A coon, a cat and a couple of Footlongs
Published 08/01/2013 12:00 AM
All we wanted to do was take a couple of Footlongs to the town beach, sit in the car, look at Long Island Sound and eat dinner. Funny, how best made plans always seem to shift on the tide.Because our familial tenants, my daughter and her husband, were taking their 16-foot aluminum boat, which used to be my father's, then my husband's and now my son-in-law's, to Rogers Lake after work, I decided not to cook.
We live in the woods and when we left, my husband spotted a black cat with a white flea collar, lying at the edge of our driveway. At first we thought it was not alive but when we checked, the chest moved up and down, barely, and it's head moved slightly. It let out a tiny meow and my heart melted.
It was late afternoon, all the local vets were closed and the nearest emergency veterinarian hospital was 45 minutes away. We simply didn't know what to do.
My first thought, our neighbor has a black cat. We drove next door and banged on the front door, no answer. We walked around back and as we did movement caught my eye. A Cujo-sized raccoon raised its head. Raccoon, still light out, we quickly retreated to our car. Back we drove to the cat convinced that its distress had been caused by a possibly rabid raccoon. Interpretation: don't touch the cat. So I did what any right-minded wife, trapped in a car with an indecisive husband would do, I called 911.
Sharing our cat-in-distress dilemma with a 911 operator may seem a bit extreme but I figured they could transfer me to the local police and animal control officer, which was exactly what they did. We were asked to wait until someone showed up to care for the cat and deal with Cujo-raccoon.
My husband's cellphone rang.
Our daughter and son-in-law were stranded in the middle of Rogers Lake. The boat engine had died, they couldn't restart it and had resorted to a pair of collapsible oars to get them to shore. My husband explained our cat and raccoon dilemma - surprise, they weren't interested.
Within a few minutes a very nice policeman arrived. He walked around the neighbor's yard with a device which looked like one of those HurryCanes as advertised on TV, which I assumed packed quite a jolt if overtaken by Cujo-raccoon. The animal was gone. The officer offered to wait for animal control if we had somewhere to go, we did - the beach.
My husband's cellphone rang.
The kids had made it to shore and were trailering the boat.
Long Island Sound was calm, the weather was perfect and as we relaxed and unwrapped our subs. The cell phone rang - again. The wheel bearings on the boat trailer had seized and my daughter, her husband, the car and trailer with boat, plus her car, were now stranded alongside the south-bound on-ramp to the Baldwin Bridge.
I never knew that a boat that size could actually fit in the back of my husband's pick-up. On his second trip I was amazed to learn that the trailer fit as well. The outboard motor made it home in the back of my son-in-law's jeep.
We didn't get to finish our Footlongs until quite late. I learned that the cat had not been touched by the raccoon and that it perked up when the animal control officer showed up and took it to the emergency vet. Cujo-raccoon has not been seen since and the boat leans against a tree in the back yard while they work on the wheel bearings. Dinner at the beach, I don't think so, enough said.
EMAIL CAROLYNN PIANTA AT CPIANTA@COMCAST.NET.