My gentleman caller emerged from the burning building with blood pouring down his face. In his arms, the frightened kittyman, draped in a quilt that I’d made long ago.
“I’ll never let anything bad happen to you or your furry children”, he whispered as smoke continued to pour out. He was a hero. He’d saved the kittymans life! I hugged him tightly and clung like Saran.
And with that several fire trucks and a police car pulled up. The men ran inside with hoses and hatchets.
Meanwhile EMTs looked at my boy.
He’d been scratched in the face by the kittyman as he tried to grab him. Apparently even the sweetest, most docile cat in the world will turn into Cujo when terrified by alarms, fire, smoke and a pair of outstretched arms.
I sat in the ambulance with the Wonderdog, draped in a blanket, shivering. It was a cold night and I’d run outside without shoes, wearing only a lightweight outfit.
How could this have happened? We were boiling water.
Neighbors stood outside watching the events unfold as though they were a made for TV movie, not reality.
The whole experience was frightening and terrible in a way that I can’t begin to adequately explain or describe.
Once the fire was out and the trucks drove away there was an eerie silence. The stove was left outside. The panel where the knobs are looked warped and bent.
The kitchen floor was a mess of broken glass and debris.
There were some holes in the wall where the fire department had opened it. Apparently they had to make sure that the fire hadn’t traveled up the walls. Luckily it hadn’t. Everything had been contained to a small area.
The smell of smoke was overbearing.
But I was so thankful that everyone was okay though, that other than a few unpleasant cat scratches there were no injuries and nothing awful happened to anyone.
I suppose it’s ironic that just a short time before all of this happened I’d been showing my boy the quilts I’d made and telling him how I wanted to get back into making them again. He was very complimentary as I spoke about the colors and patterns, though it was obvious that he was getting a little bored. So I threw the quilts onto the sofa and we went to make dinner. After the fire broke out he tried unsuccessfully to catch the cat. When the furball ran under the sofa my boy kicked it over, grabbed the cat in the largest quilt and ran to safety.
I have not looked at those quilts in ages, much less decided to show them to other people. Was it fate that made me take them out of the closet and leave them on the couch that night?