Max: KATHMANDU – If I didn’t, Care…

Hi everyone,

As promised Max is back to “read” to you an excerpt from his latest book Kathmandu, A Max & Tammy Mystery. For all published books check out their author page on Amazon US or Amazon US.

max_KATHMANDU (2)

KATHMANDU

-pt.3- (Click here for pt.1 and here for pt.2)

“If I didn’t, Care….”

     The ride home was fun all the lights all over the cars dash were lit-up, and that radio gadget never stopped talking. It must have been in a special language cause it only talked in numbers half the time and Sergeant Jack talked back in numbers too. Tammy sat in the back with us and pointed out the lights and stuff.

“Look, Max, look at the dashboard and all the lights!” She was so excited then Sergeant Jack blew the patrols cars siren, and we all jumped in our seats.

When we arrived, Mom met us at the end of our walkway at the street. Sergeant Jack opened the back door and Baby then Tammy and I got out.

 

 

She that’s my Mom had folded her arms across her chest, a sure sign that I might be in trouble, but for what I didn’t know. Baby strolled up to her and wound around and around her legs and ankles, which made Mom smile big time. Then she sat beside Mom and glared at me as if to say, ‘okay top that.’ I took my time walking towards her thinking that the more Mom saw of me and how wonderfully handsome I was, that I’d be forgiven. It was working too because she smiled even bigger.

Then Sergeant Jack said. “Now don’t keep your mother waiting,” and used his boot against my butt to hurry me along. Mom laughed outloud, and so did Tammy. It must have been a girl thing, and I thought “I owe the big man a favor in the future for sealing the deal with my Mom.”

Mom walked a few steps towards us and held out her hand to Sergeant Jack and smiled at Tammy, as I made my first contact with her leg. She was wearing pants, so I stood up as far as I could and placed my front paws against her. I thought Baby would never do this. And as usual, I was right. Baby snorted at me turned and walked away to the steps and then she bounded up onto the deck and disappeared.

Tammy stood beside Sergeant Jack and sort of crossed her thin legs and twisted her body around. She must have been nervous, why I do not know. I don’t think my Mom or my Dad had ever been cross with Baby ever. Then the story was told of how the trailer called KATHMANDU caught fire. How the Maintenance Man had seen me inside it and how I had gotten sick and been revived by one of the fire guys. Tammy told her that I was a hero, but she couldn’t tell her why or how. There was not one word spoken about Ivan or The Maintenance Man and that extension cord. I thought I should just stay quiet on the subject and see if I could skate outa this one.

“Will KATHMANDU… Is it a total? Can it be fixed?” Asked Mom.

“I don’t see why not. It was only the side deck and some of the living room that was burned, the deck is a total, and it will have to be stripped down almost to nothing, at least, the living room will just to get rid of the smell.” He said very knowingly.

“So you think it was an accident?” Mom asked with a little quaver in her voice. She looked down at me and frowned. “What am I ever going to do with you, mister?”

My newest bestest friend Sergeant Jack spoke up. “I’m not a fire investigator but most fires big or small in parks like this, start at a fuse box or bad wiring. You know it was lucky that the Evans boys were outside with all their instruments.” He smiled at me and I snorked back at him. Mom shushed me and my bestest friend flashed a grin at me continued. “They were playing earlier on stage at the concert. Not to mention that the firemen were right around the corner at the ice cream shop.”

Mom and Tammy laughed. He added. “You know keeping him inside for awhile wouldn’t be a bad idea. I understand that the parks Maintenance Man was very upset with Max.”

Mom nodded her head then looked at Tammy and said. “Speaking of ice cream would you like some yourself their young lady?”

“Really… I’d love some!” With that my young buddy ran up the stairs, when she got to the sliding glass door she called back at me. “Max! Come on boy!”

This was my cue to escape any more parenting. I took off into the house and maybe some ice cream.

Mom and Sergeant Jack talked for a while. Then he left tooting his cars horn much to the delight of a bunch of kids, that had crowded around asking him questions about the fire and was it true that I had started it.

