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 Two Women and a Dead Cat

By Charlotte Wald
Copyright 1999 Charlotte Wald

 A true short-story about the author's tribulations with her dead cat.
I noticed her lips were blue. She was lying on her side on the kitchen floor, away from traffic. I knew she was dying.
I had taken her to the emergency night vet two nights before. She was going into heart failure and was cyanotic. She had had a mastectomy ten weeks previously and was now riddled with more tumors. They put her into an oxygen box and she perked up. In fact, when the vet took her out, she hopped right back in. Smart pussy cat, my Binky!
I made her as comfortable as possible on a towel near me in my bedroom. She never took her eyes from mine as I kept a vigil over her. When she finally took her last breath, I cried and called my son to let him know we had lost our dear pet.
Now the more practical side of me took over. What does one do with a dead cat at 10PM? I live in the friendly village of Mamaroneck, where we usually call on the police for emergency situations, so that's what I did. The officer in charge could not give me a clue as to what to do. I then called the Humane Society and heard a recording.
I called my neighbor Jean, also a cat lover, who had four cats with a total of fifteen legs. She threw on her clothes and came over. We wrapped Binky in a towel and set off in my car to the Humane Society, thinking someone would be on duty and that we could
leave her there. Alas, the building was pitch dark, with not a soul in sight. I could not bear to leave Binky on the porch for fear the raccoons would eat her. We drove around aimlessly for a while, trying to think.
It then occurred to me - here we were - two crazed ladies, riding around the quiet streets of Harrison and Mamaroneck with a dead cat in the back seat. We had left home without purses, wallets, I.D.'s and driving licenses! What if we had been stopped? We would have been taken in for observation!
Finally, I thought of taking her to the emergency night vet's across the county in Greenburgh. So, off we went, being very careful to observe the speed limit and keeping an eye out for police cars. When we arrived, I presented poor Binky to the attendant and told him my problem.
"Of course, we'll take her," he said. "That's part of our service. That will be ten dollars, please."
"But I left my purse home. I have no money," I wailed.
"You can't make me drive her all the way back to Mamaroneck and then back here again." By this time, I was slightly hysterical.
The vet was consulted and it was agreed that I could leave Binky to her rest and send them a check the next day. We left quickly before they could change their minds. We headed home, much relieved and feeling a little giddy. I said "Jean, I am not a drinking person, but this night calls for a stiff one." So, crying and laughing at our adventure, we had a few drinks. Some ladies' night on the town!