleep.  Trust had been established!

The rain had stopped, the babies were safe and doing fine.  I stood there, looking down at her, and admired this wonderful cat who realized she didn't have time to relocate those three kittens to a place of safety before one or more drowned.  She ran for help to the only human she knew, and thank heavens I heard her cry.  She was truly a hero.

Instead of a medal, she received a dish of canned food.  Thereafter, we shared the kittens.  She allowed me to hold and cuddle them whenever I chose.  Honey Girl became my newest best friend, following behind me in the yard.

The kittens stayed with us for eight weeks before going to loving homes.  A docile, spayed Honey Girl is quite happy here.

She thinks I'm the hero of this story, but we know who the hero really is!