Inside, Tammy had the refrigerator open and had set a bowl on the counter. A huge scoop of white ice cream with these chip things in it waited to be devoured by her and maybe me. Humans eat some of the strangest food, though I have to say a lot of it is very good. She was in the act of shutting the door to the refer when my Mom called her. Tammy slammed the door and trotted out onto the deck to talk to my mom, no doubt about what had happened at KATHMANDU and my part in it. Mom knows that Sergeant Jack likes me and has protected me in the past; with me, she is always suspicious. Not so much with Baby, who never does anything exciting, unless I’m involved of course. I sat down and politely waited for my houseguest to return. She just might offer me some of this ice cream stuff; she has in the past, and it is so good. As if by magic there were two puffs of smoke and my angels appeared. Good Angel hovered over the ice cream bowl, but Bad Angel dived directly into the heavenly globs and started licking it. I didn’t know what to do. Then the White Angel settled down next to the bowl and took a claw and scooped a big glob for herself. Then as if a light went off inside her she responded to the chilled delight that is ice cream. Her eyes got big, and she smiled and then went face down into the bowl. I was afraid that in no time they’d lick their way through it all. And you know who would be blamed for that don’t you? Yep! Me the Maxtor.

Bad Angel in between mouthfuls of ice cream said. “Come on up here Max and join us, this is really good.” He smiled his cute smile all bright eyed as his little whiptail flashed back and forth. “I think she’s.” He pointed at his constant companion the white angel. “Lovin this stuff as much as I do.”

White Angel made little noises like “Mmmm Mmmm” she nodded her head up and down, her furry little cheeks were puffed out as she barely chewed her ice cream, mostly swallowing the frozen treat whole as she grabbed more and more of it and shoved big paw-fulls into her mouth. Gone was the small polite creature that always minded her manners. In its place was this ice cream monster that was devouring Tammy’s bowl of ice cream. There was no way I could explain this to Tammy.

I heard footsteps on the deck and then I saw the sliding glass door move. I had seconds to think of something and fast too. All the while those angels (now both bad angels) continued to lick and gulp down as much ice cream as possible. The door moved another inch, and I could see my Mom’s hand on the handle. Tammy’s voice rang out as she yelled from the deck to a school friend of hers that passed by on a bicycle. The angels heard all this too, but they were still in the throes of making little pigs of themselves. The ice cream in the bowl was almost gone when Mom slid the door open. Then as Tammy and Mom walked into the kitchen. Black Angel did a double take and appraised the situation in a snap. In a flash he moved his wings around and around, it was effortless for him. It seemed the movement was ever so slight, but it was enough for him to levitate himself up into the air. Before he poofed out of sight, he reached down and grabbed the once Good Angel (who of course is white) she continued to eat. Still making gulping noises her eyes closed in extasy then all at once they were gone in a puff of smoke and disappeared.

Mom and Tammy stepped in front of the counter; Tammy went straight to her bowl, she picked it up and took the spoon and started to eat her ice cream. To my amazement, the bowl was full, just as she had left it. She smiled and made the same “Mmm” noises that my White Angel (I hesitate to call her a good angel anymore) had made only seconds before. As I sat there stunned at what I had just seen. My White Angel reappeared and knelt on Tammy’s shoulder, she reached over and dipped an extended her paw into the ice cream. She had a big glob of it dangling from her claw; she shot me a wink and poof she was gone.

Tammy sat on the floor in front of me and did almost the exact samething she stabbed the ice cream with her fingernail and pulled out a big glob and offered it to me. I leaned forward and sniffed at it; it was cold. But there was a scent of something all cats love, milk. I extended my tongue and licked it, truly it was divine.

Mom walked by at that moment. “Don’t be giving him too much of that its to rich for him,” She said as she walked away. “Tammy?”

“Yes, Maam!” Tammy responded then she held her hand to her Tammy’s face and giggled.

“Do you want to stay for dinner?”

“Oh! Yes Maam, I would.”

