Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Furballs

The first time I found a furball I was not the least surprised, although I should have been. The morning paper hit my door at approximately 6 a.m., and I was there to answer it.

It was pink, about the size of a softball, and covered with thick fur.

"Some kids lost their toy," I muttered to myself. I kicked it off the doorstep.

It whimpered.

"Oh, great," I said. "What have I done now?"

I picked it up cautiously and turned it over. It had two yellow eyes that blinked at me sadly, and a small, flat, toothless mouth. The creature appeared to be breathing through two tiny holes in the place where one might expect ears, and it didn't appear to have any sort of feet. I rather liked it, and wondered where it had come from.

While I wondered, a tremendous rustling of leaves in the maple tree overhead suggested that I step aside, and another one plunked down into the grass. It was light brown with white spots, and its eyes were bright green.

"Two of them!" I said, scooping it up.


Every few minutes I looked up from my newspaper to see what these creatures were up to. I had left them on the floor mat near the door, and I had given them each a sweet roll which they were devouring eagerly.

"City pound? I have two furballs... What? No, they're not cats. No, not dogs, either. They're round and look like a tennis ball... Hello? Hello?"

I began to ponder what to do with them.

"Where'd they go?" I said out loud to myself.

Though they seemed to have no feet, both things were crawling up the wall in a snail-like fashion.

It occurred to me they might be some new exotic pet that escaped from a pet store, so I boxed them up in a dog carrier and took them in the front door of the nearest shop and marched right up to the service desk.

"Here for grooming services?" asked a softspoken, pleasant young man.

"No," I said. "I've found these creatures outside my house, and..."

"Wild animals or tame? You're not supposed to keep them if they're wild. If they're tame and you don't own them, the pound..."

"I've already called the pound, and they won't listen to me," I interrupted.

I opened the cage and dumped the contents on the desk: three furballs! The new one was a sleek black with bright blue eyes that glowed cheerily.

"Eek!" yelled the clerk while making tracks for the nearest exit. I sighed, packed them back up, and left the store with a shrug.

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