Thursday, October 22, 2009

A very special place for Mrs Piccolo re:Tokie

I was working at sea during the time I was Tokie's human.

During that time, Mrs Piccolo took care of him when I was out of town.

For the last year and a half of the little guys life, he needed fluids several times a day.

For a year and a half, Mrs Piccolo never slept for more than 6 hours at a time.

She was also there to make the call to put him to sleep when the time came.

For this, I am eternally grateful.

How to read the SEC chronicles

Start at the bottom and work your way up, starting with the ARfcom papers.

In memory of the little guy

This was written a couple of years after I lost Tokie. A lot of people asked me to try and train another cat, but cats cannot be trained for mischief, they are born to it as I found out.

The era of the Seeing Eye Cat is over, and I'm glad to have had him in my life. I'll not mourn his passing, but will rejoice in the time we had together.

Fact is, Tokie was one of a kind. I've never seen an animal like him before or since. He was a man's cat; he was an officer and a gentleman with a kittytude.

He was a high-stepper and he would walk along with me proudly as though he had a sense of purpose. There was an air about him that was special. Men that HATED cats would watch him and comment "Now THAT'S a neat cat.

He had the saddest eyes, though.

I disciplined him once for pooping on the floor, and the look he gave me was one that crushed me. It was a look of hurt, anger and the face of someone that has been cheated by his best friend. Ten minutes later, I found out why he had pooped on the floor. His litterbox was a mess. I was the one that had let him down.

I apologized as best I could, and never let his box get so full again.

I also never disciplined him again, either. I never had to. If he did anything to upset me, I'd look around and see that I had failed somehow.

I learned a lot from that demanding little kitty. All 7-1/2 pounds of him.

I'll never forget the look he gave a waterproofing salesman one day. Tokie sat down next to him and the salesman swept him off onto the floor. The look he gave the salesman was priceless, it said clearly 'You're in deep. deep shit."

Then he looked at me as I was quietly getting up to my feet and smiled. He knew.

I didn't throw that salesman through a closed door that day because Mrs Pic opened it before I could. (She later regretted it because she wanted a new door and it was a couple years before we got to replacing it.)

Then the little guy jumped up on the window sill and watched the salesman chase all of his paperwork around, scattered by the wind. He seemed amused.

He was extra affectionate after that. A pest, really.

He ruled the Piccolo household, like a Field Marshal.

I don't think he liked a whole lot of people. He didn't hate them, I think he just didn't have time for their shit or their stupidity. When the teenager at the mall actually got down on her knees to give the cat directions, (For you newbies, he was playing the role of a Seeing Eye Cat, I was playing the blind man.) the teenager was speaking to him in baby talk, like he was a little kid.

Tokie's face was priceless. It read, I'm not stupid, you are!

I think we're all going to have to face it. The era of the Seeing Eye Cat is over.

When Tokie died, they broke the mold.

A visit from the Atomic Energy people

Shortly after Tokie and I became a team, it was discovered that he was sick. It was a thyroid condition and the best route to take to get him squared away was radioactive iodine. He was taken to a clinic in Cleveland, and I consider it to be the best $1000 I ever spent.

When I went to pick him up about a week later, the reunion was a sight to behold. We started screwing around in the waiting room playing like a couple of little kids, The woman behind the counter called the animal techs out to watch and when we were leaving, a couple of them told me that getting to see a reunion like Tokie and I had was worth the lousy pay they made.

I also was told that the little guy was supposed to sleep in the other room for a couple of weeks, but I was not planning on having any kids, so I didn’t worry too much about it; Tokie slept on the bed with me. Actually, we slept on the couch because Mrs. Pic was worried about it the radioactivity. She worries too much about nothing. They also told me that his used kitty litter was radioactive and had to be held in a separate trash can for a couple of months before it could be disposed of with the regular trash.

OK, fine. Back then, Neighbor Bob and I were finishing our childhood, or having our second childhood. Whatever. Anyway, we were always pulling dopey little pranks on each other. Bob asked me about the trash can that was always outside the garage and I told him about the radioactive waste.

A few days later he had to go to the hospital for tests and hornswoggled one of the horsepistol people into snagging him a radioactive waste sticker out of X-Ray or someplace. He sneaked by and slapped it on the trash can. It was cute, but his timing was lousy. I think he was paying me back for stuffing a store mannequin into a body bag and putting it in his trash on trash day. The trash guys panicked and called the cops and the resultant circus was pretty entertaining.

