Anna and Barbara conspire to find Buddy....
|As Anna put the kettle on to make fresh tea for her and her good neighbor, Barbara, anxiety about Buddy got the best of her.
“Do you know what happened to Buddy?” Anna asked Barbara, with big tears forming in her eyes. She reached for a tissue and broke down completely. Barbara put her arms around her friend and tried to comfort her.
“I saw Sandra come out with Buddy in her arms after that van from the home pulled away. Buddy must have scratched her cause she dropped him, and he took off across the yard. I’m afraid I ain't seen him since, Anna. I’m so sorry. I come over and asked Sandra what happened. She said you lost your memory on the bus, didn’t know who or where you were, and created a big ruckus. She called David, and between 'em they agreed to send you to the Tender Loving Care place. I stayed in your yard after she left and called and called for Buddy, but he never come back.”
Desolate and feeling the lowest she had felt all her life, Anna continued sobbing. Thank God she had escaped that place and gotten home safely. In her mind’s eye, she saw Buddy starving, afraid, and maybe even worse. And her daughter and son must not care much about her at all to have done what they did knowing how she loved Buddy.
“Anna, it ain't even been two full days yet. We’ll find him. I been thinking about it, and when I go home, I’m going to ask Joey to make some flyers to put up, and he’ll look for Buddy. Try not to worry. We’ll find him.”
Anna sniffed and hiccupped until her tears stopped. Maybe Joey could find him. Joey was Barbara's only child, a good boy and an ace on the computer.
Buddy had been her best friend and sole companion since he was a little, snowy white kitten with blue eyes. He had showed up on her patio one morning four years ago, hiding under her amaryllis, meowing, wet and hungry. She had picked him up, and he had nuzzled his little pink nose under her chin. It was love at first sight. She had asked around, but no one knew where he had come from. Lucky for her because he was just what she needed. She wouldn’t care if they sent her back to that home if something had happened to Buddy.
Anna felt a little better knowing Barbara and Joey would help her find Buddy. When she noticed his food and water dish, she got a huge lump in her throat and had to swallow several times before she could continue with the tea making, orange flavored Earl Grey, her favorite.
As they sipped their tea, Barbara wrote down some things for Joey to put on the posters: large white male cat; answers to the name of Buddy and loves tuna. Anna found a recent, good picture, and Barbara said Joey could copy it into the poster on his computer. Anna was beginning to feel even better.
“What happened after you got to that home?” Barbara, being seventy-something herself, was interested in what went on at assisted living centers.
“Oh, they treated me okay. It’s just not home, and they wouldn’t even talk to me about bringing Buddy. Honestly, Barbara, there’s nothing wrong with me. I just had one of those ‘senior moments’ everyone jokes about. Sandra just went off the deep end….she’s such a control freak. Everything came right back to me as soon as I realized Buddy was not with me, but Sandra was already gone, glad to have shuffled me off on somebody else."
“I could hardly believe my eyes when I seen you get out of that police car. How'd that happen?”
“When they said ‘no’ to Buddy, I just waited for an opportunity to walk out. It’s not like you’re locked up or anything. I got confused again in all the traffic, and the nice policeman stopped to help and brought me home. Pretty clever, huh?” They both giggled.