15 Oct 2011

     Callie raised her hand to knock on the door of the sprawling white house.  The sound of breaking glass and stifled grunts propelled her through the door ahead of the intended courtesy. “Karla?”
     Karla’s muffled voice answered from somewhere deep inside the house.  “Back here.”
     She hurried through the small living area and down a long hallway. Her eyes skimmed over the total disarray of the rooms as she passed, but the continued odd grunts and whispers filtering down the hall kept her focus on finding Karla. After a short search, she found her friend in the smallest of the houses three bedrooms. Relieved that her friend wasn’t lying , broken and bleeding on the floor, Callie leaned on the door frame and tried to make sense of what she saw.
      Karla Black was on her hands and knees, head half under the bed, denim clad fanny sticking up in the air, breath coming in short gasps as she swept the space under the bed with the broom handle. Pieces of a broken lamp were scattered across the floor.
     “Come out from under there you little beast.” The broom made another wide swipe. “Mitch is so going to pay for this.
     “What on earth are you doing?”
      Karla sat back on her heels with a deep sigh.  Dust bunnies, from her foray under the bed, dotted her silver hair. “Ida’s stupid cat, Reddy,” she answered, brown eyes dark with frustration.  “He must have a sixth sense about today and knows he’s on borrowed time.  He’s got himself backed up under there, all the way to the farthest corner, and won’t come out.  Every time I reach for him he hisses and bats at me.” She inspected her hands. “Thank God Ida had him de-clawed when he was a kitten or I’d be a bloody mess by now.”
     Callie hefted the bag she carried.  “Leave him be for now.  I brought lunch. Maybe the smell of burgers will draw him out.”
     Karla pushed herself to her feet, using the bed for leverage. Her fifty-nine-year old knees popped in protest.  “Bless you.  My blood sugar bottomed out thirty minutes ago.” She motioned to the open pet carrier in the corner of the room. “I wanted to get him caged and out of the way so we wouldn’t have to clean around him. There’s enough cat hair in this place to build two more just like him.”
     “Did you found a home for him?”
     “Meagan wants him.”
      “Pam’s Meagan?”
      “Yeah, apparently she’s been angling for a pet ever since Jeremy got his goat. More power to her. I like cats but this furry little demon and I have never gotten along.” She dusted her hands together. “Looks like he won this round.”
     Callie followed Karla to the small kitchen and looked for a clean spot to set out their lunch.
     “Hang on a minute,” Karla went to the sink and wet a handful of paper towels.  “Let me clean off the table.” She bent to the task, stacking dirty dishes and unopened mail on the cabinet behind her.  “I know what you’re thinking, but there’s just so much you can do when they’re determined to live by themselves.”  Her wave took in the whole house. “Ida dismissed every housekeeper we sent over here and refused to allow me to clean for her. She insisted she could manage just fine on her own.” Karla dried the table off and pulled out a chair, motioning for Callie to do the same. “Breaking her leg last week was the last straw.”  
     Callie shook her head.  “This was like, what…her third trip to the ER in as many months? I only hope I have half her stamina when I’m her age. Was she really trying to weed eat the back yard?”
***To be continued***

***This week's dialog question***Do any of you have a feisty senior in your life?
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