We’d had the cat less than a week. She and Milo, the dog, were still getting used to each other. He often had to tip toe over her as she scrambled around his feet and chased after his tail.
She was certainly living up to her name: Shadow. It’s hard to get used to a creepy little ball of black shooting out from dark corners while I carry a stack of folded laundry down the hallway.
Many a stack found itself up-heaved onto the floor as I scrambled to dodge the clawed, fanged furball that detached from the shadows, attacked whatever flesh she could reach, then retreating before I could register what happened.
She was still kinda cute, despite the pointed razors at her toes that had all but shredded the skin on my hands.
Shadow was trouble from the get-go: snagging my favorite sweaters, leaving unbelievably vile kitty bombs in the litter box I couldn’t believe her cute little body was capable of creating, and stealing the dog’s bed.
It was on the fourth of November that she gave me a scare when she disappeared for about an hour, then began screaming in the most horrible way.
“Shadow?” I called out, as if expecting her to shout back her exact location.
Wesley followed closely at my heels while Caleb snoozed away the drama.
I followed the sounds of screeching and howling and finally found the little furball kicking and struggling beneath the corner of my bed. Stuck to her entire backside was a sticky rat trap, placed there with the intention of catching the occasional scorpion by the recommendation of pest control.
I lifted the screaming kitten and tried to tug the fur loose, but it was stuck.
It was more stuck than a cheerio up a toddler’s nose.
The more I tugged, the more she squirmed, and the more stuck she became.
I’d only seen this happen one other time to a neighbor’s dog, a white cotton ball of a thing that had not one, but three sticky traps clinging to her fur. It took a professional pet groomer and an electric trimmer to shave the dog bald.
There was no way this cat would tolerate a trimmer held anywhere near her body.
I Googled how to remove a sticky trap from pets, and it appeared I was by far not the only person who found themselves in such a predicament.
I followed the instructions on my phone screen and applied some vegetable oil, but it didn’t make much of a difference.
She was still more stuck than a Lego man in a Play Doh wad.
I tried sliding a pair of rounded-tipped scissors between her flesh and the trap, snipping one little hair at a time. But for every one that I cut, six more got stuck.
More stuck than a golf ball in a home theater system subwoofer.
It finally took persistent tugging to get her free. So there I was, saving that dang cat for the second time.
To this day, she hasn’t shown an ounce of appreciation.
As of the sticky traps, they’ve claimed many more victims since.
Goodbye, brand new Paw Patrol socks.
ROW80 Checkin: My goal of 1,000 words per day is the perfect goal. I have written that as a minimum each day, strictly on the manuscript that is a fairytale reimagining. I’ve been able to recycle old scenes from old works that fit perfectly, and match my MC’s voice flawlessly.