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The Snow

By: mkkrinler

Chapter 13,

XIII

The day after the fair Kelsey and her son woke up to find Dog was a pretty sick cat. Once again Dog was taken to the vet for his night fights with other casts. Aside from shaving the hair, cleaning the cut that was much deeper than Kelsey had thought, and a bottle with a round of antibiotics the veterinarian had simply suggested keeping the cat indoors. Kelsey insisted his night life privileges were revoked; knowing the cat would never stay indoors, all the time.

While Kelsey took care of Dog at the vet, Dwayne sat on the back porch, quietly, without his mother to watch him with his pellet gun. He had the single shot pump rifle across his lap, enjoying the warm sun shine on an otherwise cool spring day. It was only a little while until the demon cat was in the hedges in the side of the yard. Dwayne had not seen it jump the fence and did not know how long it had been crouched there in the shade. He raised the pellet gun to his shoulder and took a steady breath.

He was no hunter or marksman, the pellet gun being an old birthday gift for plinking at empty soda cans. The cat was pretty large though, and not too far away. He briefly thought about the morality of shooting an animal, a pet no less, then squeezed the trigger.

He saw the cat twitch give a high pitched shriek and bolt deeper into the hedges. It did not, however, climb the fence and flee the backyard it was intruding in. Dwayne stood up holding the rifle in both hands as he approached where the cat had been. As he crouched and looked into the hedges he saw the cat, hunkering in the corner, growling threateningly at the young man who had shot it. He wasn’t sure where he had hit it, but raised the rifle again at it as it growled.

This time the lack of morality in shooting a cat, at close range, as it hid in the corner of a fenced yard, did bother him. He sighed, cursed himself and the cat and set down the rifle. On his hands and knees he moved into the hedges and reached out for the cat. It hissed as he came closer to it and through gritted teeth he muttered, “Yeah, you think this is your yard.”

He got within arms distance of the cat and at that moment it made to sprint around him. Again, not up the fence to safety, in its own yard where it belonged, but around him into his own yard. He made a quick lunge grabbing the cat by its back haunches with both hands. He only had to hold that cat for a second to know it meant to do him as much harm as it had done Dog. Its claws came out and dug into his hands as the beast twisted its body around trying to pull free with loud hissing and spitting.

Dwayne cringed at the cuts being dug into his hands and quickly shuffled back out of the hedges dragging the cat. He then flung the cat by its hind legs as hard as he could over the fence into the ally way where its own yard was.

He stood a moment heaved another heavy sigh hearing the cat hit the ground with a dull thud and a loud hiss. Among the many white scratches there were only two cuts across the top of his right hand that were actually bleeding. He wiped some of the blood bubbling on his hand on his jeans as he picked up the rifle on his way into the house.

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