Flynn and I were just coming home from our walk when I noticed three
pre-teens trailing along behind us.
They were huddled together talking intently.
I didn't think too much about it.
We went into the house and I closed the door behind us.
I hadn't even taken my coat off when the doorbell rang.
The three kids I'd noticed earier were now standing on the doorstep.
"Hi girls," I said while Flynn looked on, "what can I do for you?"
"We're trying to buy a hoardered cat," said the one whose glasses rested on a band aid that covered most of her nose, "and we were wondering if you would like to donate some money."
"A hoardered cat?" I asked.
"You know," said the tallest one with the long straight hair, "a cat that is owned by a hoarderer."
"A hoarder! " I said when the light dawned.
"Er," I added quickly. They hadn't come to my door for a grammar lesson.
"Yeah," the shortest girl with the sandy hair nodded grimly, "and we need to save that cat."
"I have six cats!" the tall girl blurted.
"Uh oh," I thought. "The poor cat is going to go from one 'hoarderer's' frying pan into another 'hoarderer's' fire."
"But two of them are dead," she quickly amended when she noticed my worried look.
"Eek," I thought.
"I mean I've owned six cats in my whole life," she backtracked frantically.
Her companions frowned angrily.
They were on a life and death mission and this was no time for a screw up.
But I didn't spend thousands of hours of my teaching career immersed in the emotional turmoil of the 11 year old mind for nothing.
I knew what I had to do.
"Welllll ..." I looked down and put my finger against my lips thoughtfully.
They stopped sending eye daggers at each other and turned to look at me hopefully.
"Let me get my purse," I said.
Flynn made a snorting noise and went to curl up on the couch.
I don't know what the going rate is for 'hoardered' cats these days but I gave them $5.00.
I was still smiling and waving good-bye when Flynn yawned and opened one eye to look at me.
I could see that she was thinking, "A fool and her money are soon parted."
Dogs use far too many clichés.