Tiger and Bob the Cat
itch has wanted another cat ever since Neko went away. Even though our family has terrible luck with pets we rescue Bob and Tiger from a farm near Redmond: two yellow and orange brothers. Bob the Cat is the crazy evil one. He hisses and howls if you come close to him and he sneaks everywhere he goes. His eyes dart and he looks like that cat from the Opus cartoon, Bill the Cat, who's on drugs. Tiger is the good cat. He rubs against your leg and purrs when he sits on your lap.
One morning I’m eating oatmeal at the kitchen table. I warm my hands around the ceramic bowl and look out the window. A trace of snow has fallen over night, dusting the rooftops. The sun rises over the Ochocos, chasing the stars like static from the sky. I spot Tiger walking on tiny cat feet across the frozen backyard.
Laura walks in and glares at the pot of oatmeal Mom left on the stove. She dumps some in her bowl and sits down at the table. We say nothing. I don’t even know who my sister is before 10:30 am. She is another creature, angry and sullen.
Mitch comes in. “Good morning girls. Mmm. Oatmeal. Perfect for a cold morning.”
I look back at my bowl not sure which of my siblings is worse company first thing in the morning. Two more bites.
Outside, Tiger tiptoes across the snow on tender feet and then paws at something buried in the snow. I can tell by the dirty, orange fur that it's Bob the Cat. He doesn't move. He's a frozen, snow-covered lump like that stubborn duck still buried in the ditch.
Mitch and I look out the window with horror, but Laura takes another bite of oatmeal and says, “Well, Mitch, looks like your cat froze to death last night.”
Mitch runs outside to Bob the Cat as I watch from the table, trying to keep the oatmeal from climbing its way back up.