Tokie had been home for a little six weeks, I was working a three on/three off rotation and the kitty litter trash can was filling up pretty fast.

The woman across the street was pregnant at the time, knocked up higher than a kite, Hormones were raging, and her head wasn’t really screwed on too tight. I was at sea, but due in later that evening when she noticed it the sticker. Bob had wandered up the house to ask my wife when I was due in because he wanted to borrow my Sawzall or something. Maybe he was visiting Nurse Connie, I forgot which. Anyway, the woman across the street spotted him and called him over.

She asked him about the nuclear waste sticker on the trash can, and Bob forgot that pregnant women have no imagination or sense of humor.

He told her, with a straight face that I had built a small reactor in my basement and not only was getting free power, but was selling it back to the power company. Most people would have rolled their eyes at such an off the wall answer, but most people are not suffering from a hard pregnancy, either. She was a real mess at the time without any help from anyone else.

She took Bob’s word as Gospel and reacted.

I don’t know exactly she called, but it was not the local police department, and I can only imagine her babbling incoherently blithering on and on about her fears of having a three headed kid with nine fingers on each foot and a three foot-long tail. I feel bad for whoever took that call.

I pulled in later than evening, and I remember and it was a hot day, hotter than hell. When I got home, I noticed the litter box needed a little cleaning, so I emptied it into the trash can. When I opened the trash can, it about liked to knock me clean across the driveway with six weeks of sun baked cat urine.

The Air conditioning in the house was acting up and I would have slept pretty poorly, except for the help of a couple gin and tonics. I sacked out, not waking up Mrs. Pic.

I woke up a little late the next morning I was up early. I ate and sat down and started reading the paper and unwinding. It was shortly after nine when I saw a car park on the street outside the house and saw two men get out. I looked out and saw it was a government automobile.

These two clowns started putting on white disposable suits. If you pinned a long tail on them they would have looked like a couple of sperms from a Woody Allen movie. It was pretty funny. Then they opened the trunk and got some kind of machine out. I grabbed a GI .45 automatic, jacked one in the pipe, set the safety, stuffed it into my belt, and covered it with a shirt tail. Then I bowled down the stairs into the basement and into the garage, opened the garage door and met these two clowns in the driveway.

“Who the hell are you and what do you want?” I demanded.

I got some mush faced answer about being some kind of Federal agents and one of them showed me some kind of ID that I saw right off meant that the pair of them were paperwork commandos. One of them asked me about my reactor.

“What reactor?” I asked.

They explained that they had gotten a report of some kind about some guy running a homemade reactor in his basement and that he was storing nuclear waste I a trash can outside his garage.

“Are you Federal marshals?” I asked.

“Well, no, but if we need one….” The little guy started.

“Stop,” I interrupted. “Let’s do this right. Let’s get one. Wait right there.”

The neighbor diagonal to me was an FBI Special Agent, and I saw his car was home. I remembered he was on vacation and ran over to his place. He was up, doing something or another to his lawn.

“Grab your gun and badge,” I said. The Atomic Energy Commission is at my house and they might need an FBI agent.”

The look on his face was priceless. He took one look across the street at the two clowns and went agape for a second, and then he went inside and came out with his badge and his pistol in his belt and wandered over.

The two clowns hadn’t bargained for this. Tom, the FBI agent asked the two clowns a few questions and had a real amused look on his face when the pair of them explained that there was supposed to be a reactor in my basement.

“Let’s go in and check,” I said. “Oh, yeah. I forgot.” And I looked at Tom. I drew my .45, cleared it and handed it to Tom. The two clowns almost shit themselves and Tom smirked. Tom knew I was a shooter, and we had shot a couple matches together. He wasn’t too worried.

The machine the clowns had was a Geiger counter of some type and they wandered around my basement for a few minutes, getting only what they reported as slightly higher than average readings. It was probably a small amount of residue from the kitty litter box.

It was starting to get pretty warm outside, and after snooping around for a few minutes, they started outside and looked at the trash can and the Geiger counter started really making some noise.

The little guy pulled the lid open and reeled at the nasty stench of six-week old cat urine.

“Why didn’t you tell me you had a sick cat?” he asked.

“You never asked,” I replied innocently. I turned to Tom, “Did you hear them ask?”

“I don’t believe I did,” he replied, chuckling.

