Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Peel-A-Cat Services

Thanks to my daughter Sophie, I have been thinking about jobs lately. When you are little it always seems that the job that you want is either a great heroic position like say, astronaut - or a service position like doctor, nurse, etc. No one ever wants to be an insurance salesman or a janitor. I remember I always wanted to be either a noodle-blower, a bull-rider or a cat-peeler (you will understand more, just hold your horses). These things were heroic in my mind.

Well, the other day while walking to school, Sophie saw a dead possum on the side of the road. she was with my sister at the time, but it bothered her so much that she insisted that we drive to the location of the accident to peer dejectedly at the dead possum and occasionally wail in grief. She told me to pick it up so that we could take it home and bury it, and I totally understand where she is coming from, but if you think for even one second that I was going to do that..... well, you are wrong.

I lovingly and patiently explained, between wails, that there were people whose job it was to drive around, pick up animals that had died, and then take them somewhere to bury. I thought that this may elicit an "Ew" or at least a wrinkled nose; I got just the opposite. He eyes lit up, she stopped wailing, and I SWEAR I saw a light bulb abover her head. She said, "THAT'S what I want to be when I grow up!".

The strangest thing about this, and I admit that there are many strange things, is that I wanted to be the same thing when I was little! Here is the sad, sad story about my best friend, Gray One, the cat. (Yes, shannon, I am going there) My very best friend when I was small was a beautiful tom cat named Gray One (yeah, I know, original). We hung out in the hay loft of the barn and I stole cans of condensed milk, a can opener and a bowl from my Grandma's house so that he could eat in style. I loved him. Oh, I loved him. He had blue eyes. Oh...

So, ANYWAY, one day as we were all coming home in our family vehicle, I noticed a disturbing lump of gray hair in the middle of the road on the bridge near our house. I worried. I walked out there after we got home. Yep. It was Gray One. He was not just run over, but absolutely squished flat, flat, flat. He had been there for awhile, I think. I grabbed his tail and peeled-literally, peeled him off the road. I cried and held him up for my mother to see - and all she said was, "Don't you dare bury that thing! Throw it in the burn barrel!" As if burning MY cat with the GARBAGE was at all acceptable.

Since then, every time I have been angry at my Mom I bring up the tragic story of Gray One. She still has no empathy for me and defends herself by saying that the dogs would have dug up Gray One. But I still like to use it against her. She just encourages me to open my "Peel-a-Cat Services" and laughs. Well, the last laugh's on her, I will now give that serious thought. A family business involving peeling dead animals from roadways - she will be so proud.


At 2:14 PM, Blogger Janie said...

BWAHAHAHA... Shari, this story makes my insides jiggle from laughter. It's that much sweeter b/c i got to meet Sophie before i read this.
I'm sorry for your loss.
My friend had a cat named Pancake. What were they thinking, eh?! (I am told the cat's coloring and time of arrival factored in to the decision.) In any case, you can imagine the irony-- and lack of surprise-- at his fatal meander across the road.


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