Let me tell you what a joy it is to share some fun with fellow authors and readers! When author Beverly Tiernan and I first played around with the weird photo of her cat, we were just kidding about how interesting it might be to see the stories different people would come up with about that photo. So we decided to invite, or challenge, if you would, some authors from the BooksGoSocial fb authors’ group to write their stories about it. Cats are obviously fascinating, because stories about him are oopping all over the place!
There is not a journey on the planet you would share with Beverly’s cat, it seems. I mean it. Here is Dixie Howell‘s interpretation of the photo.
by Vicki D.Howell/ Dixie Howell
We had a cat when I was a kid that we called Katcha. Her name was Ketchup, but it made everyone laugh so hard, she became Katcha. She was black as the darkest night. She had dark eyes, too. She was so dark that she could stand in the middle of a room, and you would never see her. She did that sometimes. Katcha was a laid back cat, but she was smart enough to have some fun with you when she felt like it. I can remember breaking my toe one night as I stumbled over her. She ambled away as if it were nothing. I was screaming like a girl, which I was. That was Katcha for you. She was a prankster.
She lived with us for over 20 years. It was about year 10 that the amazing change came over her. She began to talk. At first it was simple words like, “eat.” Then, she would answer you back with a yes or no. Her speech was as clear as a bell. In those days we didn’t have cameras on our phones or computers, so there was no way to record any of this. Katcha ran from the old fashioned video camera when the whirling sound began. She might have said, “Catch me if you can,” as she ran to hide behind the sofa.
Once Katcha started to talk, there was no shutting her up. She would wake me up in the morning saying, “Get up. I’m hungry.” We left her cat food out all the time. What could she want? Let me tell you want she wanted. She wanted a regular human breakfast. One of us cooked her breakfast and cut it up so she could eat it. She licked the plate clean. What a cat!
As time went on and we became used to having conversation with her, we noticed that she sort of lit up at night. It was like Christmas lights, but it was only her eyes. Sometimes they were bright blue and sometimes they were bright red. Mostly, they were white lights and they were bright enough that they lit up the room. It was scary at first. But, kids get used to anything, and our parents didn’t pay that much attention. A cat named Ketchup is not a family cat. It is a kid’s cat. Katcha was our sole possession, and we loved her. Our parents thought she was odd since they never heard her talk. Katcha talked to me and to my sister. That’s all. Like I said. She was smart.
One night the windows were open to get the summer air, and my sister and I heard a whirling noise. It was a big noise. It was the kind of noise that if it were a thing, it would blow your hair off. We peeked out the window. There was a flying saucer hovering near the window. We both jumped back, ran to our beds and got under the covers. I sneaked a look and saw Katcha walking up a silver gang plank. The flying saucer took off.
It was devastating. Katcha was gone. No one would ever believe that she talked. No one would ever believe she was abducted by aliens. And, we now didn’t have a cat named Ketchup to make everyone laugh. By morning, we had forgotten all that because Katcha was there at the foot of the bed glaring at me and saying, “When’s breakfast?”
I tried to talk to her about her trip the night before, but she told me to shut up. She said that, “Shut up.” It’s hard to believe as I look back, but that is exactly what happened. She had been raised better than that. But, when she said to shut up, I shut up. I also got up and cooked her breakfast just as she liked. She like scrambled eggs and bacon, and that is what she got. She never said, ‘thank you.” She just ate.
As we got older and Katcha got older with us, we realized that she was an alien. She was not a cat. My sister and I were afraid to tell anyone because we didn’t want to be on TV with her and have to explain. How do you explain that you cat is an alien when you are a kid anyway? But, she was an alien. She left once in awhile when her people came for her, and we never asked her if she went to a party or if she went to see her family. One morning she did have a piece of red tinsel hanging off of her ear. That must have been a fun trip. That night she must have been a wild cat.
One night Katcha went up that silver gang plank, and she never came back. My sister and I waited and waited. Katcha didn’t come back to live with us, but she must have come to see us while we slept. One morning I found a piece of red tinsel on my pillow.
Like I said, she was a wild cat.
She had lighted our way all those years as we grew up and then she left without a word. The worst part was…I had to buy a flashlight.
Thank you, Vicki, for this charming contribution! Another glowing story in the Cat-Tales series!