Then Tom handed me back my .45 and the two clowns stared a second, took their leave and went to their car, climbed in and drove off quickly. They were in such a hurry they simply tossed the Geiger counter device into the back seat and left in their sperm suits on.

I never saw them again

A whacked out night with the little guy

It has been about 12 hours since I got home last night and I have very mixed emotions. The whole evening was one of truly wild craziness, and Neighbor Bob is probably still shitting little green apples. He’s a pretty straight, solid family type.

When we got home, the 45 YO Registered Nurse next door had LEOs in her yard. The LEOs waved us over and we had to deny just about everything from breathing to conspiring committing long hair. I think I managed to get off the hook by admitting that I was D.B. Cooper. Whatever. As Richard Nixon said, “Deny it, even if they have pictures.”

This was not one of the local LEOs that I knew, and conspiracy to do serious bodily harm is not to be laughed at. Still, with no rehearsal, the RN and I managed to deny everything.

Earlier that night I had loaned her my chain saw as a tool to run some asshole off with whose dog was using the neighborhood lawns as a toilet. Apparently, she had chased the asshole down the street, babbling incoherently giving the dirty bastard a greater fear than that rank amateur by the name of Charles Manson was capable of on the best day of his life.

Idiot had called the cops.

After a series of dubious looks, the LEO left. Connie invited us in for a drink and an after action report. Bob, being very polite, did something totally out of character. And why not? The whole night was a Total Zoo. And it was only about 8:45 PM. Time to go out and do some serious drinking. Delayed stress was on the way. All three of us were shaking like dogs shitting peach pits.

We barged into Connie’s and headed straight for the liquor cabinet. Bob grabbed the first thing he could get his hands on, a bottle of rum and poured about six ounces down this throat. Connie stared. This was not like Bob at all. I polished off about 2 and ½ inches of Irish Whisky from the last of a jug of Jameson’s. She didn’t bat an eye. She also didn’t bat an eye when I opened her refrigerator and whipped out a knife and cut off a chunk of meat for kitty, who had been in the middle of the ruckus.

She’d seen it before. More than once. She’s been one hell of a neighbor, and is a damned good holistic nurse to boot. She knows Mrs. Pic doesn’t serve red meat and she has had me over for a steak dinner more than once.

And no, I ain’t hitting it.

She also displayed her ability to do the right thing once more; she handed us beers.

We were both still shaking. So was she.

I tossed the empty jug out and Connie told us about chasing the damned dog owner down the street with my chain saw, cursing loudly. About this time, the pair of neighbors from across the street knocked on the door and entered. Don and Dawn, Fred and Lois. Lois immediately asked if they could borrow my chain saw. I agreed.

Connie handed me back my .38. It was unfired. I checked. Thank God.

I also went into Connie’s garage and felt the chainsaw. It was a bit warm. It had been run. I brought it up and handed it to Lois. Lois is pretty competent; she grew up on a farm.

Visions of Lois chasing the owner of the Phantom Crapper Dog down the street did not bother me one bit. She has a pretty good head. I offered her the .38, and she refused.

“I got a .45,” she said. “Empty the litter box since you emptied on his yard?”

I stared. Word was out. “Today was trash day,” I said.

“Where the hell were you two, “ asked Connie.

“Out,” I said. Bob and I got up and headed to my house. Bob went straight to the reefer and grabbed each of us a beer.

Where had we been?

We had been to the porn shop with the Seeing Eye Cat.

We pulled in driving Bob’s truck. Bob held my arm and I had kitty on my leash and had my white cane and sunglasses on and in we went. This place is the epitome of a dirty bookstore, with peep shows for all types, all types of porn for every taste. The place draws weirdoes like a magnet, and here we were.

Once inside I stumbled around like Ray Charles. Bob took one look and realized he was out of his league. For certain, this place was weird.

It was also packed. The place reminded me of the song Dr Hook recorded years ago about ‘Freaking at the Freakers Ball’, or some such shit. There was a couple there, he was about 20, and she was in her mid 40s. They bore a strong family resemblance. Mother and son? I really wondered. This place was scary.

But not really weird enough for me. At least I won’t admit it. There’s really nothing here to hurt you, but this place is truly strange.

Bob adjusted and started looking around. The woman behind the counter was a beefy bleached blonde with enormous tits that looked like she could beat the holy hell out of the pair of us before breakfast. She was to be feared. I think she had been the onetime rough and tumble Madame of a whorehouse that had been closed down by the state police a while back. She sure looked tough enough.

