Blue and the City

By , Cedar City, UT

I have a pretty simple life. I was adopted at eight weeks and given the name Blue. My routine stays consistent, repetitive. I wake up around seven when Sophie wakes up to go to school, we go downstairs where she feeds me, she goes to school and I get a start on the necessary tasks I was given the life of a cat . I take a nap inside, bathe myself, and find a piece of furniture that i can destroy by dragging my claws down the fabric.
My favorite part of the day comes at three o’clock when Sophie’s mom gets back from hot yoga and I am let outside for an hour. My favorite place to sit is on the front porch. There is a spot on the railing that always has a patch of sunlight that hits it perfectly. Waiting for Sophie to get home, I watch people go by, kids who are coming home from school, husbands driving home from work, Women power walking, talking about the latest gossip. At four Sophie comes home from tennis and we go inside, do homework, eat dinner, go to sleep, and the next day we get up and do the same thing. Nothing has ever disrupted the peace of our lives but one day that all changed.
It started off like any other. I woke up, napped, went outside, and waited for Sophie to come home. When she did return we made our way inside. Dinner was ready so we got ready to eat. I usually ate my food quietly in the kitchen while Sophie’s family ate in the dining room. This particular night Sophie’s dad had a special announcement.
“So, Sophie,” he said as he took a bite of his meatloaf. “As you know, I have been trying hard to get a promotion for awhile now.” Zoe nodded her head. “Well, this afternoon I found out that I got it.”
“That’s great dad! I’m happy for you,” she said and went back to her asparagus.
“Well, there is one more thing that i have to tell you.” Sophie looked up from her plate. “We are moving to the city.”
“What?” Sophie looked dumbfounded, “My whole life is here, what about lacrosse, I’m going to be captain this year.”
“Well honey, we can always find a league in the city.”
“That’s not the point, I have my friends here!”
“I understand this is hard for you, but this is a big opportunity for all of us. We get to live in a gorgeous apartment-”
“Wait, an apartment?”
“Yes, it’s right on the lake and we can see Navy Pier and Millennium Park.”
“What about Blue, I thought appartments didn’t allow cats.”
“Well they don’t, but i’ve already set it up that he would stay with Nana and Papa.”
“But no! We can’t just abandon Blue!”
“Sophie, young lady, don’t you raise your voice at me.”
“I don’t care! You’re taking everything I care about!”
“We’re going and that’s the end of this discussion!” The room got silent and Sophie glared at her father. “Finish your chicken.”
Sophie stood up and glared at her father. “No.” and with that she stormed out of the kitchen leaving her plate of chicken untouched. She scooped me up into her arms and walked up to her room. Slamming the door behind her, she flopped down on the bed and started to cry. I meandered over to her side and rubbed up against her side. She turned over and looked at me, somber tears running down her face.
“What am I going to do Blue. I don’t think I can stand the city without you.”
Letting out a soft purr, I lay my head on her chest.
The following week was filled with packing boxes and emptying the rooms in the household. On the following Wednesday came the day where they would move to the city and was truly a melancholy morning. The movers came early and packed up the cluttered moving boxes that were resting in the living room. Once they were all packed it was time for the family to leave.
Sophie looked at me with sorrow eyes and leaned down to pick me up. Burrowing her face in my scruff, she let out a soft sob.
“I’ll miss you Blue.”
And as I watched them drive away in their grey Prius I realized that I would miss her too.
Sophie’s grandparents picked me up about an hour later and brought me to their house. The cottage smelled like mildew, burnt doilies, and perfume. I was greeted at the door by a Cocker Spaniel who was three times more enthusiastic than it should have been. Letting out a halfhearted hiss, I walked away to explore the rest of the house.
The walls were covered with floral wallpaper and antique lamps decorated the coffee tables and old fashioned side tables. At the back of the house I found a large bay window accompanied with a blue and white striped window seat. Exhausted, I jumped on the seat and curled into a ball.
For the next few weeks I spent the majority of my days on the window seat staring out the window. The squirrels I would usually chace in my hour outside of the house I simply left alone, allowing them to tempt me. I hardly ate and slept a lot more than usual. Sophie’s grandparents noticed halfway through the second week that I was unlike my usual self. They called Sophie’s mom and explained that they should maybe take me to the vet. After hearing that my days consisted of hiding in various places to avoid them. I would only come out to eat occasionally when both of the grandparents were out at book club or golfing.
I’m not sure where it came from but one day I had a dream. Sophie and I were at our old house. We were sitting on her bed like we used to do while she stroked my coat as she did her homework. It was normal, back to the way it used to be, and just like that I woke up. I was back to reality, no Sophie. I thought about the dream and realized something, I was only making the situation worst. Sitting around and moping all day wasn’t going to help, if I wanted to see Sophie again, I was going to have to find her myself.
Thursdays were book club and golfing day. From three to four thirty I would have the house to myself, except for of course the cocker spaniel, whose name I figured out was Evie. When Sophie’s grandparents left the house I decided that this was the time. I walked to the back door to where the dog door was leading to the backyard. I turned the corner and my heart sunk. Evie the cocker spaniel was asleep in front of the door, if I woke her up she would definitely not let me pass. Lowering myself to the floor, I silently padded across the room and stepped over Evie, reaching the door.
I slipped out the door and breathed in the fresh air of the outdoors. I then realized that I didn’t have a way to get out of the backyard. I looked around and spotted the large oak that grew in the corner by the fence. I knew that if I climbed up the tree and reached the fence, I could easily hop down and escape. The only problem would be climbing the tree itself since I wasn’t exactly in shape.
