October 8th 2012 1:16 pm
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Now, as I might have revealed in a previous diary, Mommy and Daddy went down the year after Hurricane Katrina to where Daddy is from. They went to a little place called Bayou La Batre, which is a shrimping village, and it's a quirky, odd and magickal place as many places there are.
Now when they were down there, they ate in a little ramshackle restaurant with old linolium on the floor and old formica tables. And when Mom finally figured out that Hush puppies were not shoes nor real 'pups' that were a side on her plate, she was much more relaxed.
And when they were eating, as is the way in some places in the South, the Restaurant Owner came out to eat with them.
Now, during their meal, a big black cat wandered out, slinking slowly across the floor, and then, leaping gracefully up into an empty chair beside Mom, accepted their lunch invitation, and was happily engaged in enjoying some catfish and shrimp with them when the restaurant owner sank into a chair beside them at Daddy's invitation.
'Now I see you met Roscoe' he said to Mommy. Mommy petted Roscoe's head and nodded. "That there is a magic cat. He's got good luck to him, thats for sure."
Daddy said 'How's he magic?"
The owner cracked open his Dr. Pepper, took a swig and reached over and rubbed Roscoes chin.
"That there animal did surely save my and my wife's life."
Daddy finished his last bite of catfish and said 'How is that?"
"Well" said the Owner, who told Daddy and Mommy his name was Nate "It's like this....
'One day, bout a year or so ago in July, this skinny cat wanders up near the dock...never saw him before, but he looked rough, all skin and bones. Now, I never could condone with folks just turning their animals to fend for themselves, so I see this poor cat all hungry like, and I get my lunch and it's a tuna sandwich. And I put it on a paper plate and put it down near the boxes he's setting under. And the cat darts out to eat.
Now I don't know who's cat he is, if he's lost, or if he's friendly. But he sure was hungry. So I see after he eats that sandwich in about 2 seconds flat that he's still hungry. And I go across to the store and get me some cat food. And when I'm there I get a box so I can put him in.
I put the food in this box...open the can. And I got a lid for the box, and when the cat finally jumps in to eat, I put the lid on real quick, and then tie it up with a little twine and put it in my truck and take him home.
Our dog had died a few months before, and I know my wife is missing him. So she see's me with that box and she says 'Now what is that?" And I tell her about this cat that I found and she says 'Well, we better get him over to Dr. Perkins'. He's the vet we had for our dog. So she calls and they tell us to bring over this here cat.
So we go over...and the cat is really quiet in the box, not trying to get out or anything. And we get there and they take us into the exam room and I tell the doctor about this cat and he says "Well, I guess you got yourself a cat then, Nate." And he carefully opens the box. And this big black cat head looks up and out at a him. And then, very carefully, he leaps out of the box onto the table.
Well, the Vet does all the normal stuff...he tests him and gives him shots. The cat is already neutered. He' has no collar and the vet tells us that his paws are rough, he was probably out there awhile. So he treats him for fleas and ticks, and tells us he thinks the cats' about 4 or 5, and he is really skinny but in otherwise good health.
Well, this cat is sitting there just watching me and my wife. She reaches out and pets him and he begins to purr. She picks him up and he lays his head right on her shoulder. And the Vet goes out and comes back with a carrier and gives it to us, no charge. So we have a carrier for this cat.
On the way home we start talking bout what to name him, and it comes to me that he reminds me of this fella I used to work with on the Shrimp Boat a few years back, a tall and lanky black guy who one day fell over during a storm and never was seen again. And this cat-well, it reminds me of him, cause it's the way Roscoe was too, you know, laid back and easy going. So I say 'Let's call him Roscoe, after Roscoe Harris, that guy I used to know." And my wife agrees.
Now, Roscoe is no fool. The first few weeks he stays close to my wife, and he's eating all the time. But after a bit, he takes to following me around, playing with my fishin line, and he likes to come out in the early morning with me when I'm going fishin. And when a couple of the guys go with me, they're joshin....like 'hey, I heard of a cat fish, that a fish cat?' But they soon learn that Roscoe's good luck to have around, cause he loves the boat, and sits out of the way of the hooks and all, but sits near the wheel and will start meowing and crying if we're in certain places...and when we stop, we catch fish.
So soon, Ernie, the guy who owns the Shrimp boat I was working on, asks if Roscoe can come. And I bring him and he's meowing when we get to some spots...and then we are getting shrimp. And Ernie offers to buy Roscoe, but he isn't for sale. But he lets me take him whenever we go out and the weather isn't bad. My wife won't let him go when the weather is bad.
Now last year, well, we were setting to get ready to go out on the boat. And Roscoe was on the dock. And as we're loading up, all of a sudden, Roscoe stops. He stops right where he is and he looks at me. And then, he sits down and won't move. I whistle for him, and he looks at me. He goes to the side of the dock and he is sniffing. And he is all stiff and then he turns and walks back to my truck.
Now, he never did that before. It worries me, and I get to worrying that maybe he's sick. My wife hears about it that night-and the next day she takes Roscoe to the vet, but the vet says he's fine. And the vet says to me 'You know, they are predicting a storm. Sometimes animals start acting weird with storms."
I didn't think anything of it. I mean, I been through alot of storms, down here, as you know, you get used to it. But I sure didn't think it had anything to do with Roscoe.
But that day the same thing happens. Roscoe is not getting on that boat, and when I do, he starts howling. I put him in the office, and when we come back in a few hours later he's yowling.
He was sure glad to see me, but he was restless. When we got in the truck and went home I told my wife and she bit her lip. "I think it's this storm...they are saying it could be bad."
Now, she's worried, and I see it. But there have been other storms. So I tell my wife 'Well, we'll just get ready for it, no need to worry."
