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The Growling Monster

by Catherine Sadler, Ramah, CO, USA


I recently bought a paper shredder. Now all my old mail, junk mail, and what-all, can be used for fodder for the wood stove. I was careful to pick one that is cat proof--the switch is on the side instead of the top where cats like to lay. Also, it runs only when paper triggers the sensor. The slot is only big enough for paper, not cat tails and paws. And it came with it's own bin, with slots for the shredder to fit securely, and a 3 inch gap on the front so I could reach in to mash the shreds around. But it cost $45. It is more than I wanted to pay, but it had the features I wanted. It is a Royal (brand). To distinguish it from other Royal shredders, and because it can shred 10 sheets at once, it is called Jaws. I think of it as the paper monster.

After I got it plugged in and set under the edge of my desk, I started going through my papers, removing staples, and tossing the catalogs and other things undesireable for the wood stove. Pretty soon I had a basket ready for the Jaws monster. Then I noticed Amber was sitting by the stove watching me. He had already examined the box and the new bin. I guess the excitement tired him out.

So I turned back to my new toy and started feeding the monster. It had a very satisfying growl as it masticated the papers. After a bit, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye and turned to see what it was. Amber was still sitting there but his neck was stretched up and he had a startled look on his face and his ears were going ever which-a-way! I guess he couldn't decide whether he was scared or curious, whether to run or see what the growling was. He could see Mom was feeding the monster, but it was growling at her!

Since Amber isn't much scared of anything, curiousity won out. But he decided to be cautious about it. So he did what only a cat can do: he flattened himself to two-dimensional with his legs at right angles and slithered across the floor to the nearest bit of cover. That happened to be under my chair, between my feet. As I continued to feed Jaws, Amber slithered forward to get under the footstool. But only his head would fit since I had a pair of shoes parked under it. That was unsatisfactory. He couldn't see the monster and he wasn't properly hidden.

About then, I quit feeding the monster to take a bit of time to unfold some papers. When the monster quit growling, Amber sat up and looked at it with his eyes big and whiskers forward; and then he gave a quick tap to the bin. Nothing happened; the monster was asleep. Now Amber gets bold and reaches up to the top of the bin and sees a hole! The 3 inch space is just enough room to stick his head in a little ways with his paws on the rim. He is really busy sniffing and examining Jaws.

I am sure you realize that I am not the only person in the world with a little devil that periodically sits on the shoulder. Well, the little devil appeared and I couldn't resist: I fed the monster! Oh, My Gosh, what a reaction I got!

Amber must have thought the monster was going to swallow him whole! He slapped hell out of the side of the bin and leaped into the air and did a 180, ready to fly! But the keyboard drawer was in the way and he thumped to the floor. However, his feet were already moving 90 mph...on the smooth floor mat. He couldn't get any traction until he suddenly snagged my foot. Good thing I was wearing my wooly booties. But I probably wouldn't have noticed any punctures anyway; I was laughing too hard.

Amber disappeared into the bedroom and zipped into his black hole he has hidden in there somewhere. After a few hours he came out and even came to sit on my lap. But I noticed he always had his head turned toward the monster. Suspicious cat!

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