All the while I licked faster and faster till all the ice cream was gone. I looked up at my friend and gave her a snork to show her my pleasure.

Tammy laughed and leaned towards me. “Okay, now later after dinner when it’s dark we’ll go out for a walk and go see what the Maintenance Man is doing I just know he had something to do with the fire at KATHMANDU.” She then winked at me just like my white angel had done. “I don’t want Nicole to cause you any trouble.”

The plan seemed reasonable enough; that is everything but the walking part. Whenever Tammy took me for a walk these days it was on this leash thing so I couldn’t run off. Darkness wasn’t that far off; the shadows outside were long, and I could hear the rustle of birds perching in the trees outside. They were settling in for the night. Our big adventure was not far off.

We ate, well Mom and Tammy did. My Dad was out on a special overnight job, and wouldn’t be back until the next day. So I guess Mom wanted to have Tammy for company. She even invited her to stay overnight with us. Which was great cause then I could snuggle up to Tammy and watch TV (the real TV) far into the night. But first we had to go for our walk and Tammy had some kind of plan which she needed my help with, something to do with our friend the Maintenance Man and where he lived.

Now I’ve been to the yard that he keeps here in the park, there are lots of things that he keeps in storage, he also has a collection of lawn mowers and other yard stuff there too. But I’ve never been inside his shed. I call it a shed; well everyone calls it a shed it’s really like two trailers sort of joined together. He sleeps in one end and in the other part is a big work area. Both trailers sit directly onto the ground so he can drive golf carts straight into the shed to work on them. It is rumored that he has a big bow and arrow thing that he has killed other wild animals with and he has their hides mounted on his walls. I have never seen such a thing and because of this, I wasn’t real happy about going there. But if Tammy was going to go well then I had to. You know just in case she needed my help.

So it was after dinner, and after Tammy had helped Mom do the dishes, they sat and talked about girl stuff, that’s what Mom called it.

She got up and said. “Well…if you two are going to go for your walk, you’d better go its getting late.” She smiled at us and walked down the hallway.

With that, Tammy got my harness and leash out of the closet. It took sometime to put it on me cause I was under the couch. We said goodbye to my Mom and off we went out the front door and into the night.

Tammy didn’t waste anytime; we hit the street at a run, she was still dressed in her shorts and a flimsy top, but my Mom had given her one of her hoodies to use. It was dark in places cause some of the street lights had burned out and I think one of the new kids had shot them with his BB gun. It was eerie going and I think Tammy ran so as not to think about what if there were spooks hiding out in the bushes or in-between the older trailers that had no lights on outside. It’s not something I think of ever cause the darker it is for cats, the better, easier to hide and slink around looking for sleeping birds to pounce on. But not tonight we were on a mission.

We slowed down to a fast walk when we got to the parks offices. There is a car park with a cover over it for the golf carts that Nicole and the maintenance man use. The side door was shut and the little night light was on, and there were no carts parked there. I was thinking that if there were no carts then where would they be. Tammy must have read my mind because she stopped and then stamped her foot and said “Damn.” Whatever that meant? “There’s no golf carts here, Max?” She stood there her hands on her hips. “I wonder where he is, if he’s at the shed than we can’t go there, I don’t want him to catch you.”

Then down Prospect Street, we saw a pair of headlights, and I ducked into the nearest bush with Tammy right behind me. It was in fact a golf cart and driving it was the Maintenance Man. We crouched down letting the bush cover us in a silent leafy screen of security.

Tammy held her finger up to her mouth and gave me the be quiet noise that sounds and awful like “Schuss.” She does this a lot when we’re out on these adventures. I snorted at her and watched as the golf cart came to a stop in the cart park. He got out and entered the building. The door shut, and a light inside went on. Coming up, the street were another one of the maintenance staff and an older man I didn’t know. They too walked into the building; there were greetings and laughter.

I got a nudge from my partner. “Looks like they’ll be in there for a while,” She said with a smile on her youthful face. “If we’re quick I betchya we can checkout the shed and be gone before he comes home.”

