June 24, 2010

The One About the Cat

I spend most of my days searching the corners of my brain for creativity that will satisfy the NEVER-ENDING request from my daughter to, "Tell me a story, Mommy!" Sometimes we take breaks from the world of fantasy but both my husband and I decided it's easier to just intersperse our conversations with flights of fancy than it is to say no. When I run out of fairytale-style stories, I just throw a few real life stories into the mix. That's where today's story originates.

As some of you know, I grew up in a full house. Five girls, mom, grandma (two different ones at different times), dad, a slew of friends (welcome any time), plus a dog (girl) and cat (girl - oops! - kittens) made for a lot of fun, craziness and - *ahem* - DRAMA at our house. We were also known for constantly running late, which my mom always tried to make up for by driving like a bat out of *somewhere hot* pretty much all the time.
  Not the actual wagon - but you get the idea...

One morning, as we raced to grade school in our super cool yellow Country Squire station wagon with the fake wood sticker on the sides (embarrassingly named by my mother the "Rotten Banana"), we found ourselves getting lots of attention. As you can imagine, riding in this amazing vehicle did not usually fill us with feelings of coolness but on this particular day, people waved and smiled as we passed. We waved and smiled back as my mom (skillfully?) careened down the road toward the light that marked the halfway point to school. There, to mom's chagrin, we had to stop for a red light. We stopped next to a firetruck, which captured our attention, of course. To our delight, the firemen not only noticed us, they also waved and smiled at us.

Then, we realized they weren't just waving at us. They were gesturing - excitedly - toward the back of our bus-length swagger wagon and out-right LAUGHING at us! We looked toward the back of our car - and saw OUR CAT clinging (for dear life) to a tiny ridge on the outside of the side window. For over a mile, she'd managed to hang on, despite mom's Dale Earnhardt Jr. imitation. Mom then demonstrated her less frequently used skill of pulling over gently and we carefully rescued our poor, traumatized cat from her perch. Needless to say, we did not make it to school on time but we definitely had a good excuse!

This is one of my daughter's favorite stories - and it always makes me laugh to remember how we were so excited that those firefighters were waving back at us. We thought we were so cool - and they were just trying to save a life!

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