I remembered her from when I had bought something there for a bachelor party about four years ago.

I managed to halfway fool the woman, but she appeared skeptical about whether the cat really was a guide animal. She said nothing. In fact, she seemed amused. Some scabby-faced guy mumbled something about being allergic to cats.

Bob said to him simply, “There are 50,000 carry permits in Allegheny County.”

“You packing? “ he asks.

“No, I’m criminally disabled for hacking up as asshole that gave a pal of mine shit once,” he said.

“Then you ain’t carryin.’”

“No, but HE lives in Allegheny county,” he said, nodding to me.

“But he’s blind.”

“He ain’t criminally disabled,” said Bob. “ All he’d have to do is pass it to me. Blind people with Seeing eye Cats carry to protect themselves from Seeing Eye Dogs.”

“Stay away from him,” said the beefy blonde. “he’s a guide animal.” She was laughing her ass off.

He wandered off. He looked kind of shaken up.

Next thing, Bob, whose curiosity overwhelmed him, opened a box that held a 16” warty dildo and held it up. “You gotta be kidding,” he said. The beefy blonde gave him a dirty look.

“You’re not supposed to open boxes,” she said.

“It was already opened,” he said.

Kitty obviously wanted to leave.

“Give it here,” I said.

I felt my way down the leash and held the dildo under kitty’s nose. The plastic aroma made kitty snort.

“It’s been used,” I said. “Cat’s sure got a better nose than I do!”

“Someone oughta call the Board of Health,” said Scabby-face, indignantly. “That can spread disease!”

The blonde instantly threw all four of us out, Scabby face, Bob, Kitty and I. All four of us, out the door. Scabby Face hit the bricks fast. He was gone in an instant with a look of fear in his eyes.

We both laughed. A first for both of us. Kicked out of a porno shop! Weird, but not totally.

It was the parking lot that got totally strange.

Some wholesome, clean-cut guy came up to me. About 20 feet behind him was a woman dressed in an outfit that would make a stripper blush. I looked over his shoulder, appearing to be blind to him, but my eyes were popping out of the sockets.

She was in the tightest little black dress I’d ever seen, fishnets, spikes, false eyelashes and fingernails. I think the dress was actually an undergarment made to flatten a woman out. She was pouring out of it, and there was one hell of a lot to pour out!

The guy seemed pretty unsure of himself, and somewhat embarrassed.

“My wife has a fantasy,” he said. “To be pimped out. It’s gone on ever since she had a breast augmentation.”

I nodded.

“She says one time and it’ll get out of her system.”

I felt bad for the poor bastard. On the other hand, she made me pretty damned hard!

“Fifty bucks,” he said. “she’s yours.”

“Has she ever lost a child?” I asked.

“How’d you know? A couple years ago,” he said.

“Counseling,” I said. “Take her to counseling .Same thing happened to a pal several years ago. They got lucky and worked it out. Know another guy. Same thing, only he didn’t get lucky. Once wasn’t enough, she became a whore and last I heard, died of an O.D.”

“Fifty bucks’ll get you anything,” she said. She hadn’t heard her husband and I.

I grinned and pulled out my wallet.

“Don’t have fifty,” I said.

Bob hadn’t heard hubby and I, but he heard her.

“Hey, Pic, if you need money, I got some,” he said.

I gave him a dirty look, and he picked up on it. Thank God. Visions of babbling my way out of this were clouding my brain. The woman was HOT. Hotter than the 20 year old sandwich shop clerk, and the sandwich shop clerk had been dressed and designed by a professional drag queen. Ain’t NOTHING hotter than a woman that’s been dressed and made up by a drag queen! Most of them look pretty good, and when you got a drag queen designing the real thing, got good materiel to work with, things give the word ‘hot’ a new dimension. She was hotter than the 20 year old chick!

“Only got ten,” he said.

Kitty pulled on the leash and we wandered off to Bob’s truck. Praise be to God.

Behind us, the guy was stuffing his wife into the family car, and off they went. She looked pretty disappointed, but off they went.

The beefy blonde looked out the door, so Bob and I grabbed kitty and we hopped into Bob’s truck and left.

I already told you about what we came home to.

an old man has a fist fight.

This is a PRE SEC tale of Tokie and I, happened about 10 years ago before i started doing the sunglasses and cane business. It really isn't too pretty a story, but I suppose I ought to tell it if the coast is clear.

