January 26, 2022

Her name is Rabbit

Her name is Rabbit. She is a cat. And throughout her 17 years with me, she has proven her worth many times over.

Rabbit, the cat that hops like a bunny and quacks like a duck

It all started with that “golden paw” on my front door. Stray cats would walk down my street looking for a place to get a handout or take up residence. Rabbit saw the “golden paw” on my screen door, rang my doorbell and said, “Hi, I’m your new cat.”

Actually, it didn’t go quite like that. The first time I saw her, she was a streaking blur across my backyard. I had gone outside to check on my border collie, who was running laps around the fence line. He was oblivious to the brown streak that shot under the deck.

At first, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. But then I saw the streak again, and eventually the flash came into focus. It was a Manx kitten, and when she realized I was not a threat, she started hopping and bouncing toward me.

With only a stub of a tail and her habit of hopping, she was named Rabbit. And she quickly snuggled her way into my affections. Despite her youth, she was already street smart. And since I had a mild allergy to cats, I taught her to use a pet door into a backyard shed and she lived there. She and the border collie established a wary truce and we were a happy family.

Rabbit is unique in many ways, especially her meow. She sounds more like a duck than a feline. I call her the Cat Named Rabbit Who Quacks Like a Duck.

We’ve moved since the backyard shed days to a condominium complex where there’s little traffic. Rabbit now lives in the garage, but she is so friendly she knows everyone in the complex. She hangs out at the pool and meows for attention and has charmed several neighbors into giving her treats. She is the unofficial mascot for our community.

When I took her to the vet for her checkup this year, the doc pronounced her in perfect health. Even though she is now officially a senior cat, she has never had any medical problems and she has never caused me any trouble.

Rabbit is my little five-pound wonder – my bargain cat. If I had it to do over again, I’d gladly pay good money for her.

…Sheila Allee [Note: This essay is my September 2019 contribution to the BRAINZ writing group. The writing prompt was “Bargains.”]

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