For Christmas, my wife bought me a Writing Prompts journal. One of the prompts is: Express the thoughts of a firefighter trying to rescue a kitten stuck in a tree. Here’s my response. Share in the comments your 500-word or less response to the prompt.
You’ve gotta be kidding me. Not this again–a cat, another cat!
I’ve been doing this job for thirty years. Do you realize how many cats I’ve rescued? It’s gotta be at least one a week. I’ve never once had to rescue a person from a tree. Well, actually, there was Mrs. Parker that one time, but that was after she climbed into the tree to rescue her dumb cat! That cat actually jumped out.
“His name is Mr. Pickles!” the little girl on the ground calls up.
Mr. Pickles? Give me a break. Why do parents let their kids name living creatures things like Mr. Pickles? At least Darla and Donnie wanted to call our puppy Sadie. I like Sadie. She’s a good dog and has a good name.
And she doesn’t get stuck in trees.
These stupid cats, though…
Sigh. There is one bright side–it’s my last day on the job. Tomorrow, I begin a life of retirement. My coworkers insist that I’m still young. I don’t know about that. Yeah, I’m barely into my fifties, but after thirty-years of lugging equipment around and running into burning buildings? I’m ready to call it quits.
Besides, Donnie is going to be a senior. I really want to make more of his games.
I reach the top of the ladder and the cat looks me in the eyes and meows. Honestly, I see no fear in his face. “Why do you do this?” I ask. He licks his paw.
Unless, maybe all these cats I’ve rescued were never really in distress? Maybe they just get themselves in the trees to get away? I mean, have you met their owners?
I grab a branch and pull myself into the tree.
“Hey, Mike! What are you doing?” a voice calls from below.
The cat moves, allowing me to wiggle toward the trunk. I feel safer there. Mr. Pickles then crawls into my lap and curls up. You know, the view’s not bad from here. I think I’ll stay for a little while.
Photo cred: unsplash.com/@berg_photo