When I was ten years old, my mom and I were shopping at the mall one evening. We stopped into the pet store to look at the animals before we left for home. There was a handsome ginger tabby kitten in one of the cages. I asked if we could buy him, like I always did. I expected my mom to say no, like she always did. But she stood there and stared at that cat in silence.
My parents met on a blind date. When my dad brought my mom home that night, they sat on the front porch to talk for a little bit. My mom’s cat Whiskers climbed into my dad’s lap and my dad started petting him. That’s when my mom decided she wanted to go out with this guy again.
The kitten in the pet store looked exactly like Whiskers, right down to the white patch under his chin. We were between cats at the moment, and my mom had a twenty dollar bill tucked away that her mother had sent her in a birthday card. I sensed her moment of weakness and begged with everything I had.
She asked the clerk to get the kitten out of the cage so we could pet him. After that, there was no giving him back.
After my mom bought Whiskers II with her birthday money, the clerk put him in a cardboard box and folded the top flaps over-under. The cat started yowling immediately, and he had an unusually loud voice for a kitten. As we set out across the mall, people stopped and looked around, trying to figure out what was making that noise. We giggled and picked up the pace.
He wiggled a paw out through the gap in the middle of the flaps. We tried to push it back in, but he was a slippery little devil who was determined to let his unhappiness be known. People stopped and pointed at the yowling box with the orange paw sticking out the top. Whiskers II pulled his paw back in, then wiggled his head out through the gap. He looked like a whack-a-mole and sounded like a cross between a cat and a siren. The sound reverberated off the walls. By this point, my mom and I were giggling uncontrollably.
By the time we made it to the parking lot, the cat had worked both his front legs out of the box. My mom pulled him free and held him tight until we got him into the car. He yowled the whole way home. By the time we stumbled through the front door, he had grown hoarse and sounded more like a strangled bullfrog than a cat. My dad came running out of the kitchen to see what the heck was making that noise.
We set Whiskers II on the floor in the living room, and he finally quieted down. He looked around, then walked through the whole house, taking a quick tour of each room. When he was done, he returned to the living room and gave a little nod, like “this will do,” then sat and started grooming himself.
Whiskers has been gone for almost twenty years now, but we still tell stories about him. Like the time he streaked across the living room dragging something large and white and hid under my parents’ bed. We shone a flashlight under there and discovered he had stolen a full-size bag of marshmallows. Or how he got stuck in an elm tree and decided that since he had run straight up the tree, he should be able to run straight down the tree. (He survived, but there were probably little cartoon birds circling his head for a while.) Or how he would pace the kitchen and meow for hours on Thanksgiving because he could smell the turkey in the oven. He would eat his fill of turkey, and then stretch out in the living room and nap in front of a football game, along with the rest of us.
Or how he always followed us when we went for a walk. We would only make it about three blocks before he’d sit down and start yowling, so we’d turn around and follow him home.
Chris Campbell says
Love this well done
Rosemary Nichols says
What a charming story. I have never met a cat that wasn’t a character. Your Whiskers certainly fills the bill.
Robert Ochart says
I enjoyed your story and it goes to show how animals can impact our lives. I smiled the whole time I read about Whiskers. I look forward to reading more of your writing.
Lovely, sweet story of Whiskers.
Masoud Nassor says
Haha, as a cat lover, who at one had 14 of them I feel the joy that Whiskers II brought to your house.
Masoud Nassor says
I meant at one time…
Fantastic story. I started telling my stories at 11. Retired, I have 23 completed novels and tons more stories. I trelu enjoyed your story and will read the rest. Keep writing.
Masoud Nassor says
Please share the titles of your novels, are they on Amazon?
Judy Clay says
If you are a cat lover, enjoy a clever story or, just appreciate good writing you will probably keep this story and share it with friends. That’s my plan.
Susan Garzon says
Sweet story. Cats are the best!
Sweet story, Angela! I can picture Whiskers in your house with the four of you❤️
Carolyn R. says
Enjoyed your story of Whiskers. Even better I remember Whiskers. Sweet kitty.