Alma Grabher looks like she’s getting ready for The Spotlight. Her appearance is Very Dramatic: short, shiny coat, sleek black against the Whitest White EVER. And those Very Large Green EYES. Woof!
Oh, sorry, I got ahead of myself.
Miss Alma Grabher is a cat. A slender, petite cat. An, underneath all that bee-oootie-ful, dramatic X-TEARY-ur, she’s a shy, timid liddle lady.
So shy an timid that, when me an my assistant rang the bell an the door opened, there stood a lady. Alone. Totally catless. We heard soft scurrying sounds and got a nano-second glimpse of a long black tail disappearing around a corner.
“Good morning,” I said. “I’m Bonzo the Columnist and this is my assistant. We’re here to innerview Miss Alma Grabher.”
The lady introduced herself as Alma’s Mom, Andrea, anna man sittin’ inna chair as Alma’s Dad, Walter. She invited us in, then excused herself an disappeared around the same corner that the cat(tail) had. Presently, she returned carrying Miss Alma, who had her nose tucked under her Mom’s arm. Sitting in her Mom’s lap, she ever so slowly raised her head an peered at me with Those Eyes.
In the softest voice I could possibly muster an still be heard, I said: “It is indeed a pleasure to meet you, Miss Alma. I understand you have quite a tail to tell. I’d be honored to hear it when you are ready.”
“Of course. Other than my stepsister Lucie, I’ve had little association with Dogs, so I believe I’ll stay right here on Mom’s lap, if you don’t mind.”
Her voice was what I think flowers would sound like. If they could talk.
“By all means,” I assured her. “Begin whenever you’re ready.”
I scooched a liddle closer, so I wouldn’t have to keep askin’ ‘What?’ and Miss Alma began, her shiny black tail swishing back and forth as she spoke.
“Before me, Mom an Dad had Lucie, whose favrite thing was her evening walk with Dad on the Boardwalk by the ocean. As she got older, Dad’d carry her so she could still enjoy lookin’ at the ocean. They’d always drive over the Barber Bridge but, one evening after their walk (it was Feb-you-wary 2017), Dad decided to drive home on that other bridge, the Alma Lee Loy Bridge, which he’d never done before. Just as he was drivin’ up it, he spotted a guy pushin’ a bike an grabbin’ at the bridge railing.
“Ooo, woof!” I blurted, anticipating something scary. An sure enough …
“What he was tryin’ to grab was ME. I was only a wee kitten, 3 weeks old, maybe 4 at the most, an I was already terrified out of at least 5 or 6 of my lives. How I got there I don’t know, but I was clingin’ to that rail like stretch wrap, even more terrified every time one of those vee-hickles zoomed by. Some humans beeped, some hollered. An this one guy with his bike was tryin’ to grab me. I was scared of everything at that point, an kept wigglin’ away, meowin’ as loud as I could.”
I was speechless, pickshurin’ tiny liddle Alma on that narrow railing.
“Anyway, Dad was con-CERNED, so he pulled off to the side at the top of the bridge an, pretty soon, here comes the bike guy pushin’ his bike with one hand and clutching liddle me with the other. Firmly, I can tell you, cuz I was squirmin’ like a sack fulla squirrels.
“Dad asked the bike guy what he was gonna do with me and the bike guy said he planned to leave me somewhere safe on the other side of the bridge. Dad quickly said he’d take me instead. Since Lucie was up front, Dad grabbed an empty box that happened to be in the trunk and plopped me into it.”
“Then what happened?”
“I was a mess. I had a zillion fleas anna serious cat duh-ZEES. Mom an Dad took me to the vet an in a while, I got all better. They took such good care of me. And they named me Alma after the bridge lady. By then, Lucie was getting ready to go to Dog Heaven, so they were taking care of her, too. Me an Lucie hadn’t known each other long, but she was always kind to me even though I was probly a ram-BUNK-shus kitten. I was sad when, that April, she finally hadda leave.
“I don’t remember anything before being on that bridge, but it took me a liddle while to not be scared of pretty much everything. Even now, you probly noticed, I’m a very timid girl.”
I nodded. “What’s your life like now?”
“Lovely! I’ve taught Mom some Basic Meow. Like which Meow means I’m hungry, or I want attention, or I wanna watch Animal Planet. (I ’specially like the lions!) In the morning, I wake Mom up with a few little Nose Bops to remind her it’s Breakfast Time. From 6 a.m. to bedtime, I always like to know where Mom is in case I need anything.
“During the day I often lounge on the screened lanai observing the rabbits. I have LOTS of toys, mostly mouses, but my favrites are a stuffy chipmunk anna rat that usta be Lucie’s. They make me feel closer to her, you know?”
“Yes I do,” I said. Then, “What do you like to eat?”
“FRESH SHRIMP, Paws Down!” she instantly replied. “Me an Mom both love FRESH SHRIMP.”
Heading home, I was thinking if her Dad hadn’t decided to take the other bridge home, and if that bike guy hadn’t been riding past, Miss Alma wudda probly been fish food, an all 9 of her lives wudda been washed down the river. And even more, as she herself told me, “If it wasn’t for Lucie an her Boardwalk outings, I wouldda never found my Forever Famly.”
I was also thinking about fresh shrimp.
Till next time,