A shaggy cat story.
Helene, the mother and daughter Helene had a cat. His name was Snoops. Snoops was black with large black eyes. And he wasn’t just black, but the kind of black that scared the heck out of anyone who saw Snoops.
Snoops could be violent. Attack anyone, other than Helene and Helene. The mother and the daughter were not sure why they brought the thing home from the pound. Perhaps it was that they understood that they were Snoops’ last hope. With his attitude, nobody else was going to take him.
Though Snoops should have been an outdoor cat, he was kept indoors by the two. They were afraid that someone would harm the cat. But he was much too large for the house.
There were times the two thought they should get rid of Snoops. He could be cantankerous, even to them. When he was in one of his moods, they knew they had better watch out. As he became older, those moods increased until it appeared there wasn’t a break between them.
Only the mother’s voice soothed him. She sang to him, “Here Kitty, Nice Kitty, Little Ball of Fur”. He curled up and purred. It was as if the demon who tormented Snoops had been lulled to sleep temporarily.
One night, Helene and Helene ate popcorn and watched “The Exorcist”. Snoops was curled up on the couch. The women loved scary movies, the scarier the better. As the credits at the end of the movie rolled across the screen, Helene turned to her mother, “That was something.”
“Yes, it was.”
Then a lightning bolt of an idea struck the two of them. At the same time, they said, “Snoops needs an Exorcist.”
“But how do we get one?” Mom asked.
Helene went to the hall closet and pulled out their computer. With its Windows XP operating system, it took almost a half hour to boot up. She plugged the darn thing into the modem she kept around just in case. Then she headed for a google search.
After an hour’s search, she found just the right website. The Pet Exorcist had a masters degree in Cat Psychology and had been ordained by the Church of the Nine Lives. The reviews glowed with recommendations.
Helene showed her mom. “This is the guy for us.”
She took her cell phone outside. She did not, under any condition, want Snoops to get wind of what she was up to.
“Friday, at 2 pm,” the man’s scheduler confirmed.
Helene and Helene spent the next several days planning their strategy. The morning of the appointment, the daughter put Snoops favorite bowl of kitty food along with some catnip in their cat carrier. He ran in after it, and slam! the door closed. Needless to say, Snoops roared. He scratched. He went after that door like God went after Sodom and Gomorrah. It wouldn’t budge. So he settled down with a look on his face that said I will get you for this.
The exorcist’s office was in one of those run-down shopping malls with weeds growing up through the cracks in the parking lot. On the office window were giant signs, denoting the prices: fish $9.99, dogs $19.99, pigs $99.99, cats $199.99.
Helene said to her daughter, “That’s expensive. Can we afford it?”
“No,” her mother said, then she looked at Snoops. He was baring his teeth and his claws. “But we have no choice.”
The bell over the door rang as the two women and their cat made an entrance. A woman with long, stringy washed-out blonde hair asked in a gravelly sort of voice, “Can I help you?”
“We have an appointment.”
“Walt,” the woman yelled. “They’re here.”
A man straggled from the back room. He was bald, cross-eyed and wore a black robe. He rubbed his eyes as if he was waking up from a dream. Ignoring the others, he went over and poured himself a cup of black coffee. He threw it down his throat, sat the cup down hard beside the pot, then turned and gave Helene and Helene a look that said, “Which of you is the victim?”
Helene said, “No, no, no. The cat’s in here.” She pointed to the carrier on the floor.
The Exorcist dropped to the floor and looked at the cat. Snoops took one look at the man with a green eye and a gray eye and pushed against the back of the carrier. He wanted out and the look on his face said, “Get me out of here. I’m having none of this.” He was scared.
The man sat the carrier on the counter, then said to the women, “You brought cash, I hope.”
Helene, the daughter, reached into her purse and brought out ten twenties. “You can do this?”
The man squinted. “I can do this. The demon’s name is Magillacotty. We’re old friends.”
Suddenly Helene realized his gray eye was a glass eye.
He turned and snarled at the cat. The cat shrank some more at the back of its cage.
“It won’t hurt,” he said. Then he snarled. “Only the demon. The cat won’t feel a thing.” He took the money and handed it to his assistant. He went back to the cat, opened the carrier door, and reached in and firmly pulled Snoops out.
The cat looked up at Helene and Helene and whimpered. Its pathetic whimper said, “Please, please save me. I’ll be good.”
The man sat Snoops down on the wooden counter. He glared into the eyes of the cat and raised his right hand with the palm outward. Then the man’s body grew bigger and bigger. Out of his mouth came words. Unknown words, but words that sounded like an ancient language. Then his body sank and crumpled onto the floor.
On the counter, Snoops was half the size he had been. He gave Helene and Helene the most wonderful meow.
The assistant walked over and threw a blanket over the Exorcist’s body, then she gently picked up Snoops and stroked him. He continued to meow. She handed him over to Helene. “The demon is gone.”
Helene’s mother took the black ball of fur and the two women left with the carrier. All the way home, Snoops slept peacefully in the mother’s lap.
Over the next few days, Helene and Helene were amazed at how well behaved Snoops was. They also noticed he was shrinking to half the size he had been when they left the Exorcist. Deeply concerned, the daughter called the Exorcist’s Office. There was panic in her voice as she spoke into the phone. “Snoops is shrinking.”
“No worries,” the assistant said. “It’s natural. He’s melting.”
“How much will he melt?”
“Soon you won’t have any more trouble. Poof! He’ll be gone.”
“No, no,” Helene said. There was desperation in her voice.
“Can’t be helped. That’s exorcism for you.”
“How can we stop Snoops from melting?”
“There’s only one way,” the assistant said. “Put the demon back in. And I’m afraid you don’t want to do that. He doesn’t take well to the procedure and neither will the cat.”
“That can’t be. Snoops has such a wonderful attitude.”
“Give him a couple of days and that’s it.”
Helene hung up and delivered the new to her mother. The two looked over at Snoops. He was such a pitiful sight.
Helene and Helene decided they had no other choice. The daughter called back and asked, “How much for the procedure?”
Helene hung up and told her mother. The two looked over at the pathetic cat. Helene’s mother made the final pronouncement. “Sorry, Snoops. I guess we’ll be getting another cat.”