Short Story: Walking The Meatball

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About this Short Story

Written by
Mary T. Wagner


When the author's son dropped off his cat for "just a little while," no one could have predicted the life lessons that would take hold during her daily treks through the woods with the cat...and the dog.


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Life lessons from a middle-aged cat in the forest.

More than a year ago, my son asked if he could park his eleven year old cat “Meatball” at my house for a couple of weeks while he sorted out some new living arrangements in his college town. I said “yes,” of course. If I look at a calendar, I can discern without eyestrain that that was quite a long while ago. Kids and pets, they are really never predictable. And they always keep you humble.

This is not Meatball’s first “stay” here. Michael has been bringing him home for short vacations for several years now. This middle-aged feline, who my son picked out at a shelter largely because the cat stuck his tongue out at him, was the essence of Christmas for me on a day when the holiday itself involved driving 250 miles and visiting elderly relatives in two hospitals and a nursing home. He has, alternately, been amusing, infuriating, annoying…

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Suzanne Mays Guest Editor said "I so enjoyed reading this today. So well written and made me smile. Have three cats and when I walk in the backyard they watch. All the best, Suzanne"
2 years ago
Mary T. Wagner replied saying "Suzanne, thank you for the kind words! Don't you find it funny when people who don't know better describe cats as "aloof"? Mine are like two-year-olds who can't let Mother out of their sight!"
2 years ago
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Diane Dickson Guest Editor said "Having walked cats in woods I really did enjoy your excursions and indeed your life lessons. This was a beautifully written and presented piece of work and the pace was perfect for this snowy afternoon. Thanks for this. - Diane"
4 years ago

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