All I will say is this: It involves a smart ass 17 YO punk kid, a cat, $10, some missing teeth, and a lesson taught regarding cruelty to animals.

The $10 wasn't paper money.

FWIW, the atty visit is family business.OK this is well before Tokie became the Seeing Eye Cat and shot to stardom at This was when he was just another nobody cat that had been rescued by Mrs. Pic.

Shortly after the little guy came into my life, we found out he was sick. He was eating like a horse, but not gaining any appreciable weight. A trip to the vet and blood work told us he had a thyroid problem. We took him to Cleveland Clinic for radioactive iodine therapy; the offshoot being a visit from the Atomic Energy commission, thanks to Neighbor Bob putting a Nuclear Waste sticker on the trash cans which is another tale of laughter in itself. Oh, well. Someone remind me to tell that tale of woe and governmental stupidity. If it hadn’t been so funny, I swear I’d have shot Neighbor Bob.

Anyway, the little guy got better and would walk with me on a leash and I often took him on my rounds.

Work was going OK; except my vessel had been sold out from under me and I had to go through the madness of the bid process to find another permanent job. I never lost any work, though. I worked relief where they sent me, but I was truly a gypsy. I never knew how long I would be, or on what boat, so instead of using the company supplied bedding, I brought my own in the form of a lightweight sleeping bag. The sleeping bag started getting a little funky, so it was wash time.

Everyone knows that the average washing machine is a little too small for sleeping bags, so it was Laundromat time.

I had gotten off the day previously and still had the sleeping bag in a backpack. I decided to get that job taken care of. I put Tokie on his leash and we hopped into the pickup and off we went to the bank to get some scratch. We entered and the teller smiled, but did not boot us out. Banks are hit or miss over some things, and although this was not a case of Tokie being in his more famous role of a Seeing Eye cat, it did look a little odd. The teller was amused, so the bank let us slide.

I got myself fifty bucks walking money, two twenties paper, and ten bucks silver for the Laundromat. The paper went into my jeans pocket, and I dropped the roll of quarters into the patch pocket of my barn coat. I noticed the quarters were in a new style roll of some kind of plastic shit and scowled until I remembered I had my rope knife in my pocket.

We got to the strip mall where the Laundromat was and I got out of the pickup with Tokie on his leash. He balked a little at first, but started walking alongside me. I had parked some distance away from the laundry.

We wandered up to the start of the sidewalk and started down the strip, sassing by one of the stores. Someone looked at the sight of a cat on a leash and looked amused. We walked on.

A big teenager came toward us, head on from the other direction, and I gave him a passing glance. When he got closer, I looked a little closer. He was about seventeen or so. On an even closer inspection, I realized he was one of those ‘overdeveloped’ kids.

Most of us have had a kid like that with us in school. I know I did, his name was Larry. Larry was taller than the rest of us, and had probably started shaving at about ten or so, daily at about eleven and by the time he joined Scouts, he probably had the 5 O’clock shadow by two in the afternoon.

Larry was a pretty good kid, really. He was sort of a gentle giant. However, some of these overdeveloped kids either from teasing or whatever can turn into bullies. Something told me the kid in front of me had shaken down more than one of his schoolmates for their lunch money.

I hoped he didn’t have a penchant for animal cruelty. I wasn’t going to stand for that for an instant. We faced each other and made our passing arrangements. One whistle. We would pass each other portside to portside, and I veered off to my right to facilitate a save passage. Tokie was hipped up on my portside.

This was my first mistake. I should have held out for a two whistle passing situation, and put Tokie against the building, where he would have been a little safer. The kid held course and speed, but I was still a bit wary. Instinct.

At the last minute, I jerked the little guy out of the way of a mean spirited ‘accidental’ kick.

My temper flared and I called the oversized yard ape a few of the things I heard in basic training and started in on his parentage, birth and legitimacy. Instantly, I knew I had my hands full, so I opened the door to the floral shop, tossed Tokie inside, leash and all, shouted for someone to hold on to him, closed the door, dropped my pack and faced the oversized orangutan.

I wasn’t going to start anything, but I wasn’t going to give an inch over this kind of shit. Not from snot nosed kid like this, or anyone else, for that matter. There was no excuse for this and I wasn’t going to put up with it.

