Read an Excerpt
The Cat Who Knew How to Live
Cookie was a working cat. He lived in a New York grocery store that he kept mouse-free. Cookie was no slouch, and there wasn't a self-respecting mouse that would dare cross his path.
After patrolling the nooks and crannies of the store at night, he had the run of the neighborhood where he would spend his days wandering. As evening approached, you could almost set your watch by his return to the store. He would arrive promptly five minutes before the store closed.
One cool October evening, Cookie disappeared.
The store's owners and their children searched for him in vain.
The kids were brokenhearted. As autumn turned to winter, the snow began to fall, covering the streets. Everyone worried about Cookie, alone in the freezing weather. 'How will he survive?' the kids asked.
Miracle of miracles, the following spring, Cookie magically reappeared, looking healthy and clean. Everyone figured Cookie must have been sowing his wild oats in another neighborhood.
Everything went back to normal at the store. Cookie once more checked all the nooks and crannies of the store to make certain there had been no unwelcome visitors while he was away. He did his job perfectly until autumn, when Cookie once again disappeared!
Once more there was considerable consternation by his owners and their children. How would Cookie weather the winter snows and the freezing cold?
The next spring, just when the baby leaves started to form on the trees, Cookie returned again!
Cookie's owners began asking neighbors for any information as to where he might have been. The kids asked their friends if any of them knew where Cookie went during the freezing winter months.
No one seemed to know.
Finally, one of the children rang the bell of an older couple who lived in a private house near the grocery store.
'You say, a big black cat?' the woman asked. 'With white little paws? Oh, yes. My husband and I hated to see him out in the cold. So I gave him a saucer of warm milk. After that he hung around our house almost every day. But we were going to Florida for the winter, as we do every year. I felt so bad about leaving that poor little creature here with no one to take care of him in the freezing weather. So we bought a cat carrier and we've been taking him to Florida with us every year for the past two years. He seems to like it down there. Has loads of friends. But, between you and me, I think he prefers New York in the summer. I think he has a girlfriend up here.'
©2008. Arnold Fine. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Soul: Celebrates Cats and the people who love them by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.