Bill came into the house through the door from the garage to the kitchen. So, he didn’t see the cat right away. He took a little time to fix himself a sandwich and grab a diet soda from the fridge. In the dining room he saw his girls. Lindsey, 11 years old and skinny as a rail with her blonde page boy tousled, was wearing a white lab coat and goggles. She was looking towards the top of the stairs where her sister stood. Elaine was 9 and looked exactly like Lindsey, only smaller. Currently encased in a cast from mid bicep to wrist her right arm was bent slightly less than 90 degrees. She was holding it above her head. She too was wearing goggles and a lab coat.
Both girls had stopped and turned towards Bill. They both had that guilty look on their faces. That look that told him he had just walked in on them doing something that they knew they shouldn’t.
Then he saw the cat.
Mama was a tabby. A stray that had shown up on their doorstep with four kittens about three years ago. They had adopted her and her kittens but found homes for the little ones as soon as they were old enough. Mama was a gentle cat who liked nothing more than to curl up on a lap and sleep. She did not look gentle right now. Her teeth were bared, her eyes bulged out of her head, her back was arched and her claws were out. She was terrified. She was also hovering about 4 feet above the floor, suspended in mid air.
“What the heck is going on here girls?” Bill asked.
Elaine piped up first, “Science experiment, Dad.” She said.
“What have you done to Mama?”
“She’s flying,” Lindsey explained. “We invented an anti-gravity device. She’s helping us test it.”
“I don’t think she’s having much fun. Maybe you better rescue her.”
Lindsey walked over to Mama and cooing gently, to calm her, plucked her out of mid air as though picking an apple off a tree. She cradled the cat and stroked her head. Mama kitty calmed down pretty quickly. “Give me a hand Elaine,” Lindsey called up to her sister, “let’s get this off of Mama.”
Elaine rushed down the stairs and removed a small pair of scissors from the pocket of her lab coat.
“Hey, don’t run with those in your hand,” Bill admonished and then felt stupid when he realized that the entire scene was reminiscent of one of those sitcoms the girls liked to watch on TV.
Elaine used the scissors to carefully snip an elastic band that circled the cat. Then she lifted the slice of whole wheat bread that the band had held in place on Mama’s back. Lindsey set the cat on the hardwood floor where she quickly high-tailed it out of the room.
“Wanna tell me what’s been going on here?” Bill asked.
“Well,” Lindsey said. “You know how a cat always lands on her feet?”
“And, you know how if you butter a piece of toast and then accidentally drop it, it always lands ‘butter side down’?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Well, we used a rubber band to strap a slice of buttered bread to Mama’s back. Then we dropped her from the top of the stairs. She never hit the ground, Dad. You saw her, she was floating there. We defeated gravity. It was amazing.”
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