It's funny the thoughts that pass through your mind while you're awaiting rescue.
I don't know how I got under the pile of boxes in the basement, but I do know this: we do not need to save another box. For anything.
The last thing I remember was dialing the phone and leaving MathMan a voicemail that I was having second thoughts about everything in life. That I'd decided that the best way to find my purpose was to become a Rick Santorum groupie.
That may have happened as a result of the cat food eating contest I got into with the monstrous ginger tabby. Oh, I won, but who knows what those cats spiked my food with. You know how cats are. Especially in groups.
I'm getting ahead of myself. The contest happened after I banged my head. When I'm in pain, I don't think straight. I'm all reaction, filterless. The monstrous talking ginger tabby challenged me. You know how I got detention in seventh grade because I couldn't pass up the dare to go into the boys' bathroom before track practice? Well, then how do you expect me to let a challenge from a cat slide right on by?
Wait - more clarification. I banged my head when I fell off the dining room table. See, earlier in the day, I was unloading the dishwasher and noticed how grimy the dining room light fixture's glass globes were. Listen, my job starts in a week and a half. I can't leave a dirty house behind. That's what I was thinking.
Anyway, I stood on the table putting the sparkling clean globes back in place, being extra careful not to drop a screw when the phone rang. As I juggled the glass in my hand the phone shrilled again. Maybe it was someone who wanted to send me on a free cruise if I'd answer three questions about how much I hate government. I stepped back to climb down from the table and tripped over the two gray cats supervising me.
So then my head connected with the dining room wall. The glass globe remained intact and in my hand. I knew this because the ginger tabby opened his mouth and announced that my fall was spectacular. I didn't realize he knew that word. I started to tell him how impressed I was with his vocabulary when it occurred to me that this cat was talking.
"But you're a cat!"
He rolled his golden eyes and yawned, his disinterest palpable. "I'm hungry."
"You're always hungry."
|This cat wants to read Living Arrangements by Laura Walter.|
This was personal for the ginger tabby. He wanted me to know he was still angry about the last time I gave him a haircut and all the other cats laughed at him. As if their bad behavior is my fault.
I was having none of it. My head throbbed and the cat food aftertaste made me feel queasy. "Just wait, buddy, your next haircut is going to be a doozy."
Never have I heard a voice so cold as his when he said, "We'll see about that." His good ear twitched menacingly.
I woke up under a multitude of boxes. My hands were bound together with something that looked like silver twine. As best I could, I searched my pockets. The cats had evidently relieved me of my phone. There was a smell - was that incense? New shoes? No, that was one of the shoeboxes next to my head. Vicks Vap-o-Rub?
I touched my mouth. Tape. I braced myself and pulled the tape away from my lips. Damn. Those hairs would grow back in darker and thicker. I picked one of those silicon packets out of my hair and cried for help, the corners of my mouth still smarting from yanking off the tape. I struggled to get out from under the boxes, but something didn't work right. I shifted around to see what the problem was. My shoes were on the wrong feet and worse, my ankles were duct taped together.
What day was it? How long had I been under this mess? Where was I? The day I fell off the table was maybe Wednesday. Or was it Thursday?
I cried again for help, but no one answered. Where was everyone? My cellphone rang and there was a muffled sound of voices punctuated by meows and growls, but I couldn't identify where my phone was.
I must have fallen asleep again from exhaustion. I was awakened by the sound of a door opening and closing. "I don't know where she is. She said she was going to be a Rick Santorum groupie, but I thought she was joking. But when I got home, she was nowhere to be found. She's been gone for three days and no word. She's not answering her phone either."
"MathMan! Honey! I'm here!" I tried to shout, but my voice came out strangled and weak.
"Hang on a second."
I thrashed around, desperate to get his attention. I tried again to shout.
"There's something under those boxes, Nate. Probably a cat. Go see while I finish this call."
"Dad, all the cats are here. Look, count them. Five."
"Then what's under those boxes?"
"How would I know?"
"Take that broom and poke around. Maybe give it a whack."
You've heard of how adrenaline can give a person in distress superhuman strength? Yeah, well, not this chick apparently. My whole body felt limp. I stayed still hoping that Nate would have the good sense to move the boxes instead of giving them a whack. Or six.
When he got about three layers of boxes into the pile, Nate finally pulled an Ebay box back and stared at me.
"Hang on. What?"
"I found Mom, but...."
I gulped in the fresh air.
MathMan stood next to Nate and peered at me. "Lisa? Are you okay?"
Did I look okay?
Nate leaned in closer. "Mom, where's your hair?"
Your turn. Tell us a story, y'all.