The Red-Headed Strangers - Part 2


Every evening, Waylon and Willie would scratch on the kitchen door to go out. This evening was like all others and The Red Headed Strangers were off, into the darkness.

Thirty minutes had passed when the familiar scratching at the door resumed. It was time to come back in. Willie stepped into the kitchen.

Within seconds, another scratch at the door – it was Willie, again, apparently wanting to go back outside. This in/out scratching game went on for about 10 minutes when I finally saw Waylon.

He was weakly struggling to climb the stairs outside my kitchen door, I could hear his loud, raspy breathing and he was covered in blood.

My heart raced. I picked him up and wrapped him in a towel. "Oh my God – How do you facilitate a cat’s airway?" I recall. I held him upright as he was bleeding from his mouth and throat. Panicked, I ran downstairs and pounded on my neighbor's door. I didn’t have to say a word - we were on our way the Emergency Animal Clinic.

The clinic was open between 6pm and 8am for emergency veterinary care and they were incredible. I no sooner stepped inside of the clinic when a vet tech snatched Waylon from me and ran off. No questions asked.

We waited for word in the austere clinic lobby. A sweet cat that looked like it had been through hell was very comforting to me as I waited for Waylon’s ‘verdict’was curled up on a chair beside me. Most of its fur was gone, one eye appeared surgically altered and its skin was evidently grafted. I later learned that it had been doused with gasoline and set on fire and was now the ‘Resident Cat’ of the clinic.

If you believe, as I do that every soul has a purpose - maybe this cat’s purpose was to comfort and give pause for thought. Red-Headed Strangers: Part 3

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