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Smokey's Thanksgiving

Smokey's Thanksgiving

A little present for Thanksgiving came from Smokey.

The house was quiet. The children slept, while their mother and I labored in the kitchen. It was Thanksgiving Day and we worked to prepare our dinner. The turkey sat in the sink where cold water ran over it. A big yellow bowl sat on the counter full of stuffing mix, vegetables, melted butter and broth. I stirred it carefully making sure that everything mixed well.

We had two cats, one a Russian Blue named Smokey, the other a Calico named Zodiac. Smokey was a large cat but was so gentle and tame. Zodiac was wild but stayed around our house. When we got up that morning, they went out to prowl the neighborhood. We lived in a new complex of homes less than ten years old. The land prior to becoming homes was farmland. Bordering the area was a state reserve, which made it seem remote and pleasant.

Occasionally deer wandered into the complex and at times the roar of a mountain lion filled the night. Today the sun was up and the cats went out our back patio door. They went up over the wooden six-foot fence in one jump. They usually prowled our yard, but today was different. They disappeared into the reserve.

My wife stood at the sink hands deep inside the turkey removing the things packaged there. She heard a noise from the patio. She stopped washing and looked at the door. Smokey hung there. He had jumped on the screen about four feet off the deck. He wanted to come in to eat.

I went to the door, slid it open and waited for Smokey to jump off the screen. He jumped down, but something was wrong. He usually cried when he came in telling me what he did. He was very quiet and went into the kitchen.

Before I knew it, he presented us with a present. On occasion, he brought home a dead bird, lizard or some other thing he killed. I closed the door and turned to go in the kitchen.

Suddenly, a loud scream came from the kitchen. I ran to the entrance and looked down at Smokey. I did not see what he brought into the house. My wife was nowhere in the kitchen.

She stood on top of the kitchen table pointing at Smokey. She screamed, "Get it out of here NOW!"

"Get what?"

"Th, the whatever, he brought in."

Then, I saw it. Smokey brought in a field mouse. It was small enough that he carried it in his mouth hidden from view. As I walked toward Smokey, he dropped the mouse. Usually these gifts were dead. However, this mouse was very much alive. It scurried across the kitchen looking for an escape route. Smokey followed it batting at it with his paws.

I chased both of them, as I tried to get the mouse. Smokey trapped the mouse against the wall and held it there. He turned his head looking up at me for praise. I squatted down and rubbed his head. He let the mouse go, just as I grabbed it in my hand. Smokey rubbed against my legs mewling and purring his pleasure.

I took the mouse and showed it to my wife on the table. Smokey followed me closely. He did not want to lose his prize. He jumped on the table and brushed against my wife who screamed again.

I thought what to do with a live mouse? Do I destroy it? Do I let it go only to have it captured again by Smokey?

The tiny mouse squirmed in my hand. Smokey batted at my hand. He wanted his prize back. He jumped to the floor and followed me to the patio door. The struggling mouse moved in my hand. When it bit my thumb, I almost dropped it. I went into the back yard looking for a way to get rid of the mouse.

There was a thicket of tea roses, which climbed part of my fence. It was a gnarled mess of vines and flowers. I decided that the mouse would be safe from harm in there and proceeded to place it there carefully. Smokey tried to get at the mouse, but failed because of his size. I bent down and picked Smokey up in my arms, as he growled at the mouse.

When I walked back into the house, my wife still stood on the table. She shook with fear that the mouse would come back. It took me ten minutes to assure her that it was gone. Smokey sat in the kitchen watching me, as I helped my wife down from the table. I finished the turkey preparation alone.

The rest of the day went as usual. The turkey was good, but Smokey wanted his mouse.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

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