27 Jan

Text and image by Rick McVicar             

     The rain came down intermittingly, bringing the temperature down with it. I pulled my coat tight around my waist as I began to walk to the bus stop. I raised my umbrella.
            Just a few yards in front of the bus stop, a drenched cat bounced near my feet. 

     I heard a cry from a small child, “Mister, mister, I lost my cat. That’s him! Don’t let him go out in the street.”             

     I pulled down my umbrella, closed it, and swung it around in an arch to shoo the creature back to the girl’s yard. The cat ran into the bushes at the front of the house.             

     “Oh, thanks, mister. I was so afraid my cat would get hurt. He’s an old Tom and gets too brave.” 

     “I’m sure he’ll be ok. He’d probably like to see you right now. Have a good day,” I called out. 

     “You, too, mister. Thanks so much.” I turned around and saw the bus approaching. I hurried to get on board. Riding the bus, I began reminiscing about the cats that have been a part of my life.  

     The big cat is the mascot for my high school, a Tyger, spelled with a Y instead of an I. The school wanted to be different, so they had a unique way to spell the mascot. I always thought it ironic that my school promoted a misspelling. 

     Then there is Tony the Tiger, the cat selling frosted cereal. “They’re great!” he would roar. 

     I got to wondering on my bus trip how tigers got turned into comical characters. They are such majestic and ferocious beasts, so magnificent and so terrifying. How did they get to be such punching bags for us? 

     The bus came to my stop, where I was confronted by a dog. It sounded mean and angry, much different than Tony the Tiger’s roar for selling frosted cereal. 

     I am hoping you find artful health today, or tonight, as the case may be.             

A small group of trees centered in an oval.

           Click on image to go to YouTube trance music video with big cat sounds.

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