I sucked it in for a second and decided I was going to play this one to win. Not just the battle, but the war. I was not going to go on the offensive. That would be a case of winning the battle and losing the war. I wasn’t really going to go into a defensive position, either. That could be a losing situation. My plan was to try putting myself into a counter offensive situation. He would start it, and I would finish it. I also knew that I had witnesses. The florist had snagged Tokie’s leash and looked out the door window.

I was a bit out of practice. It had been quite a while since I had been in combat, but I guess I hadn’t really forgotten everything. Of course, to the soldier, combat is pretty clear. Win or lose. This was different. I didn’t want to wind up in jail, either. The kid was, after all, a kid. He was boy in a man’s body. In court, they’d put him in a Buster Brown suit, give him a lollipop and he’d look like a nice little boy some mean old guy brutally assaulted for no good reason. I’d hang.

We exchanged insults, I was soft, and he was very loud. This was another thing in my favor. The witnessing florist couldn’t hear me, but she heard his threats. They were loud, ugly and violent. This was in my favor.

I egged him on quietly another time and he played into my hand. He shoved me.

I hit the wall harder than I had to, for show and bounced off.

“Don’t hit me!” I shrieked in a loud, high pitched panicky voice. He neared me again. I held up my left hand as if to fend him off and he neared me closer. Suddenly, my left hand thrust forward and arrived in his face. My index and middle fingers hit his eyes.

Moe Howard would have been proud of me. All of those episodes of The Stooges I had watched over the year had paid off. I had disabled my opponent with a near perfect Three Stooges two finger shot in the eyes. However, I realized I had screwed up. I had pulled the punch a little too much.

I figured I had only a few seconds before the shit was going to hit the fan and that things were not going to be very nice. My kindness was hurting me badly. I pulled the punch because I wanted to simply temporarily disable him. I didn’t want to detach retinas or do permanent damage.

I figured I had a couple of seconds, and it was time to end the fight here and now. I balled my fist and at the last minute, realized that I was making the same mistake twice. My hand darted into my coat pocket and I grabbed my ten dollars laundry money and stepped to his left side and waited a second for him to move his hand. He moved it out of the way, exposing himself for a good shot and I took it. I hit him as hard as I could, heard a snap and wondered if I had busted a finger like I had years ago.

The kid hit the pavement like he was a sack. His mouth was a bloody mess and I knew it was over, at least the combat part. I also knew I had to boogie on out of the area, and fast.

The door to the florist shop opened and two women walked out. One of the women looked at the kid, then at me.

“That kid has been trouble for months,” she said. “He finally got it.”

The other woman looked at him a bit more carefully.
“Why didn’t you just shoot him?” she asked. She was being sarcastic.

I lifted my coat, exposing a .380 automatic. “I didn’t think that was necessary,” I said. That opened here eyes wide for a second.

“I guess you’re right,” she said. I relaxed a bit. I knew these women would tell the police what happened and put me in a good light. I snagged Tokie and started to leave.

“Leaving?” asked the florist.

“Yeah, I’m an adult and he’s a kid,” I said. “Under those circumstances, I’m going to wind up in jail. If I leave and you two tell the cops what happened, there’s a good chance they won’t come looking for me. They’ll take your word for it.”

“I think you’re right,” said the older woman, thoughtfully.

The younger woman then did a funny thing; she took some flowers out of a vase and poured the water on the kid. He moaned softly. “They do this in the movies,” she said.

I took off.

Three miles down the road, I pulled into a bar with Tokie and downed a fast triple shot of brandy. I was trying to beat the after action shakes, but I was too late. The bartender knew something was wrong, so he ignored Tokie. The shakes started in hard, so I downed another. Then I realized I had slammed about 8 ounces of hard liquor on an empty stomach. I was hosed. Driving home was out.

I asked for the phone and called Neighbor Bob at work. He grabbed an employee and was there in about fifteen minutes. They took my truck home with me in it.

About a week later, I ran into a cop I knew at the 7-11 and he gave me an odd look and asked me a couple vague questions, I gave vague answers. I swear he knew about it.

A month later, I passed by the florist again and she told me that she didn’t think I had anything to worry about; it seemed the cop who showed up knew the kid was a troublemaker, too. She also told me she had overheard the paramedics say it looked like a broken jaw and some missing teeth.

I’m not really proud of this, but it is part of the relationship I had with Tokie, and it belongs with the Seeing Eye cat stories. FWIW, I have changed the places slightly and mentioned no names.

I’ll say this: If Tokie was still alive and this happened today, I swear I’d do it all over again. I can’t stand animal cruelty.