I still didn’t know what we were looking for I sure hoped Tammy did.

We slipped out of the bushes and took care to stay close to the shadows. After a short while, Tammy picked up the pace and then from behind us I heard what I thought was a twig snap. Like something or someone heavy had stepped on one. I stopped and arched my back my tail straight up in the air trying to make myself look as big as I could. Tammy kept walking than in a couple of steps she snapped the leash at me.

“Oh Max what’s up, you being a scardy cat?”

The wind was coming from the East that night so we were up wind of whatever it was. If I were by myself, I’d find a place that was high, maybe a tree of a porch where I could hang back, wait and see who this was that made such an amateur mistake. Whoever it was they were no pro at stalking that’s forsure.

At Tammy’s insistence, we walked on. In minutes, we found ourselves at the big yard where the Maintenance Man’s yard was and the shed. A long wall off to the side was our most immediate barrier. And it was tall too. Tammy shook her head and while she was thinking or thunking like she likes to say. I walked on to the front part of the yard that was mostly a wire fence, the wire was very heavy, my Dad called it chain link why I don’t know. But the entrance was a gate that was wide enough to let in trucks. Tammy let me off the leash, so I could investigate on my own. At the end of the gate up against the opposite wall was a piece of pipe that the gate swung on. Here was our special cat entrance, well its special cause most of us cats can’t jump over the gate. I certainly can, but I figured that Tammy might not be able; after all, she has no rabbits-footies.

I let out a nice ‘Meow’, and she turned towards me her face lit up, and she ran down the length of fence to stand beside me as I slipped around the pipe and the wall. I did get a little stuck halfway through so Tammy (after she stopped laughing at me) gave me a push with her sneaker on my butt, and I popped the rest of the way through it and into the yard. Tammy sort of twisted around the pipe to squeeze her slim girl’s body through it with little effort.

We were in and by the looks of it we were all alone. I took a few steps into the center of the yard as my partner stayed in the shadows. Smart girl! If she were seen it would be bad for us but one medium sized good looking cat (like myself) would cause no alarm at all. Off in the distance down the street, I heard a sound like claws hitting the blacktop, and I wondered if Baby wasn’t following us, sure sounded like her. I put the thought out of my head when we came around one of the parks trash trailers that were full of branches and leaves. There almost in the middle of the yard stood the shed. It was odd sitting there the two halves joined together at one side. It was as if two trailers had slammed into eachother and been left there to decay. The metal siding was weather beaten stripped of paint and in places torn almost to the point where you could peek inside. A lone yellow light was on over the doorway and lucky for us next to the door was a window. That I was sure wasn’t too high off the ground that I couldn’t jump up to it…and it was open.

Without a second thought, I rushed to the doorway and stood directly under the window. Being polite dictated that I wait to see if Tammy saw the open window, I’d give her a few seconds and then tell what was up.

She stopped in front of the door, she stepped closer and reached out and tried to open the door but as I suspected it was locked. Maintenance Man didn’t trust anyone. She then looked over at me; I could see her wondering what to do next. Then she said it. “Gee, Max what do we do next?”

I stood up on my hind legs and reached as far as I could towards the window; I added a low “Meow,” to show her I had a plan. She grasped it immediately, with a conspirators grin on her Tammy’s face she picked me up and I grabbed the sides of the window and pulled myself in. And instantly I dropped down to the floor, I was inside of the infamous shed, the inter-sanctum of the parks maintenance man.

The trailer was long and the one in back had a large entrance in the middle of the unit. It was big enough for two men to walk through side by side. Everywhere I looked on the walls and around the room were tools and golf carts in various stages of, well they looked like they were all falling apart. Tires were stacked in the corners and a lot of machinery (some like my Dad has in his shed) there was stuff everywhere. I wondered where he lived cause all this was garage things. I thought what a wonderful time to go exploring, and I took a few steps away from the door when I heard a tap, tap on the window of the front door and remembered Tammy.

