By Francesca Prescott
I heard a wonderful story this morning. Some time ago, somewhere around where I live, an elderly couple heard the sound of pitiful mewing in their courtyard. They looked everywhere, scanned the surrounding trees for the source of this misery, but saw no sign of a cat.
The mewing continued, and the couple grew more and more concerned, walking around and around their cobblestoned courtyard, until they realised that the sound was coming from underneath the ground.
What to do?
At a loss, they called the fire department, and a group of men was immediately dispatched. The firemen explored the surrounding area and after a while discovered an open drain pipe that ran beneath the couple’s property. But the cat was clearly stuck and the drain was drain far too narrow for anyone to climb down and attempt to reach it.
The cat continued to cry. Everyone felt terrible. Someone needed to come up with a plan to put the poor cat out of its misery, one way or another.
The thinking caps came out, and pretty soon the captain of the firemen had two suggestions. The first one was pretty gruesome: stick a high pressure hose down the pipe, flush the cat out and have him emerge downstream. No more pitiful mewing. No more mewing whatsoever. Ever again. Cat kaput.
“That poor animal!” exclaimed the elderly couple. “Whoever owns it must be going out of their mind with worry. Surely there must be something else we can do?”
“Well, there is, but it’s going to be expensive,” replied the captain of the fireman with a resigned sigh. “I’m afraid the only way we’re going to free that cat is to dig up your courtyard, cobblestone by cobblestone.”
“Then let’s do it,” said couple in unison.
Calls were made, workmen were brought in, a vast portion of the courtyard dug up and, several hours later, a victorious shout echoed around the property as a delighted fireman pulled a terrified, wriggling cat from underneath the ground.
The cat wriggled so much that it escaped the fireman’s grip and ran off, probably never to be seen again by anyone involved in the rescue operation. Nevertheless, everyone agreed that rescuing that little cat had been one of the most rewarding and uplifting experiences they’d had in a long time. Numerous bottles of white wine were brought out, along with bread sticks, ham, pickles and chunks of cheese, and they all celebrated the incredibly joyous outcome of what would, under most circumstances, have been a tragic, miserable day.
If only there were more stories like this! Do you have any to share?