A black cat is on hunger strike. Can any hero get this kitty to eat? A short story by Lynne Hackles.
Laura looked at George, her black cat, and thought about the old fairy tales. The ones where the King proclaims: “If any eligible Prince can make my daughter laugh, then he can have her hand in marriage.” Or Prince Charming when he says: “Whosoever the slipper fits will become my bride.”
Well, Laura had got to the stage of: ‘If any man can make George eat, I’ll marry him.’ She was that desperate. George was the most important thing in her life and the reason she’d moved into the ground floor flat. Now the cat was starving himself to death and it was all Laura’s fault.
It began on the day they moved in. Fellow pet owners had warned her that a change of environment could affect George so she was expecting a few problems but nothing major. She was wrong. The removal men hadn’t taken long to bring in her furniture. She was making them a cup of tea before her brain registered that one was tall and dark and had a lovely smile. He smiled as he passed her the milk.
“I’m Daniel and I hope you’ll be very happy here,” he said. She blushed and handed him a mug. “I’d better go and collect George,” she replied. George was in her car, sitting patiently in his carrier. She carried him inside and put him in the spare bedroom where she’d placed his toys, food, water, litter tray, and a cardboard box with a soft blanket inside it. Somewhere for him to hide until he felt safe.
She returned to unpack the boot of the car and it was because she wanted to find out more about her handsome removal man that she tried to carry everything into the house in one trip. Balancing a couple of magazines, the tins of cat food, tin opener, and dishes on top of the washing basket, she was pleased with herself. For once, her head was saving her legs, she thought. She was wrong!
She was only a dozen or so steps from the front door when the basket tilted. Laura tripped as she tried to hold onto it. The basket flew skywards and then swooped to earth cascading its contents over the path. It was Daniel who helped her up. “At least you’re OK,” he said. “It could have been worse.” Then Laura saw it and knew it couldn’t be worse. George’s special saucer was shattered. It must have hit the wall of the house with some force to have broken into so many pieces.
“Oh, no,” she cried, picking up a fragment. “No problem,” said Daniel. “You can easily get another.” He didn’t understand. George’s saucer was old. Plain and purple and ugly, but George had never known another. Every morning of his entire life he had crunched his breakfast from that dish. Every evening he would be alerted by the sound it made as it touched the floor. Now he was going to have to get used to a new home and a new saucer.