On the other side of the door was a counter just like the one my Mom has in her kitchen. This was a good place to start my quest to open the door for Tammy. Though all the times I had seen my Mom and Dad open this type of door, they always grabbed and turned this knob thing, ours was round but this one wasn’t. It stuck out on one side. If I could get myself up there and lean over I just might be able to stand on it, it was worth a try. Up onto the counter I went and then after a short wiggle butt I half stood and with my front paws stuck out I came down on that thing but nothing happened. Well…something did I fell onto the floor? I tried again and again before I heard a noise in back of me it was a giggle, a kitten’s giggle. Help had arrived in the form of my Bad Angel. He sat on the top tire of a stack of tires a smile on his kittens face his wings slowly aflutter and a paw over his mouth, but I could still hear the giggle.

“What are you doing there Max?” He asked a little too politely to be believable.

I nodded towards the door and meowed softly then with a series of mews and meurs he got the drift and said. “Well all you have to do is unlatch it.”

I know how doors open but what’s this latch thing he was talking about, it was news to me. I snorted at him in disbelieve. In a flash, he flew to the door handle and hovered in front of it. Tammy’s voice came from the outside in hushed tone. “Max, are you talking to someone in there?”

Bad Angel flipped the latch and then stood on the door handle he started to jump up and down on it, but the handle only moved slightly. Then I heard Tammy scream and in through the door came my Good Angel. She stopped in the middle of the room and took in what was happening. With her wings in constant motion, she hovered there. Then she asked my Bad Angel. “Well, why don’t you open the door for her?”

There was no answer as Bad Angel kept bouncing up and down on the handle. She turned around and faced me with her little front legs bent and her paws akimbo and with the sternest look on her face she told me. “Well, buster…Tammy needs you to help this worthless thing here.” She pointed at Bad Angel who still couldn’t open the door.

With that, I ran the short distance across the room and jumped up onto the door. I grabbed the handle by the end with both paws and hung there as Black Angel bounced for the last time. With my fifteen pounds of easy living the door moved and a crack appeared. Together we pulled on the edge of the door, and it moved a little more. Tammy must have seen this because she pushed from the outside and the door swung open. I fell to the floor as she walked in; she stood in the doorway and casually looked around.

“Something went right through this door,” Tammy exclaimed as she slowly turned in circles her mouth open, her eyes as big as saucers. “Did you see it Max did you, did you?”

 

Not knowing how to describe my angels to her I thought I should just be quiet and give her a heads up that I do. Sort of an acknowledgment that I understood and was here for her. She took my nod in stride and immediately calmed down.

Both of us looked around; I’d been way curious about this shed thing for a long time now. And I knew Tammy had wanted to look inside it herself. Now that we were, well we had to make the most of what time we had before Maintenance Man came home.

Off in a corner beside this large door was a stack of golf cart tires and some bigger ones that were all laying on top of one another. They weren’t that tall, but there were a lot of them. In the room next to us there were, even more, golf carts and these things that were a reddish color, which had many little drawers in them. My Dad has a couple of these; he keeps his tool things and some spare cash in them. Something he calls mad money that he doesn’t want my Mom to know about. I don’t have the heart to tell him that she already knows.

These machines were everywhere and the place smelled of oil. And old fan was on and blew the stale air around just making the space bearable. A dirty old refrigerator stood next to the doorway that led into the rest of the trailer. Tammy disappeared, passed the refrigerator and into rooms beyond and returned minutes later. She looked down at me and said.

“If you think this place smells don’t go in his bedroom.” She held her fingers up to her nose and made a face.

Then she started her search for whatever is was we were looking for. She sat at a desk up against the wall opposite the door we came in through. She pulled out every drawer looking at these dirty papers as she went. At one point she stood and looked around. That’s when she saw something that made her very excited. She ran the short distance to a tall gray colored box with drawers and handles in it and started pulling them out one at a time. Tammy not being too tall had to stand on an old wooden box to look into the top drawer. She looked down at me a big smile on her Tammy’s face and said.

