… so as you already know … my cat and i have conversations all day … she speaks well … her tail moves with great eloquence … i always know exactly what she is saying even though i can’t always put what she says into words …

i don’t have any more cat stories … (not right now anyway …) but i have a whole plethora of stories about animals … including one about … a couple of female cardinals i helped escape from prison …

… Cardinals …

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One day a few 

years ago when i 

worked

at a 

nursing 

home  …

it was my turn to be the

‘smoking monitor’

for a group of 

ten to twelve patients 

in the screened porch …

where they are

allowed to

smoke …

…..

I lit their 

cigarettes …

…..

while they smoked we 

talked …

…..

next to me sat gracious, sweet 

southern born 

Clara …  

her legs 

blue, 

swollen twice their size, 

blood like red ink on a 

blotter showing through 

gauze wrapped around onion 

thin skin  

ripped and 

torn … from the 

slightest 

movement against any hard 

surface …

…..

deserted by her  children  a

movable lounge chair forever her 

prison 

she cries,  

‘’help, help, help,’’ all night, every 

night …

…..

suddenly two female cardinals 

attached themselves to 

the screen in front of 

us …

…..

sunlight 

highlighted

subtle shades of brown

and 

red streaks

 within their 

tail feathers

splayed 

agains the 

screen … 

…..

clara sat forward 

remarking, 

“… my goodness … how lucky are we to 

see something so beautiful so 

close … !”

…..

suddenly they 

began leap frogging from

panel to panel

back and 

forth

desperate to find their 

freedom …

 ….. 

i rose, herding  them saying,  

‘No, go that way!” or pointed saying 

‘’Keep going straight 

toward that 

opening … ‘’

….. 

one

found the opening

curved  upward into the

blue sky

and 

disappeared …

…..

the other flew 

too far …

attaching herself to the

screen

on the other side of the 

opening … 

…..

by herself now 

searching left to right …

she seemed more

confused  than 

ever …

…..

i walked behind  

her saying,

’’It’s your turn now 

GO!” …

…..

she let go 

fell to the 

left … 

scooped low, rose up and within 

seconds

was a tiny speck within the 

immensity of the sky

before 

disappearing

completely …

…..

i looked back at 

clara …

tears of  pain streaming down her 

cheeks …

…..

thinking

…..

if anyone knows how those cardinals 

felt 

 it was

She …

 

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