But my wife has this look when she's watching Roscoe who's pacing. And that night he will not sleep, he's meowing loud and pacing. And finally, I get up and I go to him and he is looking at me and he's staring with his big gold eyes and he's Telling Me that he wants me to do sometihng...and I say "Roscoe, is it the storm?"
And that cat puts his paws on my leg and he's looking into my face. And I figure...well, I'm probably a fool...but this cat knows something.
I go tell my wife to get together some stuff. We got a camper, and we load it up with food and clothes and water and stuff we'll need. We got a generator and I put Roscoe in it and call Ernie and tell him we're leaving til we find out which way this storm is going. And Ernie is like
'What, are you crazy?" and I tell him 'look, this thing could be pretty bad.' and he's like 'We rode storms out before." And I tell him that they are suggesting people leave if they can, and I tell him my wife is really really worried.
So he's not real happy but he tells me he'll see me in a couple days, and my wife is looking at me and we lock up the house and we go.
I felt pretty dumb, let me tell you, because I could not tell you the last time I left because of a storm. But we pull out and when we do Roscoe comes to sit close to us.
Now we head up to Camden, which is near Montgomery, cause my brother is up there. And when we get there early that morning, well, the rain starts, but still this is not unusual.
My brother is glad to see us, and surprised. But his wife, she's from the Florida coast and she says their dog has been all upset and such and she's sure glad we're there. And they come in the camper and meet Roscoe and then we go and have some breakfast with them in their house. We go back to the camper round about 11am and Roscoe is sure glad to see us and we're tired so we take us a nap since there isn't much else we can do.
And that afternoon we realize we weren't the only people to leave when we see the news and we see other folks on the roads...and I am sure glad that we left when we did.
The storm brings in alot of rain and some wind, but not like if we would have stayed home. We get rained on, sure, but nothing we aren't used to. Roscoe spends alot of his time sleeping. If a cat could look relieved, it would be him.
That afternoon I get a call from Ernie that some other folks left, and the storm is heading right along the Coast. I call some of my friends, and some are there, but some have left. My wife's family left when we did-they listened when she said that the cat was behaving strangely. So we just stay put and spend what time we have with my brother.
Well, you know what happened....Bayou La Batre got hit and parts were underwater. Our house was flooded and the water rose so fast we might not have been able to get out if we'd waited.
When we went back-it's hard to explain what it looked like, but I can tell you this...it was tough to see. But we were ok, thats what mattered. We were alive. And we were lucky cause we had a camper to live out of-some folks didn't have that.
It took awhile before things got anywhere even remotely normal. I found work up in Atmore for almost a year, but you know, this is our home.
And then, a few months ago I bought this place with my brother and Ernie.
Ernie wound up leaving right after he spoke to me that day. It saved his life cause his house was wiped out-he and his wife and son lived with us for a little bit til the insurance came through and he could rebuild.
Roscoe likes to stay here and sleep out on the screened porch and greet visitors. We don't always bring him, but he seems to know the people who like him, and comes out to say hello.
The strange thing was, when we got back, my vet called me and asked me if we still had Roscoe. It seems that a woman came in and handed her a picture of a cat that looked alot like Roscoe, and he told her about us-and he took her number. I called and she told me her mother had passed away and when they were dealing with eveything her mom's cat had escaped the house. She said if it was her moms cat, she'd be happy to know he had a good home with us, and wondered if she could come see. I told her sure, but told her that my wife and I were sure taken with him, and it would really be hard on us to give him up. She told me that she wouldn't do that-she was glad if he had a good home with us, as she had three cats of her own and two dogs. But she did want to come round and see.
When she came by she was a nice woman...and when she saw Roscoe she burst into tears. She reached down and petted him and called him 'Harry."
Roscoe let her pet him, but after a bit he got nervous and ran up under our table. We told the lady that he was taken care of and all, and promised her he'd always be loved by us. My wife almost flat out told her she wasn't getting him back. But the lady was fine with it. Then she turned and asked me how I had found him, and I told her. And she shook her head. "His name was Harry...but you know...for years, my mom...she was confused. She used to call him by her Aunt's name...she thought he was a cat she had as a girl, named after her aunt...Katrina."
It was weird, I admit.
But she gave us some of the toys her mom had for him, and a collar. But that was it,s he said goodbye. Once in awhile she calls to see how he is, but thats it...
This past year, we got Roscoe a sister-a little she cat from the pound that was gonna be put down that day. A little black Minx. I call her Minxy-but for that there lady, and her mom, her real name is Katrina.
We wanted something to come good from that storm."
And Mommy leaned down and told Roscue 'You are a very special and Magickal Cat' and Mommy said he knew it too. And Daddy and Nate shook hands and then Mommy and Daddy left.
And you know-Mommy wants a House Panther too, though I'm not so sure. But that is the story of Roscoe B. Fishin. I hope he lives a long time, and like all black cats, I know he is good luck.
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That is a very sweet story! I'm glad they adopted a black cat. An article in our local paper mentioned that black cats are usually the last to be adopted.
Wow. You are such a great storyteller. I can see it all in my head just like being there. Roscoe is one cool cat!
Ooops. I got so wrapped up in the story I forgot why I was here. Concats on your Diary Pick today!
Great story! I agree with Skylar -- you're a great storyteller.
Oh thank you for sharing this meowvolous story with us! *claps paws*
wow that story was sooo good thanks for sharing it with us dude you can sure do some writing.
congratulations on your diary honor.
That was an awesome story Mr. Ruffy, and for sure mom says a teeny little house panther was just what she was needing, and the missing part of our quartet. I am doing my best to bring luck to everyone! squeaks Felix
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