By Greg Bauder

(from Paranoid Lost,
Chipmunka Publishing)

Clair Sayers worked all day at a long-term care facility for the terminally ill and elderly. She was an exceptionally kind and caring person and could often understand the patients' needs before they did. She believed she had been given a special gift from her cat. But she never told anyone about her cat's ability to communicate his thoughts to her.

She would finish work at five PM weekdays and walk home to her waiting cat , Marvin. He would telepathically tell her if she was late, purring . She would smile and pick up her beloved white Manx, Marvin, and they would enter the small green bungalow she owned. She would start her dinner immediately and then turn to Marvin , who would be rubbing her legs.

"Tonight , I'll have the Chicken Puss'n 'Boots, a small portion of Tender Vittles - the beef sounds good tonight - and water. Hold the crunchies." Marvin communicated in a way Clair had never been able to quite fathom. She just knew what he was saying.

As she got out what Marvin had ordered, she recalled the few times she had ignored his orders and had gotten that glare and been reprimanded, by him jumping up on the forbidden counter. She also had been told that he would only be eating fresh food like she did. Yet, she watched with love as he ate his dinner. This night after he ate his ordered meal, he purred his desire for catnip. She got him some from the top cupboard and put it in one of his now empty bowls. He loved the stuff, but Clair, being a nurse felt a little guilty about her cat being addicted to the catnip. He would then chase his orange ball around the house fantasizing that it was the big dog down the street. He thought he was a cool cat - the cat's meow.

He would stop his antics every once in a while and roll on the floor - a druggie, Clair thought - good at rolling. Finally , he stopped and intimated that he wanted his back rubbed. She was more than happy to rub his beautiful white fur. He told her it felt good as she patted him , and his back arched like a suspension bridge over a purring river.

After awhile, and after thanking Clair, Marvin walked away and jumped up onto the white-leather sofa' s foot where he usually napped after the dinner and play. Unlike most cats, he didn't like laps unless they were milk or water. He also didn't like to be picked up too much, but he was a gentle cat and seldom scratched. Except for Clair's visiting two-year old niece, his arch-enemy.

Clair usually read the paper or did needle-work while she had the TV on and Marvin slept. This night Marvin's ears perked up at the sound of a catfight. He ran to the door , and telepathed to Clair that he wanted to check the commotion out. He was neutered , so there wasn't much danger of him fighting. He left, and ran down the street. Clair had never seen him act this way. Several minutes later, there was a scratch at the door , and Clair opened the door to see a wide- eyed Marvin.

"There's danger where you walk to everyday, " he relayed. " You must come - and hurry. " Clair was in her car in seconds (which she seldom drove since her work was only three blocks away). Marvin telepathed smoke. Clair knew there was a fire. She was so certain she phoned the fire department from her cellular phone as she approached the facility. Marvin flashed the last room on his right paw side into her mind.

She left Marvin in the car and ran inside. The staff asked her what she was doing here. She said to check room A12 for smoke or fire. She ran by them and they followed in close pursuit. She touched the door handle and it was warm. She wondered why the sprinklers and alarm weren't working. Probably because it was an older building system, she thought.

"Get that fire extinguisher!" she said to a worker. They entered the room which was filled with smoke, and Clair saw in an instant what had happened , as the worker doused the small fire. A young woman who was a single mother of four kids , had been staying by her ill grandmother's side and had fallen asleep in her chair smoking. The woman had bags under her eyes, and Clair , despite her dislike of cigarettes held her hands and guided her out of the smoke-drenched room. The staff came out a few minutes later and said the woman's grand-mother was awake and the smoke had not harmed her.

"But how did you know there was a fire here, Clair?" asked a young nurse.

"A friend who had passed by told me,"said Clair who went out to her car and saw Marvin wink at her. She got in and left the care center's parking-lot just as the firemen showed up. She rubbed Marvin's chin.

"You're a magic cat , Marvin ," she said. He purred.