Now for epic conclusion to Blue eyed Handsome Cat..
Jacky was counting on me, I couldn’t let him down. I couldn’t just sit there and allow these crazy people to take Jacky. I didn’t want to start a neighborhood war over this, especially from the loud crazy neighbors with the totally ironic last name. Over the years these neighbors had created quite the reputation for themselves. (THAT is quite another story I must share with you in the future). Lets say for now that I feared for Jacky’s well-being.
I considered keeping Jacky in the house forever but I knew that wasn’t the way. Jacky’s a free spirit and locking him up would be impractical and frankly, I think a bit cruel. Jacky mewed at the door, I let him out. I hoped he would return.
M.M, seeing how bothered I was, went over to the ironically named neighbors and spoke the most level-headed one. We call her Marilyn after Marilyn Munster. (From the old T.V show) She seems so normal but I know better. No one could be normal and live there. Well, M.M. is a diplomat to say the least… he found out that Sally was the only one who wanted the cat. Marilyn, her mother and the matriarch of the family, did not. She said; “Have the cat, we don’t want it.”
I was ecstatic at the news, it was so much easier than I thought….or so I thought.
Jacky didn’t return. Five days passed. I asked around the neighborhood, Marilyn had not seen Jacky, no one had. I feared that Jacky’s friendly and trusting nature had gotten him into trouble. I looked and looked for him, to no avail. I wished that I hadn’t let myself get so attached so fast. I kept up appearances though. I told my family that Jacky was fine and that he was having an adventure somewhere and he would be back any day.
I had a bad feeling, I was convinced that I’d never see that white cat again. I looked out the window, as I had been doing a lot of lately, this time I didn’t expect to see him, I was giving up hope and then there he was.. he was in the street, he looked confused and out of it. He was sniffing the ground like animals do when lost. I could tell from a lifetime of experience with cats that he had been in a car and had just been deposited there in the street.
He saw me and ran to the front door, I let him in. A flurry of meows escaped his little cat mouth. He was a bit skinnier and he looked dirty but there he was in all his cat glory. He also was sporting a cheap plastic collar with gaudy glitter all over it, attached was a metal tag: Hastily scratched into the metal was the word Lucky, underneath was an address..The address was familiar.. very familiar.
I knew right away what had happened. I thought back and remembered that I had not seen Sally or her old green van for a while, about the same length of time I hadn’t seen Jacky…
Sally.. of course it was her, she had taken poor Jacky somewhere in her stupid van, And stupid me had believed them. I am so naive sometimes. The problem remained, We both wanted Jacky. I believed that I should have him since he would be so much happier at my house… I also thought that Jacky agreed…he did somewhat.
Jacky also had built quite the reputation in the neighborhood: He was a friendly sort. The cute little girls next door called him snowball, the blonde teenager across the street called him princess. The people around the block knew him as buttercup and I suppose Sally had named him Lucky. Everyone thought he was a girl cat, I guess because he is so pretty, they just assumed. I know enough to look…and what to look for…..enough said on that.
I took off the collar and the metal tag and put them on the mantle, that wasn’t the best idea, looking back on it… Sometimes I get so bull-headed thinking I ‘m right when sometimes….
Jacky had eaten his fill and slept for a couple of days and he was ready to go out. I let him out the back door and into the garden. He like all the other cats in the area, instantly fell in love with the place. It’s a cat’s paradise back there… he explored and then found a nice cool spot in the back..behind a tall fern. He settled in for a nap. Jacky stuck around for a couple more days, hanging out in the garden, sleeping and hunting moths under the back porch light.
And then, he was gone. He went out the side gate. I was sure he would come back, He’s so happy here, I thought, he even grins at me when I pet him. I walked through the side myself, past the multitudes of potted plants in a long long driveway, I could see a shock of white, running..”Here we go again.” I said out loud to myself… this time though, it was different. Instead of Jacky, my Jacky, running toward me.. he was running over to HER?!
This cannot be. What is going on? Why is he going over to her? I was to say the very least, flabbergasted, I was beside myself. Then when I saw the boy, the little boy, the crazy neighbor’s kid and I guess, Sally’s son, he was calling the cat and running around. Sally was beside him and she was actually smiling… Jacky went up to them and started rolling around on the ground, in that adorable way he does. She, Sally, the one I had watched for years, go into red-faced rages and screaming fits in the street at night, this Sally who let her kids run wild and swore like a sailor. She stroked his white fur with a gentleness I had never seen in her before.
The boy ran around and then in an instant, Jacky was up on his feet and running.. with the boy, back and forth across the tall weeds that make up their front yard. The boy was laughing and so was Sally. Jacky, I think he was smiling too.
I learned much that day. About Sally, about boys and cats. I learned the most about me….
