(Last week, Casandra dressed as the cowardly lion and Sampson her cat, dressed like Dorothy, went to the school carnival. While they were waiting on their ride home some high school boys started chasing the cat into the woods...)
Why didn't Cassandra's father pick us up tonight?
Sampson ran from the sound of jacket-boy's big shoes, which were also crunching leaves closer and closer behind him.
Now he'd be late for Cassandra's party, if he even made it at all. He was going deeper into the woods than he'd ever ventured before! Finally he shed the doll shoes and was able to pick up some much needed speed. Why was jacket-boy chasing him?
Suddenly he felt a limb or thorn snag his blue gingham pinafore. Pull as he might, he couldn't seem to free it. Jacket-boy grabbed him roughly by the scruff of the neck. "Gotcha!"
Sampson hadn't been held that way since he was a kitten.
"What the hell are you wearing? Come on, Kitty, Kitty..." His tone smacked of evil. "We need a black cat tonight."
Sampson felt the harsh bash of a log against his head and like the other times he had been in harm's way, lives began flashing before his eyes like slow motion at the speed of light: He watched as Cassandra's Dad slammed the door on his backside, his untimely dart into the street in front of the mail truck, the rat poison he'd eaten and promptly vomited, the hairball he breathed down the wrong way, curling up in the guest bedroom mattress springs right before Big Mama sat down, a slight miscalculation in the distance from the tree to the roof, the Doberman shaking him in his clinched jaws like a fluffy rag doll, and his breach birth which left him gasping for his first breaths of life.
Oh, God! If I was counting right, including the crack on my scull I just received, that was nine lives. That's all I get!
Sampson felt his soul rise from his body and float high into the October night sky. He looked down as the gang of kids seemed to perform some kind of satanic ritual. He felt tears rain to earth and overwhelming sadness fill the black sky. Yes, he would miss his fluffy black body, but more than that he would miss Cassandra, and he knew that she would cry for him, too.
"Sampson," Cassandra crooned, stroking the fur on the side of his face. "Wake up. It's time for the carnival."
Sampson opened his eyes, luxuriously stretched and realized he had been curled up next to Foxy in front of a blazing fire.
"Let's try on your Dorothy costume!"
Sampson spontaneously positioned himself for a frantic scramble across the hardwood floor, hoping friction would kick in as soon as possible. He clawed at the polished wood as he rounded each corner. Lunging under the guestroom bed he clamored into the springs.
"Sure hope Big Mama isn't coming to the party," he thought as he tried to find a comfortable spot in the springs for another little nap.
"Sampson, where are you?" called Cassandra.