With all the controversy concerning the police lately, I thought it might be refreshing to share with you an occurrence that happened over fifty years ago.
My father-in-law had retired as a Major in the Army Military Police. After moving to our little town, he soon became the Chief of Police. His daughter, Marilyn, my wife to be, loved cats. He was more a dog person, himself, but he never prevented Marilyn from having at least one cat around. Fluff was perhaps the most notorious. She was a mottled gray and orange long hair variety who really must have enjoyed sex. Never a season passed without her presenting with at least one litter. Of course, this was in the day when people did not think about spaying their pets. Puppies and kittens abounded.
Fluff had one idiosyncrasy the continually frustrated Marilyn and her mother. The cat would always deliver her kittens in the basement crawlspace next to the fireplace foundation. This habit was all well and good, but that was as far as it went. As soon as the kittens were cleaned up and fed, Fluff would begin moving them from hiding place to hiding place. It was a never-ending merry-go-round of, “Where is Fluff now? Where are the kittens?”
Late one morning, Marilyn and her mother were working in the kitchen. Fluff suddenly appeared at the dining room door and began to meow. At first, she was ignored, but the constant complaining became annoying.
My mother-in-law scowled at the cat. “What’s her problem?”
Marilyn shrugged. “I don’t know.”
The complaining continued until Marilyn walked over to her. “What is it, girl?”
“I hear you, but what’s the problem?”
“Meow.” She then turned and trotted through dining room and up the stairs.
Marilyn followed. Fluff led her a merry chase, looking under beds and into closets. It
became obvious that the kittens were gone, and Fluff didn’t know where she had put them.
With a sigh, Marilyn reached down and scratched the cat’s head. “Sorry, girl. I don’t know where you’ve put them.” She and the cat headed back to the kitchen.
At that moment, the town patrol car pulled into the car park behind the house.
My mother-in-law looked puzzled. “What’s he doing home?”
The Chief of Police climbed out of the car and headed for the back door. Marilyn and her mother moved to intercept him.
“What are you doing home?”
Without answering his wife’s question, he turned and walked back toward the car.
“Come here.” His voice was firm and brokered no discussion.
Marilyn and her mother reached the car as he threw open the passenger side door.
He pointed. “Look there.”
Marilyn didn’t see anything. “What?”
Her father cleared his throat. “Under the seat.”
Marilyn leaned down and looked. There, under the seat, were Fluff’s missing kittens.
Somehow, she had gotten them outside and into the patrol car.
My father-in-law laughed. “They’ve been all over Sussex County this morning.”
Marilyn and her mother joined in the laughter as they collected the stray kittens.
Fluff stood at the back door and meowed