Jinx: Terror on Norris Street

So last night I had to work late which made me unhappy. I got off the train at Davis around 8:30, and started walking home. When I hit Norris Street, a black cat appeared out of nowhere, meowing. So, animal lover/cat mistruster that I am, I started to walk a lot faster. The cat followed me. Then I got kind of freaked out. Especially because it was all black and looked suspiciously like a bad omen masquerading as a quadriped. It followed me all the way home, so I hurried through the gate and ran up the porch steps, but it was right behind me. I was afraid that if I opened the door it would run inside. As I was plotting my next move, J's voice came from the other side of the front door.

"Is that cat out there?" she asked, sounding about as freaked out as I felt.

Me: "Yes."

J: "That fucking cat."

Me: "How do you know about the cat?"

J: "It harrassed me all the way home! It wants to get inside. Don't come in."

Me: "Um.... okay."

J: "Chase it away."

Me: "What? How? It isn't scared of me."

J: "Well, lure it away."

Me: "With what? The cat treats I keep in my pocket?"

J: "You're the animal lover."

Me: "Okay fine. I'll try to coax it down the street and then you grab my bags and bring them in. I'll come in next."

J: "Okay, but I'm not opening this door until that cat is gone."

Me: "Which sucks for me, because I'm stuck outside."

J: "Yup. Sorry."

So I made cat-enticing noises and jingled my keys and got the cat to follow me out the gate and down the street a few feet, and then called out to J.

Me: "Get my bags!"

J: "Is it gone?"

Me: "Yes!"

J: "Are you sure.....?"

Me: "YES!"

J started to open the door. In a surprise maneuver, the cat bolted around me and made a break for it!

Me (hysterically): "Don't open the door! Close the door! The cat's coming!!!!"


J: "That fucking cat."

Me: "Huh. Hadn't expected that."

J: "I'm not opening this door until that cat is gone."

Me: "Yeah, you said that already. What should I do now?"

J: "Go farther down the street. Yell when you get there."

Me: "Okay. I'll try." Then, "I'm really starting to get hungry you know."

J: "So hurry up."


J: "Want me to throw a PowerBar out the mail slot?"

I walked down the street, cat in tow, this time about a block. I yelled to J. For a minute I thought she'd abandoned this project so she wouldn't miss The Bachelor, but then she opened the door and pulled in my bags. She slammed it shut again.

Me: "Okay, now open the door again when you hear me coming up the steps."

J: "Only if that cat is not with you."

Me: "Just be quick about it, okay? This cat's got moves."

I looked down at the cat and pretended to start walking in the other direction again, farther down the street. Then, in a tricky sleight of foot, swiveled around suddenly and ran at full speed toward our house. This seemed to confuse the cat long enough to give me a shot. I reached the door and started pounding on it - J opened it and I practically fell on top of her.


J: "That fucking cat."

Me: "Totally."

J: "I need to take the trash out - is it still out there?"

Me: "Forget the trash."


All of the sudden I remembered something.

Me: "Hey, you know that flyer that we got? About the lost cat? Do you think that's the cat in the flyer?"

J: "I don't really care."

Me: "Oh my god! I think that's the lost cat!" Suddenly I had visions of myself as the benevolent neighborhood animal rescuer. "We have to make sure it gets home!" I said, all Citizen Goodwill.

J: "If you go back out there you are so on your own..."

I grabbed my cell, fished the flyer out of the garbage (it was buried under lots of gross stuff, by the way), and ran back outside. This was all a result of the animal lover part of me, which temporarily overtook my cat mistrusting instinct. I read through the flyer as the cat came running up to me. Sure enough, it was Jinx. Black cat, tiny white patch under his neck, no collar or tags, green eyes. I dialed the phone number on the flyer. No answer. Shit. Double shit. Then I realized there was an address on the flyer - Jinx's home! It was further up on Norris Street, so I decided to try to coax the cat back to his house.

That was a bit slow going.

It was around this time that I realized I'd forgotten to put my jacket on before I'd flown out the door. But I pressed on - after all, I'm a humanitarian.

When we finally got to the door, I rang the bell. No answer. The lights were on, and by now I was tired, hungry, and ready to be rid of Jinx, so I rang again. Finally, after I'd knocked a few times and waited about two minutes, a woman came up the stairs and flung the door open, and Jinx bolted inside the house.

"Is that your cat?" I asked. "We found him and remembered the flyers..."

Cue the profuse thanks.

But the woman only looked annoyed. "Yeah, that's my cat. Someone found him two days ago. We let him outside everyday now." She shut the door.

What? That's all I get for my trouble? And why, now that you've posted the entire neighborhood with lost cat flyers, pleading for us all to keep a lookout for your vulnerable and defenseless pet, would you let the very same cat run around free with no collar or tags? People are going to be returning Jinx for weeks!!!!!

On my way back home I passed my neighbor and his dog Henry. He took in my dejected apearance and observed, "Found Jinx huh? My wife found him yesterday."

"Yeah," I smiled halfheartedly. "Hi Henry," I walked over to the fence around their yard and bent down for a sloppy kiss on the cheek.

When I walked through the front door, J looked up from her dinner expectantly. "And? Were they so happy?"

"He wasn't lost anymore," I mumbled. "He's been found for two days. He was just out for a romp."

"Fucking cat."




God's Child said...

hey, that was a damn good story. That happened for real? You write good.

10:21 AM