Saturday, 5 May 2018

Poor Klone

A true story by Cmdr Erika Stroem

Klone was a black cat, who was an offspring of another black cat who used to live with us; hence the name.
We were at the vet, for hopefully Klone’s final check-up. He had contracted some sort of unknown disease or poisoning that attacked the brain, which had baffled the vets. I had lost so many of my loving pets through it: Ozzy, a very young long-haired kitten, Tipsy and Topsy my daughter's two rabbits, Blue the parrot and Shera, my beautiful twenty-eight year old tarantula. The vet said that it may have been coincidental with Shera as she was very old
and on her last two legs, so to speak.
But Klone was the only one of our pets who caught this killer disease and actually survived it. However the vet did say that he would more likely to be left with some brain damage. Although I felt happy that he was on his way back to better health, I couldn’t help feeling guilty and embarrassed.
While most people transported their cats in up-to-date cat baskets, all I had was a cardboard box. I could not afford many things in those days and had to suffice with what we
had at home.
While sitting in the waiting room, with the box on my knee and being an hour early, as the next bus would have made us late, Klone got a bit restless. It
was a long time for him to be stuck in his container, especially not being able to see anything, so I opened the lid, just enough for him to pop his head out. I saw his eyes smile at me with gratitude for not making him have to suffocate any longer in his limited space. Having nursed him for so many weeks, I had become so close to him in a spiritual way, as though I had touched his soul and him, mine. I was unconditionally in love with him and so grateful for his survival.
We sat for a while, just staring at each other, when we got distracted by someone laughing. It was a lady who was accompanied by two children and a pink
toy poodle and she was pointing in our direction. Maybe she was referring to Klone with his head peeking out of the box. I suppose it must have looked quite funny. But how dare she point when she is the one with the pink dog, for crying out loud.
We watched as other people and their pets went through for their appointment with the vet, waiting eagerly for our turn. New batches of people came in and
as soon as they sat down in the waiting room, they also started pointing at Klone in his makeshift cat basket. One woman even went into fits of hysterical laughter. I smiled back at her, thinking, “I agree it could be cute, but surely not that funny.”
As time passed, people came and people went, who all pointed. They giggled, laughed out loud or tittered to themselves. One guy even asked if he could take
a photo. Another lady who had already been in to see the vet, deliberately grabbed the vet’s arm for him to come out of his consultation room to have a
look; who in turn beckoned the receptionist to come and see.
By then my smiles turned to frowns, as I was confused and paranoia was just about to settle in, until one abrupt lady came and sat next to me.
“I don’t know how you could,” she said, raising her eyebrows.
“Could what?” I replied anxiously.
“Have you not seen what is written on the front of the box?”
I hadn’t, as I’d just grabbed the first one available out of the porch. I gingerly turned the box around and when I saw it, I closed my eyes in disbelief. I wished for a hole to appear for me to make my escape. However, I at least then understood why people had found it so amusing. Nevertheless, it would have been better if it had not been written in such huge red letters. I cringed when I read it ... MEATY DOG FOOD.
Poor Klone!

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