It's All Connected

It's All Connected

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Time I Stole a Cat From a Cop and Got Away With It

I am no saint. I will never claim to be innocent. I've done things, things you wouldn't believe. This is the story of one of the things I did that you won't believe. Or maybe you will. Maybe you've done things too.

When I was eight years old, running wild with my native bruthas and sista on the Colville Indian Reservation, I had a big gray cat named Fluffernutter.

What? Fluffernutter is not the name a wild hooligan would choose for her mascot, you say? Well, what do you know? Were you a wild hooligan from the rez (Tonya don't answer either Erin!) I thought not, so shut your trap or you won't get your story.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, Fluffernutter was my cat. Some would have called her nobody's cat, or "feral" but those people can not conceive of the bond Fluffernutter and my eight year old self shared. She was very big, with long matted hair, and she had this strange compulsion to dig these little burrows for her newborn kittens. She also always gave birth to one still born kitten, in every litter, that always looked just like her. Why I remember that detail is a question for a psychologist, but that's another story.

One day Fluffernutter disappeared. She just vanished. I searched the woods for one of her burrows, to no avail. Fluffernutter had been catnapped. No, not put to sleep for twenty minutes to be awoken for thirty over and over all day long. She had been taken by rival hooligans trying to start a turf war.

I vowed revenge.

Surprisingly, being a rez hooligan keeps you pretty busy, so I forgot about avenging the loss of my cat. Plus I think we had a litter of Cocker Spaniel puppies born that year and who doesn't love puppy breath accompanied by big brown eyes and long soft ears?

It was nearly summer when two boys came to school with a big cardboard box full of something for show and tell. They began talking about their cat, FLUFFY, who when pulled from the box was big AND had long gray hair. Coincidence? I actually think so, but back then I really didn't care.

I knew that Fluffy was not Fluffernutter. Not just deep down, but all over I knew. This was not my cat. But what the hell, she was close enough. Meh, not even really that is true, because you see, Fluffy was a boy. No chance he'd had litter upon litter of kittens, building burrows for each of them. But still I plotted.

After school I grabbed the box and ran to my bus, trying hard to keep Fluffy-ernutter quiet. I talked to him throughout the entire seventeen miles from the school to my bus stop. I soothed him with my chit chat. When I got off the bus, I had already formulated the lie I would tell my mother. There was only one problem, well two. The box was going to make my story a hard sell. Also, the boys who had brought the cat to school were the sons of a local cop, and I was pretty sure that a fat little second grader, running through the halls with a giant hissing cardboard box, would have been noticed. Would I go to jail? Would my permanent record be tarnished forever? I decided it was worth it. I really wanted this cat.

I ditched the box "behind" a "bush" at my bus stop, and carried Fluffy all the way home. When I got to our front door I was so nervous it wasn't difficult to feign excitement. I burst through the door, bellowing for my mother.

This is how it went:


Mom: What? What's wrong? Where did you get that cat?

Me: It's Fluffernutter, Mom! Look! She followed me home from the bus stop!

Mom: Sara, I don't think that's...

Me: I knew she'd come back to me, Mom, I just knew it all along!

Mom: Oh, Sara.

You may think the story ends about here, but it does not.

You see, I was caught. The boys knew who had taken their cat. They told their dad. They came looking for their cat. As it turned out, the story behind Fluffy is that he was a stray. That the kids found him by the side of the road, and the family adopted him. If I hadn't been a hooligan, I probably would have given back their cat and told the truth. That I was jealous and I really wanted the cat. But I didn't. Instead, I lied.

Mom: Sara, you tell me the truth, who does this cat belong to?

Me: Mom, I swear, it's Fluffernutter! You heard them, they found her by the side of the road! She ran away! Mom, it's her! She's mine!

Then I cried.

The boys' dad exchanged a look with my mom that said, "you and I both know your kid is lying, but I never really wanted the damn cat anyway," and I knew I was home free.

I believe Fluffy-ernutter ran away a few months later, but such is the luck of a reservation tomcat.


  1. I'm dying to know what "behind" a "bush" really means. On top of an elephant? Next to a saxophone? Across from a rutabaga? The options are endless!

  2. Well, your mind worked in much funnier ways than reality did that day. I thought I'd put the box behind a bush to hide it, but really it was more like next to some short weeds. I was not terribly bright at eight, apparently.

  3. Well you got the cat, and that's what matters. No one puts Fluffernutter in a corner . . . or something like that.