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A Mistaken Identity
A Mistaken Identity
Millie LeFleur lived with her husband Bert, their two year old daughter Becky, and their orange and white tabby cat, whose name was Arthur O'Reilly. Millie named him Arthur O'Reilly because she thought he looked Irish, having the orange hair and all. The LeFleur family lived in a little house right ourtside of town. They were nice folks. Millie was slightly eccentric, yet practical and organized, while Bert was real smart, kind of goofy and could be rather absent minded. Becky was a cutie, just talking up a storm and into everything. She really loved their cat, Arthur, but then they all did. He was just a nice guy. Becky would carry him around upside down, put him in her doll stroller and ride him around the house, he would go along with it, usually purring. He was a darn good cat.
One day, late in the afternoon, Millie was in the kitchen cooking supper, Becky was playing with her toys on the floor. "Well. where is our kitty?" Millie wondered out loud. It was time for his supper and Arthur was never late for that, he was a regular chow hound. Millie opened the back door and stuck her head out, "Here kitty, kitty, Arthur, here kitty, kitty," Millie called. Becky ran over by her mom and joined in calling for their cat, "Here kitty, kitty, Artur," Becky called with Millie. She couldn't quite say Arthur, but it was close.
The two of them called out the back door off and on for the next hour, still no cat, very unusual. When Bert arrived home from work, Becky ran up to him, "Hi daddy, Artur gone." "What is this, where is he?" Bert asked. "He didn't come home for his supper, that is not like him." Millie answered. "He is a tom cat," Bert replied, "Sometimes they go off like that, I'm sure he will be home soon. Cats are independent individuals and often times will wander. When I was a boy my grandma had a big old gray tom cat , nice cat but every so often he would take off for a few days and then show back up, very hungry and looking rough, but home he would come."
The evening passed in the usual way, with one small difference. They had their supper, (then they called for the cat). They had their baths, (then they called for the cat). Bert and Millie read Becky her bedtime story, (then they called for the cat). Then they all went to bed.
The next morning Millie got up first, and while the coffee was brewing she went outside and checked all around the house and yard for Arthur, calling for him. Still no sign of him. When she went back inside, Bert was up and had Becky in her booster chair at the kitchen table. She was havng some banana slices. Bert raised his eyebrows at Millie, Millie shook her head. She got them both cups of coffee. While Bert got ready for work and drank his coffee, Millie told Bert, "Today I will take Becky on a walk and we will look for Arthur, we can ask the neighbors if they have seen him." "That's a good idea, I'll look out for him on my way to and from work," Bert said, "And speaking of work I'd better motor on out of here!" Bert picked Becky up as he said this and jogged around the house making motor boat noises, Becky laughed. Bert did this almost every morning. It was their thing.
After lunch Millie and Becky left on their walk. "Find Artur," Becky said. "Yes, we will certainly try," answered Millie. They walked all afternoon, up and down every street, they asked the neighbors, but no one had seen Arthur O'Reilly. Becky did find some rocks and a bird feather, but no cat. They returned home tired and discouraged.
That evening Millie had just finished putting their supper in the oven when she heard Bert pull into the driveway. Becky ran to the widow, "Yeah, daddy's home," she yelled. Bert came in the door. He picked Becky up so they could have hugs. Millie noticed that Bert looked serious, his face looked long. He said, "I found Arthur," Bert paused and took a breath, "I found him on the side of the road, he must of been hit by a car, I'm sorry girls," he finished. They all started crying. "Poor Artur, I miss him," Becky cried.
"I have him in the car," Bert said, "Millie you go get a blanket, we'll give him a proper funeral and a decent burial, O.K.?" He finished. So that is what they did. The LeFleur family had a short service and buried their cat in the backyard. They even made a little headstone for his grave made out of one of Becky's rocks. Bert wrote Arthur's full name on it in permanent marker. Millie told Becky that now Arthur was in heaven, and that one day they would see him again. It was a very sad day.
The next day Bert went off to work and Millie took care of little Becky and the household chores as usual. Everyone was subdued, but went on with the day. Millie had opened some windows during the afternoon, as a nice breeze had sprung up. The fresh air gently blew in and rustled the curtains. It was very quiet.
Millie had sat down in a chair by one of the open windows, she had Becky on her lap, and they were both looking out of the window, resting, enjoying the breeze. "Mama, read me a story?" Becky asked Millie. "Of course," Millie replied. Then Millie got very still, she cocked her head to the side and asked out loud, "Wait, what was that?" "Did you hear anything Becky, I could swear I heard a meow?" "Kitty," Becky said. They both got up and walked over to the front door. Millie opened it. There sat Arthur O'Reilly!
"Arthur," Millie yelled out. "Artur, Artur," Becky yelled and jumped up and down with joy. Millie opened the door and Arthur strolled in as alive as he could be and headed straight toward the kitchen and his food bowl. Millie and Becky were laughing and shouting, "Hooray, Hooray, Arthur is back! He's alive!" Millie scooped up Becky and they went to the kitchen where Arthur was sitting by his empty dish. "I guess you must by mighty hungry," Millie told him. He just looked at her and meowed. Becky sat by him and petted him while Millie opened up a can of cat food for him. She dumped the whole can in his bowl. He dug in with gusto. Millie didn't here Bert come home until he said, "Hi, I'm home, where is everyone?" "We're in the kitchen Bert, feeding Arthur." Millie sang out. "Whaaat!!!!," Bert shrieked as he came running over. "What???" He stammered, with a dumbfounded look on his face. Becky was laughing, Millie was laughing so hard she could hardly get the words out, "It's Arthur, our cat, he's alive and well," Millie gasped, "You buried the wrong cat!!" Bert started laughting too. Arthur just finished his dinner, and happily washed his face.