Ginger smacked at the alarm clock and groaned. She rolled out of bed and trudged to the bathroom. The hot shower water helped to get her going and clear some of the fog in her brain. No more would she have a girls night out on a work night.
She left the bathroom in a whirl of steam and headed to the kitchen, expecting the coffee to be brewed. She didn’t smell coffee when she entered the kitchen and after checking out the coffeemaker she found out why: she forgot to set the timer last night. Oh well, guess it’s off to the coffee hut.
She shut the kitchen door behind her and stepped out into the garage and slid into her Volkswagen.
She backed out into the early morning darkness and suddenly heard a thud. She jumped out and ran to the back of the car. She had knocked the garbage can over. She stooped to pick it up but a big black cat jumped out of the overturned can. Ginger fell back against the car. The cat was huge and it’s black fur was scraggly with tufts of hair missing. One of it’s ears was folded down and it’s eyes were two different colors. One was green and one was grey. It stood and hissed at her.
“Scat cat! Get out of here.” She shouted at the ugly cat and stomped her foot at it, but it continued to hiss at her. Ginger slid around to the door and climbed in the car. She hoped it would run away. When she got to the end of the driveway she looked back to make sure the garage door was down. She saw the cat dart into her neighbors yard. With relief she went to work.
She told the girls at work about the cat.
“You got yourself worked up over a cat? Girl you got to get hold of yourself.” Sheila laughed.
“It was probably more scared of you then you were of it.” Kay shook her head and went to her office.
The evening as Ginger drove home, she realized the girls were right. Just a lost cat that was probably scared. She drove into the garage and grabbed a bag of fruit from the front seat and got out.
As she passed Ted’s gun safe, which she inherited in the divorce, to go up the steps, she felt a smack on her head. She turned and looked up and there sat that ugly cat. In spite of herself, Ginger yelled out. The cat swatted again, this time catching her hair in it’s claws and pulling, hard.
She swung the bag of fruit at the wretched thing. She missed, but it jumped down and disappeared. Shaking she finally got the key into the lock and shoved the door open. She slammed it back and turned the deadbolt.
She sat down on a bar stool until her heart stopped pounding so hard. Dribbles of sweat had broke out on her forehead. Stupid cat! When she could breath again she put up her groceries and took a hot shower. Feeling better she went to make a sandwich for supper. From the refrigerator she pulled out a plate of assorted meats to make a sub sandwich. She turned to the sink and suddenly the plate crashed to the floor, meat and pieces of plate scattered across the floor.
The cat was on the outside window sill with it’s face mashed against the window pane. It’s weird eyes glowing in the kitchen light. She picked up a piece of the broken glass and pitched it at the cat. It jumped down and was gone.
She had just cleaned up the mess when her cell phone buzzed. It was Chloe, her friend.
“Nothing much. Just had a run in with a cat.”
“Oh, yeah. Who won?”
“I think that round went to the cat.”
“You sound shook up.”
“I am.” Ginger explained all that had happened with the cat.
“I’m sorry Gin about the cat, but what I really called for was to see if you were okay. You really tied one on last night.
“Did I do anything bad?”
“No, not really, except tick off that old woman in town that everyone thinks is a witch.”
“Yeah you did. You stumbled and collided with her on the sidewalk in front of the bar. You two were face to face and she shoved you and you called her a lunatic, a fake witch, and something else I couldn’t understand. She was furious with you.”
“No way! Really?” Ginger exclaimed. She was a bit embarrassed when Chloe hung up. Feeling tired, Ginger went to bed.
Ginger was dreaming of being in a boat and floating down a river when she was awakened by a scratching noise. She quietly reached out and flipped on the lamp setting on the nightstand. She slid out of bed to look under it, but saw a brown, furry mouse dash across the floor and flee under the closet door. Really! Now a mouse. I’ll take care of that tomorrow at the Co-op. She straightened the quilt and sat down on the edge of the bed and reached to turn off the light. Tomorrow I’ll take care of a couple of pests. Her hand was on the light switch when a two black claws clutched at her ankle. She screamed and danced around the room with the cat digging into the skin around her ankle and foot. Finally she kicked it off, grabbed a book from the nightstand and threw it at the cat. It hit the cat on the head. It hissed and she picked up another book, ready to throw. The cat ran from the room and disappeared.
Ginger flipped on lights and crept down the hall. She wondered where it had gotten in at. She searched the house over for it.
“Where are you?” She called out. Finally satisfied that it was gone, she went to the bathroom and cleaned her scratches with peroxide. Then she went back to bed, but she didn’t sleep for the rest of the night. She sat on the bed, with a baseball bat at her side, and watched for the cat to reappear. She wondered briefly if it had rabies. She would call her doctor. Finally the sunlight peeked through her curtains.
Taking the bat with her, she showered and dressed. Today she would rid herself of not only a mouse, but a deranged cat. A trip to the co-op was in her future.
“She grabbed her purse and left, careful to watch for the cat, high and low. She had the bat ready in case of an attack. She slide into her car. No cat in sight. Good. Maybe the thing was gone. It would be if it knew what was good for it.
“She pulled from the garage and sped toward town. Thankfully it was Saturday and she didn’t have to work. She slowed down when she saw the stop sign at the end of the road. She pressed the brake and heard a noise. She felt something in her hair, pulling. She looked into the rear view mirror. A set of eyes, one green the other gray, were staring at her. The cats lips were pulled back in a twisted grin.
Suddenly the cat pounced, clawing her face. She tried to hold the wheel and fight the cat off. Then the cat bit down on her ear with razor sharp teeth. She screamed in pain, grabbing at the cat with both hands.
The car veered out onto the main road and into the path of an oncoming truck. The last thing Ginger saw was the cat’s eyes and a very brief memory of a fortune teller with one green eye and one gray eye.