short story

Daring Do Heights

Before you start to wonder, “could this be about a person rescuing a feline from a tree?…” it is.

I was a wee lass heading home after a day of child shenanigans at a local playground. Walking with head down, lost in thought, I caught movement in my peripheral. The movement was coming fast and blurred. A real life cliché of a dog chasing a cat unfolded before my eyes, and sure enough, that cat scaled the nearest tree.
I was thankful no cars took that opportunity to come speeding around the corner. A common occurrence in my neighborhood. Even with the noticeable signs of caution and speed reduction.
“Aww poor thing.”
The small dog remained stationed at the base and let out a few “menacing” barks. Then headed toward its home. I didn’t know if this kitty was a stray, but at the time no one was coming for it or knew it was in a tree. I sized up the towering plant. I’m about 5’2 now and was several inches shorter then.
This was a challenge.
However, one I was willing to accept. Especially once the grey fluff started mewing realizing its mistake and trembled from its pursuit. I looked around for anyone that might be able to give me a boost. Of course, there wasn’t anyone.
I made for it on my own and pretended I was channeling skills I mastered in Girl Scouts. Reality being any of my refined tree skills came from the streets…of suburbia.  I found decent footing and eased my way up to the desired branch. Using my feline charming voice, which was probably much creepier then, I told the kitty it would be okay. And gently reached for it, not considering it might make an attempt to climb higher. The cat backed away a couple of inches, but stayed on the branch. I got a firm, but not crushing, grip on it and started to head back down feeling vainglorious. I slipped a little on the return and scraped my arm and leg on the rugged bark. In my self-satisfied haze, a minor wound was worth it.

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