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Piper

Piper

C.L. Mozena

 

1Construction had been halted. One of the cables holding the concrete pipe broke. It fell with tragic results. Sal gathered with the other construction workers around the bodies of a mama cat and her three kittens, crushed under the concrete pipe. Sal removed his hard hat.

They were just animals, but the deaths put a damper on the rest of the work day. A new cable had to be rigged to move the pipe. And the pipe itself had been damaged, so there was all the paperwork that went with it.

“Come on, boys,” Sal’s supervisor waved a clipboard. “Let’s get this thing done.” Sal inspected the damage to an abandoned building when the pipe hit it. “It was gonna come down anyway,” Sal’s supervisor sidled up to Sal. “Look’s like we’ll have to move that little project up a few days.”

“This must’ve been their home.” Sal tapped the rough edge of the hole. “All the noise must’ve scared them out.”

“Who?”

“The cats.” Sal glanced at his supervisor.

“Too bad they ran the wrong way.” Sal’s supervisor peered into the hole. “Let’s go, Sal. They’re bringing in the wrecking ball now.” He walked away.

He should just forget about it like his coworkers. What was the lives of four cats, anyway? Still, the accident was partly his fault. And the deaths weighed heavily on his shoulders. His little girl would be in tears for days if she found out what he had done. Sorry, kitties. Sal had to get back to work.

A high-pitched squeak caught his attention. Sal stopped and turned around. What now? Mice? No wonder the cats chose the abandoned building as their home. He heard the squeak again. It didn’t sound like a mouse. Great, maybe a rat. Sal shuddered. He didn’t lie either mice or rats. But he really didn’t want another death on his conscious.

“Raahh!” He yelled at the darkness. Maybe that would scare the animal away. He paused and listened. Silence. Good.

“Hey Sal!” the driver of the wrecking ball yelled out the window. “Move it or lose it!”

“Give me a minute!” Did he hear the squeak again? It sounded afraid. Sal clicked on his flashlight and peered into the darkness. A small movement caught his eye. He gasped and froze.

“Mew!” the high-pitched squeal accompanied a furry body rolling out of a filthy rag. Not a mouse or a rat. It was a kitten! One of mama cat’s babies escaped the concrete pipe! Sal knelt down and scooped the baby up. Must be only three or four weeks. Were there anymore? A quick scan of the area and Sal was sure this was the only survivor.

“Sal! Let’s go!”

“Coming! I’m coming!” Sal held the kitten secure and climbed out of the hole. Out in the sun, he could see just how tiny the little gray tabby kitten was. No way it could survive on it’s own. But he knew the perfect care-giver; his eleven-year-old daughter would give the kitten more love and attention than it could handle. It just needed a name.

Leave it up to his daughter and the kitten would have some common name like ‘kitty’ or ‘whiskers’. No, this feline needed a special name. Lucky? It certainly was, but that was more of a dog’s name. Sal bumped a piece of concrete pipe that had broken off in the accident. And came up with the perfect name.

 

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Piper

  • Author: C.L. Mozena
  • Published: 2016-11-04 17:05:08
  • Words: 596
Piper Piper