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THE LUCKY ONE?



I was just about to head out the front door when the telephone rang. I sat down my fishing rod and tackle box and picked up the phone.

"Hello."

"OK," tapping my fingers on the wall.

"I'll be there in a few minutes."

I hung up the telephone and headed out the front door. I watched the traffic very closely as I had to cross a busy highway in order to get to the furniture store, located across the street.

My friend Sherman had telephoned and asked me to help him pick up some used furniture which he had purchased, earlier that morning, at an estate sale in Modesto.

When I arrived he was pulling around the building in his large, white U-haul type truck. I opened the cab door and slid in.

Nothing was said as we drove. He knew I despised his driving and that it irritated me to no end. Sherman was one of those drivers who constantly pushes the gas and then lets off. Pushes the gas pedal again and then lets off. Over and over he does this, and for no logical reason. It never stops. I was at wits-end when we finally arrived at the small apartment building.

The back of the truck was opened and out came the hand-trucks. Around the building we headed until we reached apartment 147. Just as we reached the door it opened and there stood a young woman about 25 years old. As we talked a man walked up behind her. All at once he jumped towards us. Using his legs he tried to block the doorway as the cat was trying to make it outside. The cat, in a state of panic, made a sharp turn and ran back into the apartment.

"I'm going to get that little bastard and put him in the bathroom. After this sale is settled I'm going to knock him in the damn head with a Coco Cola bottle. Then bury him in the damn backyard," said the man, with a very serious look on his face.

I watched as he trapped the cat in the living room corner, carry him to the bathroom, throw him in like a baseball and then close the door.

"What's with the cat?" I asked Sherman.

"It belonged to her mother. She died several weeks ago and I guess they don't want it."

"Why would someone not want to keep something that loved their mother?" I asked.

Sherman just shrugged his shoulders and entered the apartment.

For the next hour we broke down beds and furniture and loaded it into his truck. When all was done he paid the woman and we turned to leave. I stopped in the doorway, turned around and said, "You're going to kill that cat are you?"

The man looked at me and replied, "I don't want the damn thing and I'm going to kill it."

"Can I use your telephone?" I asked the woman.

She pointed toward the kitchen.

I walked into the kitchen, picked up the wall phone receiver and telephoned my wife. I explained the situation and was rather surprised when she firmly rejected the suggestion that we take the animal. Slowly, I hung up the telephone and turned toward the man.

"We'll take the cat," I told him.

I looked at Sherman, who was now shaking his head.

I held the scared cat on my lap until we returned to the furniture store. Carrying the cat against my chest, I jumped out of the truck and walked across the highway. Slowly, I opened the front door of my house and let the cat walk in. I quietly closed the door and walked back across the street to help Sherman unload the furniture. When done, he paid me and I headed back to my house. I opened the front door and hearing nothing, I began to look for the cat. Finally making it to the kitchen I saw my wife sitting at the end of the kitchen table holding, and petting the cat.

"WHERE THE HECK DID THAT COME FROM?" I yelled, acting surprised.

"I don't know. He just was here. He came walking into the bedroom. Isn't he beautiful?" She replied.

"Well, we are not keeping it," I told her.

"If we can't find the owner we are damn well keeping it," she advised me.

"If I could not keep that cat I called you about you are not keeping that animal," I said, in a very stern voice.

"We'll see about that," she said, as she walked out of the kitchen, carrying the cat in her arms.

Well, the cat named "Hema" lived with us until our divorce, seven years later. The judge granted her the cat in the divorce proceeding and he lived with her for another eight years. I don't know if he was the lucky or the unlucky one in this situation. That incident was one of the few secrets I ever kept from my wife



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