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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Cat On The Lam Trying To Forget The Past

 
MIDWESTERN UNITED STATES –

The road can be a lonely place for anyone, but imagine being trapped on the run, unable to return to familiar places because of some things you had said, or done – or witnessed.

Make America The Best caught up with a cat, who asked not to be named for the purposes of this story, who is in just that situation. Living a day-to-day struggle for survival, he agreed to share his world in the hopes that it might help another cat find a better way. What follows is a recounting of his tale: the story of a cat’s life, on the lam.

 

Life On The Lam

“My original owners gave me away before I really had a chance to form a strong bond with my mom. I don’t remember much about her. She was nice enough, but spent a lot of time getting into the liquor cabinet when the people weren’t home, or hooking up with a Siamese that would come around at night. Me and my siblings were pretty much left on our own to figure things out.”

“I was given away to a couple in the suburbs and it was fine for awhile, but my new owners got tired of me once I outgrew being a kitten. They would forget to feed me, or leave me out all night – and when I cried and woke them up, they would act like it was my fault. It was not a good situation, so I just had to leave.”

 

Never Had A Home

“At first I slept outside, or in garages, anywhere I could get into at night. But eventually I made some friends who were also living on the street and they showed me houses where cats could come and go. Mostly elderly women who were losing their marbles. The cats were not very nice to those people – they would push stuff off the shelves and just generally trash the house, not even bothering to use the litter box.”

 

“I guess I’ve always been a pretender… when I look back on it all, really, the only one that I was fooling was myself.”

 

“I’ve always been a pretender even back when I was a little kitten: pretending that nothing mattered; pretending I was smarter than everyone else; pretending that the bad stuff I did wasn’t hurting anybody. When I look back on it all, really, the only person that I was fooling was myself.”

The cat soon got into trouble. “At first it was just small stuff. Like taking food out of the dog’s bowl. Or licking butter off a plate on the dining room table. But pretty soon I was ordering catnip online using my owner’s Amazon account, and hooking up with underage kittens on backpagecats.com. After awhile, I pretty much had no rules.”

After some petty theft and close scrapes with law enforcement, the cat turned to online credit card theft. “I used to sneak into the library and jump on the computers at night. My hacker handle was prrrrrpwalk. I ran a number of scams, mostly freezing computers for ransom. It wasn’t pretty and I definitely hurt some cats and people along the way. But I didn’t care.”

“Then one Christmas I picked up the phone to try and call home. I don’t know why I did it, but when I realized I didn’t know how to get in touch with anybody I knew, it really set something off inside of me. I lay in bed all night and when the sun came up, I just had this feeling that it was time to change my ways. I was going to try to put my life back together.”


 

Holding Down A Job

Although the cat is still living on the road, he is working steadily as a mouse catcher in a local grocery store. “I get all the cat food I can eat. Plus I get to sleep inside, so that’s cool. And the people that run the store are nice. I’m really hoping to make this work.”

With that admission, the cat returned to work, searching the corners of the store for signs of mice passing thru. At one point, he seemed to have found one, but it turned out to be a ball of lint. “The old me would have been really bothered by that,” the cat said, forcing a brief smile. “But life’s too short, you know? You only live once, am I right?”

He then paused, and added, “or, I guess in my case, you only live nine times. I just hope this isn’t number nine. It would be nice to go out on a high note.”

 

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