Word Count: 498
The Tales of Tails
By Peg Scarano
I’m guessing, whether you are human or feline, you are wondering how I got stuck with the name “Tails”. Many humans go through life disliking their names because they were named after a great-great grandparent, a distant aunt or uncle or their parents got lost in a moment and dubbed them with a name that was “cute” at the time.
Well, I don’t know of any long-lost relatives, but I do know I was originally named Jewels. What an elegant and prestigious name – Jewels. But while my name was regal – my life was not. Prior to becoming Tails, I did not live a life of luxury, but rather one of homelessness and loneliness. But I digress. Let’s stick to my new name first.
I lived in a house with approximately 80 other lonesome, wild, tame, sick, long and short-haired cats of various ages and stages of cuteness. The woman came alone the first time to look around at all of my other housemates. I sat straight and tall on one of the traveling prisons right by the front door so she would see me upon entering and exiting. I didn’t want her to miss me. She did speak to me, touch me and fondle my fur. So I did the only thing I knew to retain her attention – I sang to her in my sweetest and loudest purr. She did not understand the words, but she understood – “TAKE ME HOME!” Or at least I thought she did. But then she left.
How can I explain the anxiety of a cat when she is snubbed, ignored or abandoned by a human? It kind of feels like losing one of my nine lives every time it happens. But if this was true, my life would almost be over and I am not yet ready for the Rainbow Bridge – not by a long shot!
Since one year of a human’s life is the equivalent of nine years in my life, it seemed like a very long time before I saw this particular lady come through the door of my house of cats again. This time she had a male human with her. She actually turned to him as they came in and said while pointing at me, “This is the one I was telling you about. Isn’t she pretty?” I stood straighter and taller and started singing yet again while I paced back and forth over my portable prison. “She is pretty,” says the male human, “but let’s look at the rest of them.” My heart plummeted yet again. How many lives could I possibly have left?
I curled up, depressed, in my cat circle as I listened to a lot of human mumbo-jumbo. Here they come again. Should I even bother to get up and look pretty? I thought, “What’s yet another life?” and stood, flourished my tail like a peacock and gave my best song another shot. They took me home and named me Tails…and so my tale begins.