I schlepped over to the tree and looked up. It was a pretty large tree and would take some effort to climb up. Digging my claws into the base of the tree, I pulled myself up so i was off the ground. It took a significant amount of effort, but eventually I reached the top. Climbing onto the fence, I looked around me. There was a small ledge that led down to the street, therefore i jumped down and walked off down the street.
I reached a bus stop at the end of the street. Weaving through the passenger’s boarding the vehicle, I slipped into the back seats and hopped in the back row.
I didn’t realize that I had fallen asleep until i was jolted awake as the bus came to a stop. I looked out the window and saw the skyscrapers of Chicago looking down on me.  I stepped out of the vehicle and took in my surroundings. I was in the middle of Millennium Park. The Bean was on my left, tourists gathering around it to snap a quick picture. People were inspecting artwork that lined the busy streets and kids played in the water of the Buckingham Fountain.
Suddenly i felt something wrap around my throat and I was janked back. Someone grabbed me by my scruff and thrust me into a small metal box and closed the door behind me. I heard doors closing and an engine igniting and a slight jolt before the box started to move. My heart was beating harder than it ever had before and it felt like ages before the car finally came to a stop.
A man with a long grey beard opened the door to my prison. Before I had a chance to breath in the fresh air, I was stuffed into a carrier, brought into a strange room and put into a metal cage. I had been caught by animal control.
I spent the next few days contemplating what to do. I knew I had to get back to the city and find Sophie. I had come too far to just give up. I knew I couldn’t just waltz out of here and go back to the city, I had to find a logical plan of what I wanted to do. I became pretty observant while being in my little cage and came to the conclusion that at eight in the morning was when the animal control truck would leave to go search for homeless pets. My only chance of escape would be getting on that truck.
The next day I waited for when the volunteers would bring us our food. They put my food inside my bowl and went to shut the door. Before they could close it all the way I shoved part of my bed in the door so it could not close all the way. Holding my breath, I waited to see if the volunteer would notice. When she didn’t turn around I knew i was safe.  I pushed the door open and hopped to the floor. It was seven fifty and I had ten minutes to get to the van. I ran as fast as I could out the door and headed into the parking lot. I found the truck and saw that there were steel cages built into the side of the car. That must have been what they put me in.
I climbed up the tire with ease and crawled my way into one of the cages and closed the door behind me with my tail. I waited until two heavyset men climbed into the car and started the engine. We drove for what seemed like forever. I watched carefully out the window and looked for signs indicating I was close to Millennium Park. Finally, looking in the distance,  I saw the faint outline of The Bean. When we got closer I pushed the door open and hopped out of the car.
As I stood looking at the park in front of me I tried to think of where to look for Sophie. I remember Sophie’s father telling her that they were going to live on the lake so I headed in that direction. Throughout the morning I looked near every apartment building, in every park, and at all the street corners but I couldn’t find Sophie anywhere.
Around  three o’clock I gave up and sat down on a bench. I sighed and looked at all the families heading back from school. I missed Sophie and wondered if I ever should have done this.
“How was your day Sophie?”
My head whipped around at the mention of her name and there I saw them, Sophie and her dad. They were entering an apartment building near the water where I assumed they lived. My heart leaped in my chest and I ran towards them. I stepped in front of Sophie’s mom and she screamed.
“Get away you filthy creature!”
She kicked me to the side and I looked in shock as they walked into the building. I didn’t understand why they didn’t recognize me until I looked into a puddle next to me and saw what I looked like. I had mud caked onto my fur, I had lost a lot of weight and looked scrawny and sick. I felt a wave of sadness wash over me. I would never see Sophie again and even if I did she will never recognize me.
Then it hit me.  I hadn’t come all this way for nothing. I was going to get back to Sophie whatever it took. I started walking towards the building but as I was, a man from animal control stepped in front of me.
“There you are!” he shouted as he waved his trapline in the air.
Before he could reach me I darted into the building and ran into the lobby. The man was close at my heels. I ran up the stairs and stumbled down the hall of the first floor. I came to a dead end at the end of the hallway and watched him run down the hallway. I ran threw his legs at the last minute causing him to fall to the floor. I laughed to myself and ran down the hallway and ran into something. I looked up and saw Sophie looking down at me.
“Blue?” she smiled at me as I jumped up and purred, rubbing against her leg.
“Um, miss I’m going to have to take that cat,” the animal control worker said glaring at me.
“I’m sorry sir but this is our cat,” I saw Sophie’s dad come to her defense.
“I’m sorry Mr. but cats are not allowed in our building because of insurance policies.” the manager of the apartment complex had come upstairs to see what the commotion was.
Sophie looked up at her dad with sad eyes. “Dad, I can’t lose him again,”
“I know honey, that’s why we are moving back to the suburbs.”
“What? Are you serious?”
“Yeah, I miss it up there, and the job here is too stressful. Plus, I missed having Blue around.”
Smiling up at her father, Sophie embraced him in a hug. He smiled and wrapped her arms around her and me and for the first time in awhile I felt like our family was complete again.
Later that week the movers came and packed up our boxes. On the drive back to the suburbs Sophie held me in her lap while I looked out the window. We pulled into the driveway of the house I had known as home and climbed out. The rest of the day was filled with unpacking boxes and getting settled and I took a long nap outside of the porch.
That night me and Sophie lay on her bed like we used to. I was on her stomach and when she breathed in and out i moved with her.
“I love you Blue.” she mumbled as she drifted off to sleep.
“I love you too Sophie,” I thought. Laying my head down on my paws, I fell into a deep slumber, dreaming of our adventures to come.






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