Terry Talbert: Lucky, the cat, is top dog

November 15, 1997

How lucky can Lucky get? How lucky can Cassie and Scooter get?

Lucky, the wayward alley kitten that found her way into my home and heart, has found her way back out again. Not out of my heart, of course - but out of my home.

It didn't happen soon enough for my 6-year-old sibling cats Cassie and Scooter. They're just starting to recover.

As it turned out, my hairdresser Cristy (the one with the fur-less Cyber Pet) fixed Lucky up with a new mom. She called last Saturday, two days after I told her the tearful tale of how I couldn't keep Lucky because she was terrorizing my cats.

I was reduced to tears when I went to get my hair done. I was ready to pull it all out. I have a lot of hair. Cristy advised against removing it. I told her Lucky was great with people - loving and cuddly. But she was a terrorist when it came to other animals. She was making me crazy.


I told Cristy I needed desperately to find another home for the feisty little lean, fighting machine. "She needs a home where she can be top dog," I said.

Cristy just looked at me. She does that a lot when I talk.

On Saturday, another client tearfully told Cristy how she'd had to have her cat of 16 years put to sleep. She said she was getting lonely without her.

Cristy called me, and put the other sad one - Diane - on the line. We talked. We cried. She said she would come on Sunday to pick up her new pet.

Diane answered my prayers and showed up as scheduled, just as I finished putting salve on scratches Lucky had etched into Scooters cheek and Cassie's nose.

We talked as the 6-pound Lucky stalked Cassie and Scooter, who each outweigh her by at least 2 to 1.

"Now, she can be a little feisty," I said. "Sometimes she'll grab your ankles with her paws when you try to walk away from her. Just wanted you to know. Oh, another thing. She hates it when you make 'big eyes' at her.

"She crawled up my chest one day until we were nose to nose. I opened my eyes real big so I could get her face in focus. Her ears went sideways, her mouth opened, she hissed, and then hit me in the right temple with tremendous force. Almost knocked me out ... . Just thought you ought to know."

"That's a cat thing - eye contact," Diane said softly with an understanding voice. "She probably felt threatened."

The bottom line: Diane wrapped Lucky in a towel, held her securely inside her coat, tucked against her chest and left.

I was happy and sad.

Diane was happy and a little apprehensive.

Cristy was very relieved.

Cassie and Scooter indicated they'd believe it when they saw it - maybe.

Later in the day I went to visit Lucky at her new home. She was adjusting well.

Lucky is now "Solitaire." She is being spoiled rotten. She is top dog, and she loves it.

As for Cassie and Scooter, well ... . Lucky had had a profound effect on them. She remains a lasting reminder that they are, in fact, wimps.

For two full days after Lucky's departure, Scooter still refused to walk into the living room, which the kitten had declared off limits. In fact, Scooter pretty much refused to move at all. Only the nervous twitching in his whiskers rendered him unacceptable as a classic example of rigor mortis.

For the first couple days, Cassie also remained unconvinced that Lucky was history. Her movement was restricted to amazingly quick trips between her food bowl and a nearby closet. At least she kept moving.

This Thursday I was telling Cristy about how well Lucky's doing in her new home when she gave me one of those looks. "I have a friend who has this 5-month old yellow kitten named Fluffy," she said. "She can't keep her."

"NO!" I said firmly. "Been there, done that. My nerves are shot from the last one. Scooter's nerves are shot. He's still stiff as a board. I may have to take him to physical therapy to get him moving again."

So that ends the story of a kitten named Lucky and the imprint she made on several lives. As for the readers who called offering to take her, I thank you. I'm sorry you didn't have the chance to meet her.

But then ... hey, there's always Fluffy!

Terry Talbert is a Herald-Mail staff writer.

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