JOE THE CAT I
“What’s that?” the mother said as the baby doll jumped out of the child’s baby buggy and sauntered across the room to the couch. He stumbled a couple of times on his pink nightie.
“I see that now. You shouldn’t torture the cat,” the mother said. She dashed out of the room.
Millie ran to the couch and rolled the pink gown up, exposing Joe’s stomach. She fastened it with a rubber band so he could walk. Satisfied, she ran back to the buggy and picked up a tiny satin bonnet, took it back to the couch and had a problem tying it on Joe’s head while he continued to flick his ears. When she finished tying the bow under his chin, Joe looked kind of surprised with gray stripe peaks on both sides of his face--like his eyes were open farther. He stared at Millie before his underlids drug his suddenly exhausted eyes closed. His feet reached almost to the ground when the five year old picked up his ten pounds and carried him back to the buggy. She put in his top half then followed up by lifting his back legs over the edge as well.
Twenty minutes later, Joe dashed into the kitchen, hat dragging behind him, dolly gown off one shoulder. He slipped out of the pink stuff and went to his feeding station to watch his bowl. Licked the bottom. Looked at the full water bowl with disdain.
The mother ran by the kitchen table where she dropped a loaf of bread. She made a trip to the cabinet where she gathered the soft butter dish, peanut butter, a knife, two glasses and two plates and juggled the items to the table.
Joe moved to a table chair to watch.
“Don’t worry, Joe. The magic bowl will fill very soon,” mother told him.
Joe allowed one blink.
She laid out the bread slices and spread butter on two slices, peanut butter on two others. Walked to the refrigerator, opened the door to grab the jelly. No jelly. Lifted the jug of milk instead, then went around the corner to the pantry where a new jar of jelly resided.
She paused at the kitchen counter to wrestle open the hermitically sealed jar after setting the milk jug down.
Joe watched her over his right shoulder while one claw of his left front paw engaged itself into a slice of peanut buttered bread, inching it toward his chair.