Friday, January 14, 2011

Greensburg Memories: A Toast to Frisky

Oh, our Frisky kitty, whatever was your fate? I pray it was a gentle sleep on a warm comforter. Today, I found a picture of you that captured all of your spirited orneriness. There you were crawling out of the trash can, leaping up at an unsuspecting four year old Katy. But that was your life, always full of surprises.

You came to us from our friend, Gary, who never knew his gift might someday be the reason he called out the Greensburg fire department to rescue a black and white kitty meowing from the highest branch of the old cottonwood tree. Our trailer and yard on Nebraska Street became your playground for three adventurous years.

It was the pink picture of you that stumped me. Frisky, why were you stained in shades of pink? There you were on the brown and white checked bedspread with a black coat, tail, and forehead and the white underbelly and paws stained in shades of pink and red. Whatever you had played with while I was at work, would soon be solved by sleuths, Katy and Gail. They were the ones who found the magic markers on the bedroom floor, opened, scratched and strewn apart. The camera shot evoked a cat charmingly innocent of all artistic endeavors. Luckily, the olive green carpet showed only a few color blends. For months your pinkness gave the neighborhood much delight.

Frisky and Squirty dog, you both chased back and forth on the linoleum floors of that trailer keeping us on constant alert and in cheerful moods. But once you took a dare only a cat with nine lives would take. I had been in the hospital for a week with pneumonia and came home weakened, but with a trailer filled with delight at my return, and dirty clothes. The dog must have dared you to hide in the warm dryer. I certainly didn't let you in. I did throw my newly washed gowns and underwear into the dryer. With the door closed I turned on the dryer and you, too, to twenty minutes of low heat.

I took a nap at the back of the trailer while Katy and Gail played with Barbie dolls at the front end. We heard thumps but never suspected you. At last the buzzer went off and I shuffled to the dryer. On my first reach I pulled out blood covered lingerie and promptly did what any young woman would have done. I screamed bloody murder.

Katy and Gail rounded the corner at a fast slide in time to see me pull out a wounded cat. You were covered in blood with your eyes, nose, and mouth swollen, ears broken and torn, and a tail more crooked than any tales I've ever told. You managed a weak meow. Tears of joy and fear followed.

We wrapped you in warm towels and called Nurse Arlene for help. In the coming weeks you were nursed back to health by a community of loving people. Pictures show the before with a curling sly tail and the after, a crooked bend and kinks in a tail that would never swipe the same way again.

Frisky, you, too, were the one that could have gotten me arrested for exposing a wet nude body had the bath towel dropped to the ground. I'll never forget the blood curdling screams of little girls outside. Inside, in the shower with only a six inch window open to the outside world, I heard, "Help, Letty, help. The dogs have Katy!" Dripping wet with soap slidding down my body, I stepped out grabbing the nearest towel. Running outside I saw a covey of little girls backed against the trailer and three snarling dogs at the base of the tree.

There stood Katy safe and sound, but the screams continued, "Save Kitty. Save Kitty!" With fingers pointed at the tree I saw you. There you were, only weeks away from the dryer episode, in a feeble crawl to save your life from the ferocious teeth and paws of the barking dogs.

What's a mother to do, but rescue the cat! My screaming and running alone shooed the dogs away, but there you were frozen flat to the tree, just out of reach. One ladder found in the neighbor's yard saved the day. With ladder leaning precariously against the tree, up I went, step by step, one hand on the ladder and one on my knotted towel. I grabbed you by the scruff of the neck and together we gingerly crawled down.

We were all safe that day and lived to tell our versions of your escapades. Thanks for the memories, Frisky.

No comments:

Post a Comment