June 10th 2011 7:21 pm
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OK HERE IS PART ONE TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK
Shore is cold today:
I drove a company Peterbilt for Francis Gold for a lotta years. Francis was ornery, but she was fair and paid good. She and her husband Ernie had co-drove for about thirty years. She was in a wheel chair from a wreck she and Ernie had many years ago. Ernie came out of it O.K. but Francis never walked again. After Francis got as good as she was gonna get, they got ‘em a new truck and went to drivin’again. Ernie’d winch Francis up into the cab and off they’d go. They’d spent the best years of their lives in the cab of a truck and they loved it. They decided to start their own truckin’ company a few years back and had done real good.
One day Francis got a phone call and Ernie had died of a heart attack. He was drivin’ a new truck back to the yard from Lufkin and had pulled off the highway at the Seven Oaks road side park on highway 59. An old friend walked over to say howdy and found him still behind the wheel. The coroner said Ernie probably knew he was dyin’and pulled off the road to keep from hurtin’ somebody. Francis never quite got over it. I had lost my Cathy the year before and I knew that kind of pain. I don’t reckon you ever get over it.
I was haulin’ a load of recovered pipe east on I-10 from a rig location a little north of El Paso back to the yard in Jacksonville in the middle of January. I had driven through some rough weather from ‘bout Van Horn all the way to Boerne. Lotsa sleet, snow and wind. Took the 1604 loop on over to I-35 north at San Antonio and pulled off the road a little bit north of New Braunfels at a “TA” to fuel up. I went inside and hooked up with a “Subway” sandwich. While I was eatin’, I watched through the window as an attendant fueled up the rig. It was a lot warmer in here than out there. I finished my sandwich and headed for the truck, tipped the fueler, went to step up into the cab and almost fell down!! There on the bottom tank step was a tiny orange ball of fur with these big black eyes starin’ back at me.
“What the heck is that thing” says the attendant.
“I ain’t real sure, but I think it’s a kitten.” Says I.
Real easy-like, I reached down to the little feller and he never moved. He just looked up at me with those big ol’ eyes. I laid my hand on his little back and he was almost froze. He either didn’t know any better or he was so miserable that he really didn’t care, but he never moved when I picked him up. I was wearin’ a parka and slid him into one of the pockets and climbed into the cab. I had a new pair of work boots still in the box back in the sleeper. I took the boots out of the box and threw them in the sleeper, tore up the packin’ to make a bed and put the little feller in it. I cut the bottom out of a styrofoam coffee cup to make him a little bowl and put some water in it for him. He just looked at it, then he just looked up at me with them big eyes and I think we both kinda knew the little feller wasn’t gonna make it. It made my heart hurt.
I finally got that big ol’ “Pete” into high gear headin’ north on I-35. Between watchin’ for black ice and idiot drivers and fightin’ that cold North wind, I managed to find time to lay my hand on the little feller just to let him know he wasn’t alone. Somewhere around Kyle he seemed to drop off between this world and the next. I picked him up and put him in my shirt pocket so’s he could feel my heart beatin’.
“You’re not alone little feller I’m right here with you." I think it was important t otell the little fellar that.
I took state highway 130 at Buda and looped around Austin to I-79 EAST a little west of Hutto. I used to have an uncle who loved to sail. Anytime we took a trip somewhere he would always say the same thing:
“All sheets in the wind;
Sails full and riggin’s pulled tight;
North by north east;
That pretty much summed up where we were at this time. I-79 was the last leg of this trip and other than takin’ the loop around Palestine it was a “straight shot”. Me and that little feller were homeward bound.........farewell.
To say that this last piece of road was rough is an understatement. Hard to believe but I really think the weather was gettin’ worse. It seemed to be gettin’ colder; it was snowin’ and sleetin’ again; the wind picked up; every bridge I crossed was iced up. Gettin’ dark too. It was tough. And I felt in my heart that Little Feller was losin’ his battle. I wanted to pick up the pace but just couldn’t. I said a little prayer for him and that big Cummins engine “growled up” as I spun my tires across another frozen bridge.
I could see the lights of Palestine across my hood in the distance. Gettin’ closer. If we can just make it around the loop without losin’ it, we’re home free.
I made the loop and me and eighty thousand pounds of steel and Peterbilt fought that last 27 miles to the yard. I started thinkin’ on what to do with Little Feller. If he could just make it through the night I’ll take him to my veterinarian Alicia in the mornin’ but it didn’t look good.
I pulled into the “Gold Trucking” yard, parked the rig, wrapped that little kitten in a brand new sweater of mine, climbed down outta’ that rig into that frozen “red dirt” parkin’ lot and hurried into the dispatch office. There in all her glory sat her “highness”, Francis.
“You’re late. Where you been?”she asked. She knew durn well what I’d been through and and durn well why I was runnin’ late.
“Got drunk in Sonora and bet your truck on a “tumble bug” race. Spent the night in the Boerne jail.”
“That figures!” Says she. She knew durn well I didn’t drink.
“What you got in that “Red Wing”box?”
I opened the box and showed her a really sick little kitty and told her the tale. I could tell the sight of that sad little feller touched her heart and she fell in love with him on the spot.
When bees de next parts??? Needs to knows what happens to kitty!!!
What happend to the poor little fella????? Gots to know MOL
Yaaa we got readers I am furry excited to tell the story. Mom thinks it will only take 3 to 4 days of diaries to post all of it here. Oh that poor kitten....
Hurry back and write the next part....we can't wait to see what happens to the little cutie! Purrs, Skylar
We're all purring that somehow this story has a happy end. They way you write it, I can feel the truck rumble and the wind howl. Francis needs someone to love and the little fellow needs someone to love too.
I like this story so far. Hope that kitty is ok. And you are writing about my part of the world, I lived in San Antonio when I was younger.
This is GREAT! We are all pulling for the kitty making it, which OF COURSE, she/he? WILL. Right? We're hanging on the edge of our kitty perches!!!
Oooo, I can smell those diesel fumes now. And feel the black ice under the tires. Hit the granny lane and watch out for gators!
LOVE the story and can't wait for more!! Luv, Tink
francis already haz sum kittehs...tell yur dad he kneads ta keep tnis kitteh and call her moe sew itza troo storee!!!!!
We luvs this story.
Sure hope little baybee kitteh
lives to a ripe old age!
Waitin' on the rest of the story.
Hello Tundra and all the furs that are reading my story, thanks for stopping by here. Ilove tellin the story, I think we are going to put part II in tonight.
We'll be reading it.
My dad is truck driver...
not an over-the-road one;
a shuttle driver.
Mom always tells him to be
careful of the deer and the
elk and all the other
animals he sees along the
way. He always slows down
when they're on the side
of the roads 'cause he
cares about animals too.
oh nose! So sad! Poor little orange ball of fluff... what happens? I must know... must go read part two!!!
Awwhhh sweet lil' kitty :) .... I'm anxious myself to read what happens next!!!!
Poor little kitty...And And what happen next? I'm anxious to find out.
Hugs & Purrs,
Liking your story so far.