#21 – Toonces takes a stand

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

“The Gardens called again,” she said as she stared blankly out at the gray January sky and the bare oak tree in the neighbor’s yard.

Toonces jumped nimbly into her lap and rubbed the top of his silky soft head under her empty hand.

“Why do they keep calling me?  I don’t understand, Toonces.  This can’t mean my mom.  She’s gone gone.  She’s never coming back.”  She let her tea cool as she scratched the gray tabby, perplexed.

This was the third time The Gardens nursing home had called to urge her to come and see a woman they insisted was her mother.

“I told them that there must be some kind of mistake, but they would not listen.  She’s dying, they said.”

Toonces raised his head and met Marie’s hazel eyes, which were growing more dull by the minute, with his luminous yellow eyes.

She crinkled her eyebrows and tilted her head. “What are you saying?  You can’t possibly believe that there is anything to this story!  How can you say that?” she said.

Toonces jumped down to the kitchen floor and turned his back to her.

“It is absolutely out of the question!  I will NOT–she’s gone.  Can’t you understand?  I can’t –”  Marie bowed her head and slumped in her chair.  “She’s gone.”

But even as the words left her rosy lips, she knew it was futile.  Toonces had taken a stand and would not likely back down.

She closed her eyes and sat in silence for some time.  A car drove by.  Toonces’ nibbled at her food.

“I don’t know exactly what you expect to happen.  It’s not like she knows me, ” she said, plaintively.

The cat walked back over and rubbed up against her leg, perhaps to soothe her, or perhaps because that’s what cats do.

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