Ed was devoted to his cat. He had special cat toys, special foods, special litter, everything a cat could require, Ed provided. When he had, absolutely HAD to go to San Francisco for a month and couldn’t possibly take Tabitha (the cat) with him, he called on his younger brother. He got George to agree to watch Tabitha, to brush her, to feed her, to change the litter at the right intervals, and made him promise to spend time with Tabitha so that she wouldn’t get lonely.
Ed took the plane to Frisco, certain that Tabitha was in good hands. He called the first night to see how things were going. “How’s Tabitha?” he asked George.
“The Cat’s dead!” was George’s only reply.
Ed was in shock. He hung up the phone without another word. He was in a daze at work for the next three days until he finally convinced himself he had to call George again. When George answered the phone, Ed gave him no chance to say more than “Hello,” when he began his speech.
“George, you know what Tabitha meant to me. You didn’t have to be that abrupt. You could have broken it to me gently. You could have said, “Tabitha is up on the roof. Don’t worry. We’ll get her down.” Then you could have told me that Tabitha was at the Vets but that he was confident she’d be ok. Then the next time I called you could break it to me that she’d passed away. Do you see what I mean?”
“I guess so,” George conceded, “I could have been gentler I guess.”
“Good. I feel better getting that off my chest. How’s Mom?”
“Mom’s up on the roof,” George confided.