“Tiger and Princess” by P.C.A.W. (from Grit Uplifted group @ Central Library–Week 11: “Time”)

We had just moved to a new house in the country. Tiger, a big grey tabby, was let out of his carrier to explore the new surroundings. Until this point in time he had never been allowed outside. In fact, he had never shown any interest in getting out.
After hours of unpacking and putting away, we realized that Tiger had not been underfoot for some time. He does have a passion for empty boxes. A search of the new house found him cringing in the bathroom on top of the toilet tank like he had done something wrong.
This reminded me of an incident with my youngest brother when he was about four or five years old. I would have been 10 or 11. He had come into the house in his sock feet and appeared to be trying to sneak past Mom. She cornered him and asked, “Where are your new shoes?” He replied with a “‘side”. “Show me,” Mom ordered. He led her to the outdoor plumbing, the little house, the outhouse, the Johnny-on-the-spot, you pick what you want to call it. He pointed down the hole, and there were his new shoes sitting on the top of the human waste like a trophy.
But wait! There was something moving in the morass of bodily deposits. Mom ran back into the house to retrieve a flashlight. There in the dark were Princess’s six kittens that were about two weeks old. Princess was a stray calico who had given birth under our house.
With superhuman strength, Mom tipped over the toilet. She fished out these smelly, squirmy pieces of fur and deposited them in the wash tub on the back porch. She proceeded to give them a bath while Princess moved in and out of Mom’s legs with such a loud purr I could hear her from inside where I was washing dishes. This probably explained why Princess was so antsy earlier, meowing and running back and forth to the door.
Back to the present, now Tiger, what is your problem that has you cowering in the bathroom? I physically removed him from the toilet tank where he had been sitting and, yes, shaking.
Occasionally, rustling could be heard when it was really quiet, or the bathtub which abutted the linen closet was in use. Everyone thought the noise was probably just field mice. Then it happened. There! Just under the edge of the linen closet door! Don’t you see it, that long piece of moving rope? In horror I watched this rope slither from under the door. I didn’t stop to ask if it was friendly. I just screamed and ran, followed closely behind by Tiger.

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