An odd group of birdwatchers take shelter and trouble brews.
We hiked toward an opening in the woods. There, we came upon a little cabin by the lake. The weather was promising to change quickly as heavy, moisture filled clouds gathered in the distance. The temperature dropped dramatically since we started this outing.
Nightfall comes quickly in the woods, so I decided to take cover with my odd group. This bunch consisted of a very skinny librarian with a terrible nail chewing habit, a man who sweats profusely, wears a fedora hat and is cursed with a nervous head twitch; a slightly chunky, albeit voluptuous woman, married to Mr. Twitch or dating Miss Skinny, I really cannot remember which; and myself, the tour guide du jour. All these frantic birdwatchers depended on my keen knowledge of mountaineering. (I knew I should have taken that continued education class for emergencies during threatening weather.) Alas, the whining of the motley crew should end as soon as we safely hunker down.
I made my way to the door, and was ready to break in if necessary. People rarely use their vacation cabins at this time of year. Amazingly, the knob yielded to my touch and the door opened easily. Thank goodness, it wasn’t locked. My mini mix of binocular toters pushed passed me while hurling an assortment of snarls, curses and other indignities my way.
There was a welcoming fireplace with some dry logs, which I tossed inside and lit. The cabin was cozy, although a little messy. You would think folks that could afford the luxury of a summer place could at least hire someone to close the place properly, or at least lock the door.
I noticed a lovely window facing the lake. Mr. Twitch grabbed a spot next to it and just stood there casting weird shadows with his jerking head movements. He then spoke of his academic accomplishments and recent promotion to professorship at his Ivy League college. Who would have thought he possessed the intelligence to even get dressed in the morning?
Miss Skinny stood close to the fire, rubbing her hands together, while Miss Chunky just pummeled me with questions of my ineptitude. I apologized profusely about getting us all turned around for about the fifteenth time. I finally told her to keep her pie hole shut or fend for herself outdoors; that would make her realize how lost she really is. She made an obscene gesture and turned toward the fireplace.
Suddenly, we heard this screeching sound and saw a flying pile of fur lurching off a ceiling beam, landing right on Mr. Twitch’s neck, forcing his head backward and through the window. We ran to his aid and helped pull him back in while checking to see if he was injured. He was pretty shocked and shaken by the sinister cat’s actions.
We helped him over to the fireplace and sat him down. Miss Skinny brought him a kitchen cloth that had been left by the sink so he could blot the blood from the wound on the back of his head. I looked at the window that was just broken via Mr. Twitch’s head. I laughed because there seemed to be a fedora shaped break In the window. The hat never fell off his head. I guess all that sweat held the hat as tight as a vacuum pack. Needless to say, he was not amused by my laughing fit.
Miss Chunky picked up a broom and held it across one shoulder, ready to swat the feline beast should it decide to attack her. Before I could say another word, that devilish cat jumped on my back and attempted to scratch through my down stuffed vest. Feathers were flying everywhere, resembling a snowstorm inside the cabin. I screamed and twisted awkwardly trying to shake that evil cat off my back.
Finally, Miss Chunky thought she would weigh in with a wicked whack of the wicker broom and--Wham! She hit my back with a nasty force that would have squished the creature had it not abandoned its clutch a mere second before the broom hit. “Ouch”, I screamed.
The demented demon hid again to await its next stealth move against us. All eyes roamed every inch of the tiny cabin to spy the cat before it attacked another time. It was quiet for many moments, until the doorknob opened causing me to jump and let out a startled shriek. "EEEEKKK!".
This little old lady walked inside and asked us nervously what we were doing in her home. I told her how we got lost, and that we needed shelter from the impending storm. I explained that we thought the cabin was unoccupied due to the late time of season. She remarked that she used her cabin year round unlike those fancy people who only want a summer vacation home.
She gazed from one face to the other with a stern look of disapproval. Without missing a beat in the gawking department, she called for “Sweetie”. Out from the backside of the fireplace, came this passive gray cat just purring and rubbing its head against her leg. She picked up the former demon-like, beast, now cuddly kitty and petted it.
I yelled out to her to be careful because the cat had some anger issues. She laughed saying that “Sweetie” is just a lovable little fuzz ball. The creature did appear different while she held it. I realized the cat was probably defending its home from strangers, like a “watch cat”. The woman suggested we make ourselves comfortable while she put on some water for tea. She placed the cooperative cat on a plush padded chair in the corner and walked into the kitchen.
I calmly stared out the broken window at the beauty and serenity of the crystal clear lake. It reminded me of an artist's painting or a lovely greeting card picture. Subsequently, I turned my gaze toward the cat. It was still sitting on the chair, but when its eyes met mine, I noticed they were a luminous red. This isn’t going to end well.