Love My Leo

Have I ever told you about my cat Leo? This is one of my all time best pet stories. I was working at the New York Times and I had a meeting out in Long Island City. If you know New York city you will understand what a pain in the ‘you know what’ having to drive to Long Island City is. Anyway, I made the trek from the city and parked my car in the lot. As I was going through the material I would need for the meeting, I heard a plaintiff ‘meow.’ I answered by saying “Hello Kitty” in a very sweet voice. I did not see the little creature but he kept complaining. So I kept talking to him. I then proceeded into my four hour meeting, forgetting about my kitty friend but low and behold as I came out with a colleague of mine, there he was, waiting for me. He not only came out from hiding but he escorted me to my car. He had the tenacity of a Politician’s fund raising emails. At this point my colleague, knowing my love of animals lamented; “Does this mean we are not going to lunch?” I told her we were still going but if the kitty jumped into my car we would have company. The little guy, as if he heard me, followed me to my car. I opened the trunk, he got on his haunches, wanting to get a good look inside. Of course I had other animals which he deduced rather quickly and gave a ferocious growl to the shadows of their smell and the whispers of their hair. I then opened the passenger front door. He again got up on his haunches and gave a minor growl and much to my surprise, jumped into my car. I drove to Wendy’s and got him a hamburger, which he devoured, then curled up and went to sleep content in the knowledge he had found a new home.

He was so well behaved on our trip back into the city; he slept so soundly. I did notice a rather bad scratch mark across his nose. I took him immediately to my vet. They examined him and did some tests. I was able to take him home a few days later. When a particular blood test came back it showed that my guy had feline HIV. The news was pretty devastating. The vet suggested euthanizing him. I thought about it and decided I would not do that. My guy lived another 9 years. He was my hero, he was so intelligent, cleaver, happy and funny. The reason I say he was my hero is at the time I had a country house. Twice a year we would get an unwanted house guest. My Leo took care of business…..That’s all I have to say about that. Life is a beautiful thing when you share it with animals….

Pharaoh’s Star is Vera Jane Cook’s seventh published novel (Triplicity Publishing). Also by Vera Jane Cook: Marybeth, Hollister & Jane, The Story of Sassy Sweetwater, Vera Jane’s second southern fiction novel and a finalist in the ForeWord book of the Year Awards for 2012, also receiving a five star ForeWord Clarion review, as well as an Eric Hoffer honorable mention award for ebook fiction in 2013. Dancing Backward in Paradise also received a 5 Star Clarion ForeWord review and an Eric Hoffer notable new fiction award in 2006, as well as the Indie Excellence Award in 2006. More books  by Vera Jane Cook: Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem. Her next novel, Pleasant Day will be published in 2015 by Moonshine Cove Press.