Quick Thinking

A bit of light fiction, based on a true story…

Quick Thinking

Erin saw immediately that Cosmo was still lying in the same place that she’d been the previous night.  She woke her husband and pointed, grimly.  Rob slowly crept toward the prone figure, fingers outstretched, ready to recoil the instant they made contact.  “I think…she’s dead,” he said, after only the barest touch.  He looked at Erin, who was sitting up, but with the sheets pulled up to her neck in revulsion.  “What do you think happened?”

Erin responded in a harsh whisper.  “How should I know?  Who cares!?  Just get it out of here before the kids wake up!”

Rob went into action, grabbing the cat carrier out of the closet.  But it wasn’t as easy as it looked.  The poor feline was as stiff as a board, and she hadn’t passed on in a convenient position.  Rob grunted as he first tried to push the front paws in, and then the rear.  “I don’t think this is going to work!”

Erin shushed him, and then heard the sound of sleepy little feet stumbling toward the bathroom.  “Quick, they might be here any minute!”

Forgetting any thoughts about the deceased animal’s dignity, Rob dropped the carrier, threw on some clothes, and wrapped the wretched creature in a towel.  He poked open the door.  After checking that the coast was clear, he slipped out into the hall and then into the crisp morning.  He placed the dead cat into the back of his truck as gently as he could, and started the engine.  It took a moment, but the truck overcame the cold of the morning and came to life.  Rob threw it into gear and began to pull out of the driveway.  It was only then that he realized that he had no idea where to go.

Twenty minutes later, Lainie looked up from her cereal and said cheerily, “Hi Dad!  Where have you been?”

“Just running some errands,” Rob replied, nonchalantly pulling off his gloves.  Erin looked up from the dishes, gave a little smile, and then silently asked Rob a question.  He came close and, under the cover of the running water, answered, “It’s fine.  I took care of it.”

“How?” she lip-synched.  And so Rob told her.

Erin gaped.  She pulled Rob out of the kitchen, and then spoke aloud. “What? But it was dead, right?  What did they say?”

“Nothing.  They hadn’t opened yet.  But it’s okay.  I left a note, asked them to sort it out,” Rob answered.  Erin just stared at him, and he found his confident expression withering.  It had seemed to make so much sense at the time.

In the background, the phone rang.  Before either of them could react, Lainie had answered it.  A moment later, she entered the room, and looked at her parents nervously.

“It’s the vet.  They say we left our dead cat on their doorstep.  And they want us to come pick it up.”

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