We’d like to welcome as a guest author the lovely Wendy Nelson Tokunaga, whose “delectably frothy” (according to Publisher’s Weekly) novel, Midori by Moonlight, debuted in September. Wendy launches our theme this week, neighbors, with a cautionary tale (or would that be tail?!):
The other morning I found a flyer underneath the doormat on our porch. On it was a photograph of a brown-and-white cat lounging in a bathroom sink. The kitty’s striking green eyes had to have been either the result of enhancement with Photoshop or feline contact lenses in a shade of deep emerald. Oh, dear, I thought. A missing cat. Or, perhaps, one that was found without any identification.
But no, this was something different:
Our cat, Mambo, has been getting into something like nails, broken glass, barbed wire, sheet metal, etc. Because of this he has been injured three times, which required trips to the vet.
We have looked around our yard and neighborhood and have not been able to find anything that would cause this. For the safety of Mambo and other pets in the neighborhood, could you please look around to see if there is anything that could cause these injuries?
Thanks very much.
Jennifer and Tom Katz
In an article from LiveScience.com it’s stated that two-thirds of U.S. households (approximately 71.1 million) have at least one pet, and most people consider them to be an important and essential family member. My husband and I have recently joined this club with our adoption of a kitty we’ve dubbed Meow, a champagne-colored Burmese stray who charmed her way into our household by standing on her hind legs and beating on our sliding-glass door with her paws, starting at five-thirty every morning. Now the former street urchin has become queen of the house, enjoying two squares a day, frequent belly rubs, and a nightly bedtime spot between my husband and me on our king-sized bed. We wouldn’t have it any other way. An important family member? You bet.
Yet I have to say that I was a little puzzled by my neighbors’ plea. Weren’t they acting a bit like these helicopter parents I’ve been hearing about? The moms and dads these days who micromanage every aspect of their kids’ lives: writing their term papers, attending their college freshmen orientations, choosing their classes, their college roommates, etc., so overprotective and hovering that their children have no chance to develop any kind of independence? Who can’t accept the fact that they can’t protect their kids from every calamity life may bring?
Now, there’s nothing more independent than a cat. And a cat that is allowed to go outdoors is even more so. And, yes, it’s a good idea to make sure that there isn’t broken glass or barbed wire running amuck in the neighborhood (kids could get into this too, after all). But who knows where Mambo goes when he’s out on the prowl? He could be making his way down to our local harbor, where all sorts of intriguing things go on that would entice any red-blooded cat. He is obviously drawn to places of danger and likes to live life in the fast lane. Maybe there’s a sultry lady cat who likes to hang out by the barbed wire, calling out, “Here, kitty, kitty.” Unfortunately, if you let your cat out, this is the price you pay. And Mambo, it seems, likes to take a walk on the wild side. I have sympathy in regards to Mambo’s injuries, but the only way to avoid harm is to keep him inside.
Now I’m only hoping that the next flyer I receive under my doormat doesn’t say something like this:
Our daughter, Dakota, is a new driver and has been in several car accidents. These have caused injuries in which she required trips to the hospital. We have determined that the reason for these accidents is other cars on the road.
For the safety of Dakota, we would like to request that you abstain from driving during the hours of 8:00 – 9:00 and 3:00 – 4:00 when she is commuting to and from school.
Thanks very much.
Karen and Rob Whirlybird