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“I see this in movies all the time. Grownups keep their secrets in these file cabinets. Let’s see what Maintenance Man has to hide, huh! Max?” Then she started on the drawer under it. Before long she had gone through almost all of them. She turned to me as I sat on the floor gazing up at her trying hard to understand what she was doing. While all this was going on, out of my peripheral vision, I saw a black colored wire. Now I dearly love long skinny things like this, so I walked on over to check it out. It was a short piece of extension cord that was all burned and blackened. It smelled horrid too. I started to paw it around not really thinking of anything, when Tammy said.

“I gotta tell ya, Max; this guy doesn’t keep very good files.” She slammed the drawer shut. “It doesn’t look like we’ll find anything bad about him and his dealings.”

I turned to face her we sat looking at eachother when I heard the lock on the gate make a noise. My ears perked up at full attention. Then the gate opened, it made this long squeaking sound. Tammy heard it too; she reacted like lightning.

In a snap, she closed the drawer and was about to open the big door in the back when we saw lights come through the cracks in the door and the sound of tires popping little rocks out from under them. Maintenance Man was here, and he was at the back door. Tammy looked around fear all over her face. Then her gaze fell on those piles of tires. She stood in front of the shortest stack that happened to be also the widest one and swung her leg over the top. That’s when she saw me as I took one last playful swat at that burned-up extension cord. She whispered my name, “Max…” which made me stop what I was doing and I went over to her. In a heartbeat, she covered the distance across the room and grabbed the coiled cord from off the floor. She then bolted back to the largest stack of tires scooping me up in her arms as she zoomed past. At that very instant the garage door opened and the light from the golf cart filled the room. We ducked down just in the nick of time.

We heard two voices; one, the loudest, was Maintenance Man. The other I couldn’t tell who it was.

“How about a drink, don’t you think you deserve one for the road?” Maintenance Mans gruff voice filled the room. Tammy shrunk down as low as she could go taking me with her. Now I don’t have a problem with small spaces, but as a rule, I don’t share them with humans and as small as Tammy was she was a lot bigger than me.

She held her finger up to her lips and puckered them as a soft, “Shhhh.” Came out, then she kissed me on my headbone. I thought that we’d only be here for a short time, and as long as we were quiet we’d be able to sneak out soon. I’ve done this type of stealthy business before and never have gotten caught. I mean what else could go wrong?

Then! Pop, pop my angels appeared.

“Hey there, Max whatya doing in here?” Said my Bad Angel a devilish grin on his face. Tammy looked over at me a quizzical look on her Tammy’s face. We both heard the door of the refer open and shut and then two bottles open with a fizzy sound.

“I got to hand it to you Seth that was one close call this afternoon with the fire.”

“I know…it was close. If only that cat would have died in the fire, all the work we’re going to have to do would be worth it.” There was the sound of a liquid being drunk. I know because I’d heard this many times as I watched my Dad and his friends drink in his shed as they worked on his motorcycle.

“Why is it you hate that cat so much?” Asked the other voice.

Tammy leaned over and whispered in my ear. “They’re talking about you Mister.” She seemed so calm and collected, that being snuggled in her arms made me feel safe.

There was more conversation between these two, but it didn’t make any sense to me. Tammy looked alarmed, though. Even my Good Angel who sat politely next to Tammy seemed concerned.

“Well, look Seth it’s time I got going. It’s a long drive home for me.” We all heard the sound of these men standing. There was the sound of a slap and the shuffle of boots on the wooden floor.

“Aren’t you forgetting something there sport?” Followed by the other man’s, voice saying.

“Oh! Yeah.” There was the sound of paper rustling. “OK…here’s Your fake invoice. Not a bad markup for you.”

“I’m not too happy the way that fuse blew. These reused parts aren’t even close to the rating you said they’d have.” Maintenance Mans voice had a tinge of danger to it. All of us were looking up through the circle of tires, but all we could see was the ceiling.

“You’re the one who wanted them; no one made you buy them.”

“Max, that’s how the fire started! It was Maintenance Man.” Tammy said. She was so quiet even I as close to her as I was I strained to hear her.

