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At two minutes past eight on a boundlessly sunny Saturday morning in June, the cat scuttled out the front door of the Johnson home, raced across the lawn and onto Thorndike Street, where it was promptly struck by a Toyota Tercell, and vivisected from skull to sternum ("the long way"). Bits of cat innard gleamed in the sunshine; bone shards littered the sidewalk; a divot of orange hair, formerly attached to the animal's hindquarters, had landed, most improbably, directly atop the Johnson mailbox. It looked a bit like a bad toupee.
Five year-old Wendy discovered the cat a half hour later.
"Daddy, why is Snuggles sick?" She was standing over a patch of crushed cat-face. A blue-green film was trickling out of the eyeball and pooling on the pavement.
"He ate some bad cat food. He's got a tummy ache." Her father had a whisk-broom in one hand, a dust pan in the other, and a cellphone pressed between his ear and shoulder. He swept the skull fragment onto the dust-pan and dumped into a two-ply garbage bag. A length of blood-smeared tail stuck to the dustpan; he had to knock the pan against the sidewalk repeatedly to dislodge it.
"Are we going to give him medicine, Daddy?"
"You know, Don: new day, same shit. But whatever, I'll be down there by two this afternoon and we'll grab a couple of drinks and see what we can't work out."
"When is Snuggles going to get better, Daddy?"
"You're shitting me! You're SHITTING me! No shit? I love it. Beautiful, man. That's...Honey, Snuggles will be BETTER TOMORROW, ok?" -- he tried to sky-hook a leg into a trash barrel, but he rimmed the shot -- "Hang on Paul, I've got another call coming in..."
Date Written: March 01, 2004
Author: Craig Lewis