Dragged In Cat
by Dan Ramirez
I found the black cat one morning, thrown on the front steps like a dirty gray rag. I thought he was dead until I noted breathing and saw a green eye studying me. I bent to examine him. He hissed a warning but had no strength to actively resist.
Some thousand-dollar weeks later, at the guilt-induced urging of the vet, I reclaimed him. Clean, free of parasites, re-hydrated, infection free (some combination of infected cuts from fighting and bacterial cat fever had brought him to my door) and newly neutered, he still did not present the picture of grand health. Gaunt, he moved slowly with a limp, missing jumps and had a miserable meow. If a cat’s purr is the sound of a well-tuned V8, his purr skipped on a few cylinders.
When we got home, I placed him on my porch where I had found him weeks before. I expected him to wander off for where he came with a minimum of thanks. The next morning I opened the door and found him curled up on the welcome mat. He gave me a feeble meow, creakily stretched and slowly limped into the house.
He paused at the kitchen door, looking at me expectantly. He meowed. “What?” I asked him. Another meow. “What?” A weak, just audible meow. Oh.
I cooked us a concoction of eggs, shredded chicken and cheese. He ate heartily, drank water from a coffee cup I put out, cleaned himself.
I followed him as he explored the house. The corner of my bed was flooded with sunlight. After he failed twice, he let me put him on the bed. He felt bony and didn’t weigh very much. He positioned himself in the sun. A little more cleaning, the black cat slept.
I checked on him through the day. The sunlight moved. He slept. Turned on his back, feet in the air, he softly wheezed.
Late in the afternoon, working at my desk, something furry glided across my calves. I checked and saw two big green eyes looking up at me. A small meow as he ambled toward the kitchen. I’ve been adopted. Or hired.
As a young man, Dan Ramirez ignored the voice of his writing Muse, plunging into the work force, and working to be “a success.” His intermittent writing “career” was littered with journals filled with more empty pages than words. Years passed.
Life changed. Business success, a supportive family and the Creative Writing Program at Glendale Community College allowed Dan to retrieve, like a dusty old manuscript, his writing career. Forty years after high school, he took his first creative writing class at GCC. This fall, four years later, Dan will receive his Creative Writing Certificate from Glendale Community College, Glendale, AZ.