I’ve been tracing the Crazie Family Tree – click here for last week’s ancestry.
Sibling Position – #1 – Three Years Older Than Me
Janet and I shared a room on the second floor that had been haphazardly added to our tiny house when we were teenagers. Janet never got used to moving upstairs and everything frightened her. She once woke me up to say there was a stranger scratching at our second story window. I turned on the light to discover a limb from the hackberry tree moving in the breeze, swiping across the screen.
Another night, she woke me to say something was sitting on her chest.
I groaned. “Well, take it off your chest.”
“Noooo,” she moaned. “Turn on the light.”
I stumbled out of bed and flipped the switch for the overhead light. A gigantic grizzled grey cat with one torn and jagged ear, stood on top of her like a marble statue, glaring into Janet’s frightened face.
I raced down the stairs screaming, “Wild cat! Wild cat!” Even though I’m sure my Grandpa, who lived a half mile away could hear me screeching in terror, when I made it to my parents room, Mom was sound asleep. Dad lay on his back, an ashtray on his chest, smoking. He took a long drag, blew out the smoke then asked me why I was causing such a ruckus. I continued my refrain of “Wild cat! Wild cat!” He stubbed out the cigarette, placed the ashtray on the floor next to him and followed me — in his Fruit of the Loom white briefs — back upstairs.
I cowered behind him as he marched into our room and grabbed the cat, whereupon it immediately switched from marble-statue-mode to Tasmanian-devil-mode. Claws in killer position, hissing and yowling, it latched onto to one of Dad’s catcher-mitt-sized hands.
Cursing a blue streak, he managed to get it down the stairs and tossed the ferocious savage out the back door. Dad returned to bed and placing the ashtray back on his chest, lit a cigarette. Janet and I had a hard time getting to sleep. I’d just nodded off when I heard her whisper, “Teresa. It’s back.”
I didn’t wait to turn on the light, but headed straight for the stairs screaming “It’s back! It’s back.” Dad came prepared this time, with thick leather gloves. He picked the cat up by the scruff of the neck and shouted through the screams — cat and kids — for someone to unhook the screen on the window. We did and out the monster went.
Don’t worry, cat fans, the villain in this story survived his two story fall just fine. In fact, he went on to terrorize us for several weeks by crawling through the poorly installed heating vents and appearing in odd places throughout our house.