Bad Angel snapped his paws at me and asked loudly. “What did she say, Buddy?”

Tammy blinked and recoiled a bit, and the stack of tires swayed some. Did you hear that asked one of the voices from outside our hideout? A shadow moved across the ceiling and then the top of a man’s head appeared over us. In a snap, Bad Angel grabbed me by my shoulder, and both of us jumped. Well he flew, I jumped up (that’s what my mom and I call Ka-binging) straight at the shadow.  I felt Tammy under me as I found my hind paws on the top tire. Standing at my full length, I was swatting at my opponent who reeled backward. He lost his footing and fell to the floor. It was Maintenance Man, and he didn’t look too happy. The other man held his stomach as he roared in laughter. I leapt to the floor and took a swat at the other man’s boots as Tammy came out of the stack of tires. Sort of a diversion on my part. It worked too. She took one step onto the wooded floor and reached down to grab that yellow paper out of Maintenance Man’s hand. Then we escaped out the still open garage door and back into the darkened yard.

We ran to the gate that thankfully was still open. I had the distinct feeling that feline eyes were on me. But we had a lead on Maintenance Man, and I wasn’t going to get caught tonight. Tammy looked winded as we approached the grassy field. I backed off as she slowed to catch her breath. Off towards Maintenance Man’s yard, I could just make out headlights bouncing along lighting up the lower branches of a few trees. He was getting closer to us. We had to move and do it now. I loudly meowed my concern as Tammy leaned over, her hands on her knees still clutching the burned out extension cord and the yellow piece of paper. Her chest heaved, but she was getting it under control. That’s when I got hit, by something. It was a hard body blow that took me off my feet er paws and sent me reeling onto the grass.

Tammy stood up and ran to me. But before she could take even a few steps, Ivan was upon her. He came in, in back of her and threw himself into her knees knocking her down. She rolled onto the grass in a heap; I forced myself to stand and come to her aid. In the darkness, Ivan disappeared. Then as I circled Tammy, he again came out of nowhere and drew first blood. I took a long scratch across my shoulders, but instead of bringing me down, he hit me and ran. I let out a howl which brought Tammy onto her knees, and she clutched me to her chest wrapping her arms around me to protect me from him.

She stood and with me in her arms and the paper and cord still clutched in her hands we stumbled along some distance before I felt the presence of this cowardly beast. He came at us dead on, Tammy in a split second turned what could have been a disaster into a victory of sorts. She moved me under her arm and with her free hand she let the extension cord unravel, and she used it as a whip. Snapping it right at our attacker she nailed him under his chin and drove him off. I was never so pleased to hear a cat scream than that night on the grassy field.

As we ran along, she asked me. “Max, who was that beast? He is no doubt the biggest cat I have ever seen here at the park.”

I mewed at her and nodded my head up and gave her a well-deserved snork. Which pleased her cause she smiled.

But we weren’t home free yet! There was still Maintenance Man to deal with. Across the grassy field, I could see the headlights of his golf cart. Tammy half turned around as the cart veered off the blacktop and onto the grassy field. I could tell that he’d be on us in moments. Without a second thought, Tammy took a hard left turn that brought us to the kids playground where the swings are. She weaved in-between the swings and the go round machine, just as the speeding cart flew a few inches of the ground and into the sandbox.. It dove straight into the sand and for a second it looked like it would be okay. But it continued over onto its side, sending Maintenance Man out of the cart and onto the sand, where he lay not moving.

Tammy turned and ran towards home. I could tell she was getting winded. Her breathing was labored but she kept on moving forward. I never loved her so much than at that moment. All the jostling around made the pain from Ivan’s attack throb, and I became uncomfortable in my savior’s arms. I could feel blood in my fur and the desire to wash myself was overwhelming. In a few minutes, we stood at the front door of #248 my home and safety.

My Mom seemed to know I was in trouble. She stood at the top of the stairs as Tammy now weakened from carrying me, slowed down. Mom ran into the street and took me from Tammy. “I heard a cat scream,” a frantic look on her face.