Some time has passed and Sally and I and of course Jacky have made some compromises. The gaudy collar stays on but the tag stays off. Jacky goes wherever Jacky wants to go. Which has turned out to be nights with her, days with me.
Everyone seems a little happier since Jacky’s arrival, now that the dust has settled and I am just beginning to learn about Jacky. He is a special one. He has been going on walks with me as of late, he follows me like a dog. Trotting along, never minding the noises of humans, their machines or their dogs. He is quite the brave traveler. We’ve been gaining some notice around the neighborhood for our walks, maybe I’m creating a bit of a reputation myself.
Have you ever met someone who just appeared in your life, as if out of thin air and acted like they knew you forever. It’s like they we’re just sort of deposited on your front porch and poof…They’d always been there? Well, with Jacky it’s like that. I guess I should let you know that Jacky is a cat. A remarkable cat, that’s for sure.
We first met him on the third of July. He impressed me by his friendliness, he seemed to really like us. He made M.M. his first acquaintance, which is not surprising. what was so surprising was his intensity. At that time, we of course did not have a name for him, or even knew he was an him. Let’s call him “that cat” for now.
I will give him this; he is an attractive animal, that cat. He is white with honey cream-colored markings on this head and tail. His bright azure eyes truly are striking. He makes quite the picture.
We had just returned from a much-needed vacation. We were away for five days. He must have appeared on the scene during that time. It was late afternoon and my nerves were on edge. Sudden booms, it’s like World War Three around there on the third of July. I needed a distraction…and there he was, a shock of white, running across the street away from the crazy neighbors screeching kid. He looked scared out of his wits. I knew I must help him.
I enlisted the help of M.M.. We braved the artillery together (How sweet) M.M. sang out “Here, Kitty, Kitty…” The cat looked at him and ran to him for dear life, not even slowing a bit to look behind him. M.M. scooped him up like it was nothing and the cat instantly relaxed. We took him inside.
Luckily, It being the day it was. Our two cats who off hiding in the bushes nowhere to be found. And except for the old pug, there was no other animal around to make the cat feel unwelcome.
The humans adored him instantly. My daughter, who is thirteen and a devout cat lover, squealed in delight. My son, who’s a bit older, was a little cooler about the cats appearance, but I could tell he was intrigued. I being who I am, knew that the cat was new in the neighborhood. We asked around and one of our saner neighbors told us the cat had been hanging around for days, everyone had a name for her, (He thought the cat was a her) but no one wanted her. His own kids wanted the cat but he was allergic, he suggested I keep her. Knowing what a sucker I am for cats.
We fed him friskies and he was ours.
He slept for days, waking only to eat and drink water out of the bathroom tap. I guess he’s one of those, I’d seen cats like that before. I had one once that was fascinated by water, couldn’t get enough of it…it was the first of his many quirks that time would reveal. The days passed without a lot going on. My crazy neighbors were out-of-town and a calm descended over the ‘hood.
The four of us deliberated during that time and my son came up with Jack Daniels, yes he did… To me, he looked like a Jacky. We settled on Jacky, Daniels being his official last name, told to those on a need to know basis.(aka his friends at school.)
Our two cats were suspicious to say the least. Mario didn’t know what was going on. I know he felt bad. He just sulked for days, sleeping under the desk in the office. Poor Mario. Sunny, or as she is known; Santino, kept her cool and out-of-the-way.
Everything started to return to normal. Mario perked up and Santino stayed herself. The crazy neighbors had returned, I could hear them screaming, as I said, everything was returning to normal. Except for one thing. I could hear a voice… it was….”Here Kitty Kitty, Here Lucky” Who’s Lucky? I thought and dismissed it from my mind.
Jacky stayed out all night, we didn’t see him all morning and then…the screetching, the kids.. it’s all happening again… And there’s Jacky, a shock of white running away from the crazy neighbor’s kid and right toward me. I scooped him up and stroked his fur. He was freaked out, poor thing and he was hungry, he ate, drank the water from the leaky tap and settled in to sleep.
This might become a problem, I thought… I was right.
The next morning while I was watering my roses, the crazy neighbor’s much older kid, let’s call her Sally, comes up to me and asks me if I’ve been feeding that white cat. I reply without beating an eyelash, “You mean the cat we adopted?” She looked as stern as you can be and I must admit, I was a bit scared. She’s a bigger girl than I am. Plus I’m a big chicken. This did not show though, I’m good at that. I didn’t know what happened to her. (her again) She breaks out in a fragment of a sentence. I return a fragment myself..
It was one word. Turmoil. “What”? She asks, confused. I yell, “Turmoil!! And walk away.. this could get ugly. I start to regret taking the cat in and then I think…He is counting on me to save him from them. I must help him. The cute little guy with his charming debonair smile. I can’t let him down….