Monday, November 2, 2009, 11:17 AM, Central Time Zone, GMT
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Undisclosed location, near Porcupine Plain, Saskatchewan
Boom-Boom Kitty sensed that his defining moment in life was about to come. He had sensed it from the moment his mistress was taken down by the bad men.
By some stroke of fate they had missed his presence as he lay quietly against his mistress' breast; still had not found him as they bound her and tossed her into the back of the minivan like some dead thing.
During the whole time he lay quiet and concealed, his mind had been flooded with memories and feelings: of his mother being torn apart by a dog as she defended him; of wandering about for almost a week afterwards, mewing from hunger and fear and loneliness; of the cruel young man who found him and had ostensibly given him to his girlfriend, only to torment and torture the kitten whenever he was drunk and his girlfriend was not around; of the sick "game" called "spin-the-kitty", when the young men and his evil-minded friends used to lay him on the linoleum and spin him around, then laugh as he tried to running to safety, unable to do so because the world spun sickly around; of the time when he was given to the death-place, a place full of cages where sometimes, by a miracle, an animal would be taken away to be loved . . . but where more often animals were taken from their cages and stuck with a thing held by a human that would cause them to go limp and heavy with death; of the day the man had come and taken him away, along with a number of other animals; of the pain of leaving all the others behind, most of whom he knew would soon die; and last of all, that day, that miraculous day, when his mistress had come by and seen him, had looked into his eyes . . . had really looked into his eyes, and had understood.
His wild hope had seemed dashed when he was taken from his new mistress and placed back in the pen, and for a time his world had gone black once more . . . but then his mistress had returned for him! Returned for him and had watched until no one was looking . . . and had taken him from his prison and rescued him!
Not a day went by that he didn't feel incredibly lucky; that by some miracle, some grace, some one had come for him, had chosen him from amongst all those who were lost.
In his mind's eye there were but two kinds of people and animals- those who liked kitties, and those who were mean to kitties. Those who liked kitties were very few in this world and in this life . . . and to be chosen by one of those few . . . well . . . what was that, if not a miracle?
But there was something else, something that had tormented him for all of his short life: he had watched his mother be torn apart. She had hidden him in a bed of irises, and he had obeyed as he did every time they played the "hide" game. But this time it was no game. He had done as she bade him to do- he had remained hidden . . . and from his place of concealment he had hidden like a coward, had watched and done nothing.
How he had dreamed of doing something! Of fighting back; of turning on the evil young man who used to spin him around until he couldn't stand . . . how he wished that he'd turned on him, had sunk his claws and teeth into him . . . why had he always been such a coward? Why couldn't he be brave, at least once?
With such thoughts mixed indelibly with shame running through his mind, he lay quiet, and he waited. And he remembered his mother, and the way he'd done nothing to help her . . . and he remembered the cruel young man, and how yet again he'd done nothing. And now someone had come along and hurt his mistress! His miracle! Someone was trying to take away the one thing that gave his life meaning!
He lay very quiet, and he waited. And as he waited, safely hidden against his mistress' breast, he wondered what he would do: would he bolt and run to safety, once he was discovered? Or would he just cower in fear and shame, as he always did, and hope and pray that someone would come to his rescue?
He felt the vehicle turn a corner, and it was then that he felt a change in his mistress. She wasn't dying, after all! She was awake?
But why was she being so still? What was going on?
And then, it dawned on him: she was preparing herself. She was readying herself to try to deal with her captors, just as his mother had once done as she prepared to fight to the death to protect him.
Boom-Boom Kitty took a deep breath, and decided then to try to emulate his mistress. But born coward that he was, he didn't know whether he would fight or run. And as he lay there in his dark cocoon, he tried to imagine what courage felt like.