by Tony & Maureen Smith from Calgary, AB
Sep 21, 13
When we were newly married we lived in a small but comfortable two-story house. We shared our house with three cats. If you understand cats, then you know that in reality, they deigned to share the house with us.
The lone male cat was an impressive black and tan tabby with huge white paws and an expansive white belly. He tipped the scales at roughly 23 pounds. We had named him Screech because he had a plaintive, wailing meow. But he was more commonly known, to me anyway, as Fatso. Screech was in the habit of sleeping on his back with his back legs sprawled and his front paws held aloft. We often came across him in this position lying in a sunbeam, with his massive, white belly shimmering in the sunlight.
At the back of our house we had a detached garage. As you walked down the back steps and sidewalk on the way to the garage you got a pretty good view of the neighbours’ back yard and deck.
The neighbour lady was in the habit of gardening and sun tanning in a bikini that she had, regrettably, vastly outgrown.
One hot weekend morning, as I left to run some errands, I came out the back door to see Screech sprawled paws up and belly exposed to the hot sun. In a loud voice filled with affection I hollered out, “Sunning your belly, Fatso?”
Three strides further down the sidewalk, I caught sight of our neighbour hastily refastening her bikini and struggling to her feet from her sun tanning position on her deck. She shot me a look that almost reduced me to tears.
Trying to cover my tracks, I made a big production of greeting the cat and playing with him. He stalked off, tail held high, his dignity intact as I slunk into the garage and drove away.
I never did find out if our neighbour understood that I was talking to Fatso the cat and not her. Needless to say it was sometime before we spoke again.