My name is Liza Jane and I’m a black labrador retriever. Remember how I said my job was to eat Oreo cookies and sit on the couch? Well, as time when my job evolved into trying to keep Harold, our cat, from getting himself killed.
He was always up to one thing or another. There was the time he set his tail on fire and then we had to track down who stole the fur off his tail. Yep, he had forgotten he was on fire. Then there was the time that he thought someone was stealing all of the birdseed. Can you imagine that he thought Dad was planting birds in the garden? Well, that’s not the worst of it. Harold lost the whole house once.
Before I go any further though, do you remember why Harold caught on fire? See, he wouldn’t clean himself like most cats. Well, except his belly … it was smoooooth, but the rest of him was a matted up mess of stickers, clumps of hair and missing patches that all smelled like a mixture of urine and motor oil. The motor oil came from his little habit of sitting under or on cars when they were warm. Personally, I prefer a nice couch, but Harold wouldn’t be Harold if he wasn’t dumb.
And so one evening, Harold came to a minivan sitting outside our house and it was soooo warm that he decided to climb onto the hood and take a nap. I guess he was out there a couple of hours before our guest, I can’t remember her name, decided to leave. We said our goodbyes and I got on more ear scritching and then the woman was out the door.
But Harold didn’t know her. When she reached the van, he quickly bolted to the top to get away from the stranger danger. The woman pulled away from our house completely unaware that Harold was on the roof of the car, but thank goodness I saw her drive off!
Harold dug his claws in with every ounce of strength he had. Personally I didn’t think a cat’s claws to penetrate steel, but Harold’s did! The wind whipped through his matted fur and stung his eyes, eyes that had grown to the size of saucers.
I bolted out the front door, barking and whining, trying to get the woman to hear me, “Hey! My buddy is on your car!” I yelled.
“I’m a dog too!” I heard one of the neighborhood dogs respond. The moron.
She turned the corner and Harold hung on for dear life. His body had easily elongated to twice its original length as he tried to navigate the centripetal forces of the cornering minivan. His tail, naked as a newborn bird, stuck straight out and his fur, the parts that weren’t matted, streaked behind him.
The woman drove and I barked. Through the turns she weaved until she got onto the highway. That’s when the another car noticed Harold on the roof and me chasing the van. The little red car passed me and pulled up beside the woman, honking their horn and the passenger waving his hands.
But instead of rolling down her window, the woman grabbed her phone. The little car pulled in front of her and repeatedly hit their breaks, trying to get the woman to stop, but she was busily yelling into her phone. Harold, on the other hand, was frozen in place.
I ran as hard as I could, barking and yelling for her to stop. The little car fell back behind the woman and flashed their lights, illuminating the terrified cat on the roof of her car. He looked like someone with a twisted sense of humor had made a hood ornament out of him.
Finally, after what seemed to be miles, the woman pulled into Kwik Shop and stopped. That was Harold’s opportunity! He bailed off the front of the van and I snatched him up by the scruff of his neck just as he hit the pavement.
Inside the van, I could hear the woman talking to the police, “… and they just pulled in behind me and … HOLY SHIT! THERE’S A CAT ON MY ROOF!!”
“You okay buddy?” I asked Harold. He had regained his frozen state.
Hanging by the scruff of his neck in my jaws, Harold’s feet where stretched out in front of him, claws still out. His eyes were as wide as dinner plates and his fur, the part that wasn’t all stickers and matting, was smoothed out straight. Even his naked tail was jutting out like a board.
“Where’s … h … h … home?” he managed to mumble.
“We’re on our way buddy,” I smiled, “We’re on our way.”
Behind me, I could hear the woman and the people from the car talking, “Awwww, their dog is taking him home!” the woman squealed.
When I finally got back with the horrified Harold in my mouth, the family quickly wrapped him up in a blanket and put him on the couch. It must have been two days before he was back to his normal nonsense.
And to this day, he still doesn’t remember his wild ride on the minivan.
Author’s Note: This actually didn’t happen to Harold, but was inspired by an event my wife actually dispatched while working with the police. Yes, that other cat took a wild ride on top of that woman’s minivan.