Chapter 3: In Which Schnecka Receives a Letter from Piglet


            Schnecka squinted at the handwriting on the letter postmarked Rapid City, SD.  She slid her reading glasses further down her nose.  Yes, definitely Piglet's writing.  It's about time, she thought, pulling her cardigan closed.  He'd disappeared in the late spring and here it was approaching another cold, rainy Seattle winter. 

            Of course, she'd thought him dead at first.  She'd raced downstairs after she heard the crash and peered out the open window.  She was careful not to get too close to the edge of the windowsill, lest she suffer the same fate as Piglet.  She saw the screen caught in the tree branches and a scatter of leaves on the ground, but no sign of Piglet.  He was long gone.

             The humans, of course, were distraught and looked for him everywhere.  They posted signs with his picture around the neighborhood.  They thought him cat-napped, a concept which amused Schnecka.  Humans never wanted to believe that their cats ran away from them by choice.

            It occurred to her later that Piglet would have seen falling out the window as a fantastic stroke of luck.  Goddess knows he wasn't getting anywhere with that doorknob. 

            She sighed.  She had missed Piglet, although, she admitted to herself, not as much as she would have thought.  The days were a tad lonesome without him, but she had the unadulterated joy of being able to read her books in peace without him childishly calling her "bookworm" and "four-eyes" all the time.  And his infernal pouncing!  It seemed anytime she found a lovely patch of sunlight to stretch out in, he would bully her out of it.  Honestly, those tedious displays of male dominance really grated on her nerves.

            But, the licking, she thought wistfully.  Nothing was as relaxing as curling up with Piglet for a long grooming session.  He had always thoughtfully licked her face and ears, places she found difficult to reach herself.  Yes, he was a brute at times, but he could also be tender.

            Her gaze fell upon the letter in her lap.  No sense putting it off any longer.  Not that she wasn't happy to hear from him, but she was cross that he hadn't written sooner.  And, to be perfectly honest, a small part of her envied him the adventure he was surely having.  No doubt, the letter would capture all the excitement of the previous months, for Piglet was a master storyteller.  She slit the envelope open with her claw and began to read.



Dearest Schnecka,


A lot has happened since I fell out that window 6 months ago.  What started as a joyride with Oswald (biker I met through some Girl Scouts) has landed me in Rapid City, SD.  Right now, I'm in the airport waiting to board a plane that will eventually take me to India, if you can believe that.  It's been a long, strange trip, as they say.

            I rode down the coast in Oswald's side car to San Jose, CA, where his chapter of the Hell's Angels took me in.  I'm an official, if honorary, member of the Angels, and I've got the tattoos to prove it.  What a wild bunch-- seems like I spent months doing little more than howling at the moon, pissing in the fire, and getting into drunken scrapes.  Tell the truth, it all sort of blurs together now, thanks to the grade A catnip they supplied me with. 

            The highlight was definitely Sturgis.  The roar from all those choppers-- you can just feel it in your gut, Schnecka.  Kerouac was right about the freedom of the open road, and there's no better way to feel that than on the back of a Harley.  The thrill of the speed, leaning into the curves, feeling the wind in your fur.  It was such a pure experience. 

            Ironic because the Angels are anything but pure.  Sturgis was a week long tribute to hedonism.  By that time, the hangovers, the petty fights, and the self-defeating ways of the Angels had really started to get to me.  Then I met this amazing guy who introduced me to Buddhism.  I could really identify with the disillusionment of Siddhartha, especially after seeing the Black Hills trashed by thousands of bikers. 

            Now, I'm on the Eightfold Path, plus I'm making a pilgrimage to Bodh Gaya to visit the bodhi tree under which Siddhartha attained enlightenment.  I don't know where this journey will take me, but, Schnecka, I feel like a new cat.






Stay tuned for Chapter 4: In Which Piglet Goes on a Spiritual Quest