“Feral cats in the yard again,” Sheila muttered to herself again, as she let the dingy curtain drop back into place. “Why can’t they just let an old woman sleep? Yes, yes, I need to sleep.”
Sheila groaned as she shuffled back to her bed. She clung onto the bed covers as her right foot searched for its slipper. Balancing wasn’t easy these days, and she nearly tipped over. Soon enough, her big toe nudged the edge of a once-soft slipper, and she managed to scoot it and its mate back out from under the bed. Spared the trouble of getting down on her knees, she sighed with relief and soon had both slippers on. Who cared if their lining was filled with holes and no longer warm? She wasn’t about to go through the trouble of purchasing brand new slippers. Besides, putting them on was an act of habit, not of comfort. She hadn’t had full feeling in either foot in years.
Her light and troubled sleep had been interrupted once again by the sound of angry feral cats in the yard. Fighting, hissing, mewling. Their nocturnal activities bothered her precious few hours of sleep each night, and she had had enough.
She groped around the night stand for her glass of water, and took a shaky sip. Her frail body was betraying her spirit. She felt as if she were still young, still out each night with her friends, drinking and flirting and having a grand time. So many of those friends were gone, and the few new friends she had made weren’t interested in partying. Massaging her sore left hand, she admitted to herself that she wasn’t up to it, either. What time was it? Ten thirty at night? Ah, there had been a time when her night had just begun at ten thirty. Now, it felt like an ungodly late hour.
She heard a particularly loud cat growl just under her window, a long, high-pitched, grating sound. It was followed by a bump up against that side of the house. Why on earth did the feral cats insist on fighting in her yard, just under her window?
Her slippers shushed against the floorboards as she made her way into the bathroom. Sheila didn’t even bother snapping on the light. She knew where everything was, including the bowl of ice water she had prepared just a few hours before.
Sheila grunted softly as she shuffled slowly back to her open window, desperate to keep all the water in the bowl. A few sloshes here and there and her slippers were wet. Well, that was to be expected, she supposed. Quietly, she balanced the bowl for a moment on the window sill, and then, slowly, tipped it over. The feral cats in the yard had been too busy with their fighting and posturing that they hadn’t paid attention to the soft noise above them before they were doused with freezing water. Furious and sputtering, they ran off into the night.
“There has got to be a better way to make a point,” Sheila thought to herself, as she let the bowl drop outside as well. “Perhaps tomorrow I will call Allstate Animal Control,” she whispered, as she groped her way back to her bed, slipped out of the soggy slippers, and pulled the covers back over her.