How Runner Celebrated Mother’s DayRunner was waiting for her chance. The sun had already set and the cat door was still open. She was pretending that she didn’t notice it, but she was prepared to slip out that door any minute now. Her human was busy in the kitchen and maybe she would forget all about it. The human had been busy all day. She had a lot to do before the crowd came over. That would be two days from now, Runner thought.
Runner remembered the last few years, when the human’s family would gather in the springtime. They all came to honor Runner’s human and called it Mother’s Day. The family came from all over, bringing food and all of their little ones. A noisy crowd thought Runner. From watching closely, Runner could see that they each brought things called presents. All wrapped up in fine paper and pretty ribbons. (Runner got to play with that stuff when they all left)
This year, Runner had decided, she too would bring a present. She knew the family brought these presents because they loved Runner’s human. Well, Runner wanted to show her human that she loved her even more than they did. She had planned it all out. Thought about it, studied on it, until she had it all ready in her mind. The time was now. It had to be now, or it wouldn’t be ready. Runner wanted to bring her human the very best present it ever got. The very, very best to be had anywhere.
Now! It was full dark and the human was still busy in the kitchen. Runner slipped through the door flap with out a sound and ran out into the spring night air. She ran across the little lane and into the meadow, keeping to the shadows. She crept stealthily through the bushes, not making a sound. When she reached the spot she had planned on, she quietly settled down to wait.
There it was. The large mouse she had smelled several days ago. A big fat one. She hadn’t seen the critter, just smelled it in her daily wanderings. But she had known it was large. She knew it was perfect – she had to catch it. Runner didn’t move a muscle, just stayed there, tensed, ready. A few seconds later, she sprang. A mighty leap and Runner had it! She quickly snapped its neck and grasped it in her powerful, mighty jaws. Oh, Runner was the Best! The most fearsome, mighty, mouse- hunting feline that ever lived, she sang to herself as she padded back to her own territory.
She quickly buried it in the hole she had dug and recovered earlier that morning. She again recovered the hole, marked it and quietly slipped back in through the cat door. Shaking all over from excitement, Runner stretched out in her place on the couch and tried to act as if nothing had happened. As she laid there with her eyes closed, she laughed to herself. This was really going to be the best Mother’s Day ever. Her human was never going to forget this day! Runner had the most perfect present in the world and her human was going to love it.
Two days later, the family arrived. They all gathered around the dining room table, loaded down with the food that they had brought. Runner had seen the family’s presents all piled on the coffee table in the living room. Runner had to plan this just right, so now she slipped out the door to begin wrapping her present
She ran to her hiding place, uncovered her prize, and brought it to the wrapping place she had prepared this morning. She had gathered a pile of her favorite mosses, a pile of the leaves she loved to chase and a few of the sticks that were so much fun. All of these she would give her human too. Her treasures. Runner’s valuables. She dropped the semi-decaying mouse into the pile of moss and rolled it several times, wrapping it. Pushing it with her nose, pulling it with her paws. Finally she had it covered and it was time for the leaves and sticks. Carefully she placed the beautiful treasures just where she wanted them.
She left the present there while she ran back to the door. She peeked in. Sure enough, everyone was gathered round the coffee table and the presents were almost all opened. She heard the oohhs and aahhs and had a moment of indecision. Oh dear. What if my present isn’t as good as theirs? What if my human doesn’t like it? Oh dear. Well, that only lasted a minute. Of course she would like it. Hadn’t Runner used the very best of everything to wrap it in? Wasn’t it the most beautiful looking mouse in all the world? Didn’t it smell heavenly? Of course it was the best!
The time was now. The presents would be opened and it was time for Runner to bring in hers. She held it in her jaws, so carefully, so proudly. She slipped in through her door and marched it across the living room. She paraded it right in front of everyone. Her head held high, her proud, bushy, tail aloft. Oh yes, this is the best, she thought. I am the greatest! She heard a commotion, but she paid no never mind. She proudly marched that present right up to her human and laid it at her feet. Then she sat back on her haunches and looked at her human.
Runner heard the yelling, the screaming. She paid it no mind. Runner just watched her human. Quietly, softly, the human reached down and picked up Runner. Lifted her up over the present and held Runner in her lap. With soft words and kind pets, the human told Runner how happy she was, what a good girl she was. The other humans were running around like chickens thought Runner. They’re just jealous. They just wished they could have brought a present as great as this one.
Runner’s human carried her out into the kitchen and fixed her a huge, delicious plate full of goodies. While Runner was gobbling down the meal, she thought about how great a desert her human was going to have. The good thing about the present was that there was enough for the whole family.
When Runner got back to the living room, everyone was sitting around talking. They all looked at her when she proudly walked in and jumped into her human’s lap. Just as she imagined, Runner thought smugly, they had all enjoyed every bit of that wonderful present. It was all gone. Every little bit of it.
And that’s how Runner celebrated Mother’s Day.
This story is reprinted here with permission of the author, Karel Bergstrom. Please visit Karel's Restless Legs Syndrome support site, Nightwalkers to read more of her stories and for the story behind the stories.