“Yes, it was a huge cat that attacked both of us,” panted a shaken Tammy. “Look, I think he got scratched. There’s blood, look!” Tammy said. In the street light, I could see her face strained with concern. Mom took one look at me wound and reeled a little. She regained her composure and said.

“Let’s get him inside where I can see how bad it is.”

With that, she led the way up the stairs and onto the deck. Tammy held the door open, and we went directly into the kitchen where Mom placed me in the sink. She pointed a finger at me and exclaimed, “you stay.” I did as I was told. Both of them leaned over to inspect me. After many minutes of moving my fur around with her fingertips, Mom declared.

“It’s not so bad, see the bleeding has stopped.” She then cleaned my wound and sent Tammy (now nurse Tammy) into the bathroom. She returned with a small bottle that smelled a lot like this stuff my Dad drinks in the shed.

“Okay, now you hold him by the scruff, and I’ll pour it on.” The small, smelly bottle hovered in her hand above me, and I gave out a small cry, something between a throaty meur and a pleading ‘Meow.’ Alas, it was not to work. Mom was dead set on doing this. She held me by the hindquarters as Tammy pinned me to the sink. I braced myself.

Two things happened. First I thought I’d been burned by something evil, and Sergeant Jack’s face appeared in the kitchen window. The pain in my wound was only momentary, as quick as it came upon me it was gone, well most of it. It was so startling that I only howled a little.

“What are you doing here?” Asked my Mom, glancing up at Sergeant Jack through the open window.

“I was called in because of some complaints about noise. Seems your maintenance man and a buddy of his have been doing a little partying and it got out of control.”

“Oh…how is that?” Mom asked, I looked over at Tammy, who half smiled at me and turned bright red in the face.

“He drove his golf cart into the kids playground, and you know it’s full of sand,” He leaned in through the kitchen window to get a better look at me and made a face. Then he said. “Ouch! Well, he must have been speeding because the cart took a nose dive just in front of the swings and flipped.”

“I wonder if that’s all there was to it,” Said Mom outloud as she looked down at me.

“It is for now. You know I have a first aid kit in the squad car, a couple of butterfly bandages should take care of that.”

“Alright Tammy and I can shave him.” Mom turned to Tammy, but she was already gone into the bathroom.

I lay there wondering why me. All the time it’s always me that gets into these scraps. The thought went through my head that The Maxtor needs a day off from this sort of thing. With that, I closed my eyes as Tammy with a giggle held out the shaver and turned it on.

Epilogue…

By the time they were done with me, I had a swath of fur cut out of me, and these odd looking butterflies struck to me. I don’t know why they call them that. These are no butterflies I’ve ever seen before. Sergeant Jack gave a bunch to my Mom, saying, “He’ll tear these off in no time.” Which I did, only to be quickly replaced by a fresh one by Mom and Nurse Tammy.

Later when Tammy was telling Mom of our adventure she held out that yellow paper the tow of them read it and reread it then my mom called the parks office, she left a message for Nicole the manager. Nicole came by the very next day. Tammy gave her that yellow piece of paper which Nicole took without a word and not even a thank you. Sergeant Jack also found the extension cord where Tammy had dropped it by the swings. After he turned it into the fire marshal he thinks, Maintance Man will be going away on a little holiday which made Tammy happy. But I could have sworn that Tammy had it in her hand when we got back to #248, odd my Angels haven’t been around either. Makes me wonder about them. Maybe they had something to do with maintenance man crashing too. Naw!…Well maybe. Evil Ivan was nowhere to be found which is just fine by me. But I guess it is only a matter of time before he and I meet up again. In no time peace and tranquility returned to the park. Oh! And the best of the bestest news. Kathmandu was to be rebuilt, and the Evans family will be back in business with their catering. When Mom finally lets me outa the house Baby and I will forsure journey over to Kathmandu for a nice lunch of fish and other meats.

‘Hmm fish,’ makes me sleepy just thinking about a full fishy tummy.

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Head bumps!

Max

Tails From The Park

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Marc

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