Preview for A Whiskered Perspective:
Have you ever been set on fire?
Tied up, thrown into a bag, the smell of gasoline filling my nostrils…
Such is the way of the warrior.
I had been minding my own business, hunting mice for dinner when the neighborhood bully caught me by surprise with a pillowcase.
The local humans would whisper I was the trouble tom, always picking fights with their house cats, or spraying on their fence line.
And, of course, attacking the neighborhood bully when he threw rocks at me.
Now he had the advantage. My sharp claws could only do so much damage through the fabric, and he grabbed my legs and tied them so my claws would no longer be an issue. I yowled and spat and hissed with the rage of fire but to no avail. The way of the warrior is to accept death, but this was my seventh life, and I was not ready to give it up. But I could see no way I would survive as the pillowcase caught fire.
“Hey!” a woman screamed.
I heard the bully run away laughing as my flesh started to sear. The pain was building, and even with meditation techniques, I could not get my mind far enough from the pain.
Then my miracle came. Someone doused the pillowcase in water. Cold, blessed water.
The ropes came off and the makeshift sack was opened. Delirious as I was, I knew not to struggle as this random woman, this passerby, scooped me up in her arms and carried me down the street. She took me into her house and tended my wounds while I lay panting, grateful to be alive.
Weeks go by, and I continued to heal and snuggle with this woman. I made sure to do nothing to upset her, to throw me away, and only sprayed in the litter box and did my business there. She was grateful for this kindness and cleaned it every day for me.
Her house was a small three-bedroom house. She lived alone, a teacher educating other people’s children but coming home to no one. I was the answer to her loneliness. She talked to me every day about the goings-on in her life. She kept a diary, which I read from time to time. We were grateful for each other.
This is the story of my friend and me.