"A Thanksgiving Cat-Astrophe!"
By Suzan L. Wiener
We had moved into the neighborhood and didn't know a soul. Since our family now lived out-of-state and we had always had them with us on past Thanksgivings, we missed them and were sorry we wouldn't all be together. Thinking it would be a lonely time, we made plans for the two of us to celebrate at a local restaurant. We thought going out to eat would be better than simply staying home. But, when our next-door neighbor invited my husband Howard and me to her house for the traditional holiday feast, we canceled our reservations right away. The other guests seated wouldn't be our relatives, but the dinner would be festive, and it was sure to beat eating by ourselves. We really looked forward to the occasion and hoped to make a good impression and establish new friendships.
Howard had always baked delicious pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and since we make it a practice never to arrive at a host's home empty-handed, he decided to make some for Cindy. Early in the day, Howard baked several pies, then took them over ahead of time, so they would be ready to serve after dinner. Cindy was touched by Howard's thoughtful gesture. Placing the pies on the windowsill to cool, she added that she usually bought store-bought desserts, so homemade pumpkin pies would be a treat.
Our cat Mitzi followed us when we went next door to deliver the pies, no doubt lured by their enticing aroma. She sniffed in the direction of the desserts and jumped toward it to get a better look, but her efforts were in vain. After several attempts, she gave up scampered away - I assumed she'd gone off to sulk. I made a mental note to give her a little something special when we got home so she wouldn't feel left out.
Dinnertime finally arrived. Cindy's house was beautifully arranged in seasonal decor, and the table was exquisitely set with her best china. Once all the guests had arrived, the hostess ushered everyone into the dining room, where her husband John carved and served the luscious-looking, golden-brown turkey. It was succulent - truly the best we'd ever tasted - and the trimmings were just right.
After the meal was over, we adjourned to the living room for coffee and dessert. Cindy announced that the pumpkin pie about to be served had been made from scratch by Howard. Beaming from ear to ear, my husband eagerly anticipated his usual rave reviews. Then we heard a load moan from the kitchen. Everyone ran to see if Cindy was hurt. Cindy was fine. The pies were not.
Unfortunately, and to our utter embarrassment, Mitzi had sneaked over to Cindy's house and had managed to squeeze through a kitchen window that was slightly ajar. After devouring half a pie, she had made herself at home, stretching out to snooze across the remaining pies. Mitzi wasn't the slightest bit perturbed. She made no effort to escape or to hide her pumpkin-smeared face. Although not exactly what we had in mind, we certainly made an impression that evening. Our Thanksgiving Cat-Astrope will long be remembered by all who were present.
Bio: Suzan L. Wiener has had numerous stories, articles, poems, anecdotes, etc. published by major publishers such as Mature Living, Mature Years, Saturday Evening Post, FellowScript, Institute of Children's Literature, etc. She also enjoys writing and selling greetings for card companies and has a non-rhyming love poetry e-book up at http://www.coolerbooks.com/inside.asp?id=133243