By Laura McHale Holland
It was a cat: calico, chipmunk size, at my neck purring softly at first, then louder and louder until the feline sounded like a helicopter, and then we were in a helicopter, a real helicopter, but it was sputtering and spinning, descending rapidly toward the earth, and we had just one parachute, and the cat said to me, it’s either you or me, babe, and I wrenched him away from my neck and almost threw him out, but then I thought the way things are these days, someone could probably catch that on video, me tossing the cat into the blue, like some horrid cat hater, when, really, the cat had spoken to me, threatened me, but nobody would know that, so I calmed down and told the cat the parachute was too big for him anyway, so we may as jump together.
I put on the chute and tied the cat to my body with my scarf, and out we went, just in time, too, because the helicopter was turning into a fireball, but as soon as the parachute opened, that cat screeched and howled and wiggled out of the scarf and wrapped himself around my neck and scratched me up something fierce, and then he ran off as soon as we landed in some trees.
The emergency crews are in place now, cleaning up the mess, and everybody thinks I got all scratched up in the trees, and that cat, that chipmunk-size calico cat, isn’t around to tell them any different.
(Photo by Ashley Bayles, http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashleybayles/5949583068/sizes/m/)