Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Passing along a message

On Monday, Kid was still unsure of how she felt about Lemuel’s moving to the zoo.  She was delighted that the turkeys were not going to be eaten, sad that he was gone and worried as to whether or not it was working out for them.  She hoped she’d get word sometime soon, but didn’t want to get her expectations up.  Maria didn’t come by that often, and Kid might not even notice she was there and not get the news.  She figured she’d ask Charlie (from the other side of the fence) and the chickens (providing they remembered any message they’d been given) and hope for the best.   

Kid decided that she’d spent so much time close to home recently that she’d do a circuit of the neighborhood today.  There were other animals she checked in with, although none were as good friends as Lemuel had been. There was a corgi down the street who was quite entertaining.  He capitalized on his Welsh heritage and spoke in a fake Welsh accent, at least when he remembered to do so.  When he got excited he’d forget and lapse into north Jersey Sopranos-style speech, which more accurately represented his recent heritage.  There were some raccoons across the street who he visited either very early or late in the day, since they were nocturnal.  They always had entertaining stories about who was throwing out what in their trash.  Some of the folks around here just hadn’t learned that trash cans needed to be in corrals and with tight-fitting lids.  The raccoons loved to tear open garbage bags, eat the edibles, steal anything shiny and/or interesting and leave a god-awful mess when they were done.  If she felt especially adventurous there was a pot-bellied pig named Hortense who lived on the cul-de-sac.  She wasn’t a great conversationalist, but Kid just loved the idea of someone keeping a pig around as company.  Hortense said that her human took her for walks on a leash, but Kid had never seen that.  She figured that Hortense was telling a whopper.  The neighbors would laugh anyone walking a pig out of the neighborhood, especially with the prices of those homes.

By the time she got home it was well after dark.  Since she knew Val wouldn’t be home until late, she hadn’t rushed at all.  Buddy was on the back deck, so Kid lounged on the edge of the driveway, figuring it would be much safer to get into the house via the garage than to try to tangle with Buddy.  Finally she saw Val’s headlights pull into the driveway and she got up and stretched leisurely.  When the garage door opened, Kid sauntered through and followed Val into the house.  

Emma was on her in a moment.  “Kid, you have GOT to come see this.  You won’t believe it in a thousand years.  Not in a million years.”  Kid looked interested and started to follow Emma, but then heard the sound of a cat food can being opened.  However interesting it was, it took second place to dinner.  She hopped up onto her special spot for food (a place where Buddy, Emma and Ziggy dared not set foot) and wolfed down the food Val gave her.  She’d covered a lot of ground today and was hungry.  After a second helping she jumped down and followed Emma, who was practically vibrating with excitement.  

Emma led Kid into Val’s bedroom and under the bed.  What could be so interesting under a bed?  Emma crouched in front of a pile of papers, and pushed one towards Kid.  “Here – read this.”

Kid gave her a look.  “I forgot my reading glasses.  Why don’t you read it to me?”  This sounded like some elaborate joke on Emma’s part, and although she’d had an interesting day, Kid didn’t feel like being the butt of one of Emma’s jokes.  

“You don’t understand.  See all these papers?  Each and every one of them is an email about Lemuel.  I don’t know how he did this inside of two days, but he found animals with email accounts, or animals who knew animals with email accounts.”  Emma proceeded to read them to Kid, pushing each to the side as she finished it.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
To: Emmabuddyandkid@kittymail.com
From:  morristhecat@kittymail.com
Subject: Lemuel and the rest of the turkeys

Hi.  I work at Popcorn Park Zoo, and Lemuel wanted me to pass along a message that he and the hens are doing fine.  They arrived yesterday, and although the hens were pretty miserable they’re fine now.  The little one (Tiffany, I think her name is) is fine and had a great time getting to the zoo.  They have a nice turkey run with two coops, a roost and plenty of room to run around (not that I’ve seen many turkeys running).  Lemuel says they will be fine down here.  The vet checked them and they’re healthy.  You can send messages to Lemuel through me if you like.  I know what it’s like to lose your best friend in the whole wide world, so if I can help you guys stay in touch, I’d be happy to send emails back and forth.

Morris the Cat
p.s. I’m not the original Morris, but I’m named after him and I’ve been told I am the spitting image of that famous face.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
To: Emmabuddyandkid@kittymail.com
From:  justmargie@google.com  
Subject: Lemuel the turkey

My name is Margie and I’m a calico cat who lives next to the zoo that Lemuel moved to.  I stopped by for a visit this morning and met him.  He’s a very polite turkey – quite nice.  He said to tell you that he and the hens are doing just fine in their new home.  The coop is even nicer than at his old home, although the run is a bit smaller.  He says it’s plenty big enough.  I’ve been living next to the zoo for a long time, and this is the first time any of the new animals asked me to send an email to their old home.  Most of the animals there are either really, really glad to have left a bad situation or very, very sad to have been taken away from their humans.  The humans at the zoo take good care of the residents and make sure they have plenty to eat, places to get out of the bad weather and vets to take care of them if they get sick.  Most of the animals say the zoo is a whole lot better than their old homes, but then most of them came from pretty bad homes.  Anyway, you can email me back if you want me to pass a message along to Lemuel.  I stop by there most mornings, as I have a few friends there.  Not the tigers, though.  They’re too snobby to pay attention to a little cat like me.  Well, bye for now.  

Margie  
__________________________________________________________________________________________

To: Emmabuddyandkid@kittymail.com
From:  Delilah5489@yahoo.net
Subject: Lemuel

Hi.  I live with a dog named Samson (no jokes please) who went to Popcorn Park Zoo in Forked River today.  While he was there with our human he met a turkey named Lemuel who wanted an email sent saying that he’s okay.  Lemuel says to say that his new home is fine and they all made it down there safely and that he misses you a lot.  I sure hope this email address is right, because otherwise the person reading this is going to be very confused.  Well, if this isn’t the right cat, please just delete this email. Thank you.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

To: Emmabuddyandkid@kittymail.com
From:  halfmoonrising@celestial.net  
Subject: Lemuel

I have a friend who has a friend who has a friend who went to a zoo today and met a turkey named Lemuel who just moved in to the zoo.  He wanted to get a message back to his friend at this email address saying that they are okay in their new home.  It’s nice there and there’s lots of food and water and everything is going to be all right.  
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Emma stopped reading at this point.  “The rest of these emails are like the last one.  It seems that Lemuel asked any animal he saw to tell everyone our email address and to pass along a message to you that he’s okay in his new home.  I can read you the rest, but they don’t say anything different, even though there are at least ten more here.  I guess Lemuel really didn’t want you to worry about him.”

The smile on Kid’s face was lovely to see.  She wasn’t concerned now about Lemuel and if he’d get along well in his new home.  It would be a good place to live, and there would be other animals in his life to be his friends, and probably best of all, she and he could keep in touch, even if they couldn’t see each other anymore.  Life was good.   

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