"How to Silence a Noisy Refrigerator"

by Kay Marcus Scott

The house was not big but felt huge after all the humans had gone. Once I called the refrigerator repairman to fix the noise it would occasionally make.

“What kind of noise?” he asked.

“I don’t know It just makes this sort of … there it is now, a soft roaring noise.” I said.

“That’s the compressor.” Says he, trying not to laugh.

I needed some kind of intervention.

Her name was Shawna and she was beautiful. She was 17 and came to live in my home because it was her last year in high school; and, her family had moved to find work. She wanted to stay to graduate with her class. I’m sure the boys in her class were happy that she had chosen to stay. I was glad to have the company.

Shawna went right to work fixing up the room I gave her. She showed me how to warm tortillas on the stovetop and how to make chorizo breakfast tacos. The phone was ringing again, and cars were coming and going in the driveway. This was feeling much like the old days.

One day she asked me if she could have a kitten. I didn’t need another animal. I already had Woogie (my parakeet), Lucy (a mixed breed cat) and her son, Zephyr. Boris, my neighbor’s Siamese cat, had adopted me several months before Shawna moved in. But, I wanted her to be happy so I said yes.

One day a car pulled into the driveway and Shawna ran outside and backside with the cutest little bundle of cat you’ve ever seen. He was a Maine Coon, but that meant nothing to me until later when I found out how independent, smart, and big they can be.

Pester, the name we finally settled on, went to work right away on the grass-paper wall coverings in the front hall. What a lark he had climbing it, and what a mess it became. As he grew so grew the destruction. Every time he hit that wall I’d yell, “I’m going to spank that baby butt!!!” and run to pull him off of it.

One day I was making my breakfast taco in the kitchen. Woogie was on my shoulder and we heard Pester hit the wall. It was so destroyed at this point that I had given up trying to save it. Woogie and I heard him climb higher and stop. I said nothing. Once again, up he went -still nothing from me. A third time he went up and this time he dropped to the floor with a thud.

Woogie and I said it at the same time, “I’m going to spank that baby butt!!!”

That’s the first time I realized that Woogie had been listening to me.

Several days later I heard him working on his “talk salad” – lots of noise but no meaning. He’d do this for fun sometimes and sometimes in preparation for something intelligible.

Then I heard him say, “I’m going to spank that baby, baby, baaybeee bird.” He drew out the last baby.

“I don’t spank baby birds!” was my shocked reply.

I know you won’t believe this but it’s true.

He said, “Ok.”

Shawna graduated and took off with one of the cute guys in her class to return to her family. But, she didn’t want to take Pester who had a bad habit of getting on everyone’s last nerve.

I never heard the refrigerator again. And Pester was the last of the interventions, which came into my life at that time, to depart. I will never forget him and I wept when the veterinarian said it was time. Would I have another cat? Probably not. And I surely wouldn’t pair a Maine Coon with a smart-alecky parakeet.


Anonymous said…
I liked it! :)

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