You may remember my cat Ernie. During my first summer here, a co-worker gave me Burt and Ernie. (You may also remember that I like to name kitties after Sesame Street Characters and that I spelled Burt wrong.) They were the cutest little things.
This was our first summer here, my first pregnancy when I was constantly sick, basically my Mrs. Brewster time. I was miserable. Burt and Ernie were my little buddies. I used to tie them in my shirt and carry them around cleaning with them “helping”. It was before kids, before Snuffles. Burt and Ernie brought me happiness during this sad time.
I had a special bond with Burt. He was mine. Not that I didn’t love Ernie or anything, but Burt was just special. Kevin was also adamant that there would be no more house cats. Burt and Ernie were to be outside cats. One evening when I went to bed, Kevin told me I could take them in that night. I choose to let them stay outside. It was my laziness and my stubbornness willingness to be a farmgirl and have farmcats. When I woke up, I rushed outside to check on them. I called them. Ernie came running. There was no Burt. I found Burt murdered between a board leaning on the house and the house. He had been moved. There was blood on the concrete steps. The crime had happened there. Looking back on it, we think it was Grey Cat, a grey mean tom that used to hang out here sometimes. Toms will kill baby boy kitties. Other animals will eat them. Burt’s body was still there. (Snuffles does a good job now of chasing away the cats that don’t belong. I no longer have an issue with stray cats because of Snuffles.) We buried him. Burt’s death hit me hard, because of my stupidity at leaving him outside, because he was the first animal on my little homesteading adventure that I lost, and because we had a very special bond.
In my brokenhearted pregnancy stupor, I picked up Ernie and kind of wouldn’t put him down. Kevin felt bad for me and said Ernie could be a house kitty. Fast forward, all these years later… Ernie is a house kitty, but he occasionally likes to go outside to hang out. He has become more of Kevin’s cat and sleeps in our bed at Kevin’s feet.
Just about a year ago, on April 28, 2013, I was running late for Mass as usual. Kevin had gone to Colorado Springs to the Latin Mass and I was bringing the children to St. Somebody of Someplace, the local Novus Ordo Church. Because we were so late, I stepped on it on the way there. I even passed a slower vehicle on the paved road.
When I stopped at the stop sign in town, a man who happened to be standing there was pointing. I thought he was signaling me, but I just waved. I was in a hurry to get to Mass.
When I pulled up at St. Somebody of Someplace Church, I parked on the street not too far from the entrance. Mr. FormerSheriff, the former sheriff of Lincoln County, pulled up next to me and rolled down his window. Ouch! It turned out that he was the slower vehicle that I had passed. I thought he’d give me a ticket, or at least a lecture. I had started to take the kids out of their car seats.
“Laura,” Mr. FormerSheriff said. (He remembered my name.) “Laura, you have a cat on your roof. I noticed it when you passed me and I tried to get your attention.”
I started to mumble an apology for going so fast, saying that I was late for church and that it had started at nine, etc. This was before it hit me and I looked up on my minivan’s roof and saw Ernie there. “Ernie!” I reached up and grabbed my frightened kitty. I thanked Mr. FormerSheriff and told him I was late for Mass. I locked Ernie in the minivan with the windows open slightly and went to Mass. I’m about 7.5 miles from St. Somebody of Someplace Church. I was in a rush. I would say I was driving at 70 mph at some points. I even passed Mr. FormerSheriff. The roads were straight and flat for the most part, but still, 70 mph? My kitty held on. I call that a little miracle. Were the guardian angels holding him there in place? Maybe…
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