I was five years old the summer we lived at 228 Mills Street in New Buffalo, Massachusetts.

My grandmother owned the house and lived upstairs. Mom, Dad and we four kids lived down.

In good weather, we were assigned to the yard to play. As the oldest, I was in charge. Mom and Grandma left the inside door open to “listen to us,” but the screen door was locked. We were not to be running in and out disturbing whatever big job the big people were working at.

It was beautiful blue-skied day. All was well until a tiger cat ventured into the yard. I thought it acted strange. It threatened the younger ones who were attracted to it. I climbed the stairs to the screen door and called to my grandma and mother, “There’s a cat in the yard. It’s hissing!”

I got no attention from either woman. I went back down to the yard. Watching the animal, I was even more scared and alarmed for my siblings. Something was not right! I went back to the screen, this time demanding the grown-ups come see what was happening.

As an adult, I know the cat was rabid. As soon as Grandma and Mother came out, they must also have known. Quickly, they picked up the little ones and ushered me into the house.

Soon after we were safely inside, the screaming cat leaped at the screen and hung there with its claws. It was a terrible sight.

Grandmother carried a huge pot of hot water from the pantry and threw it at the animal. The cat screamed, let go, ran through the yard and out into the street. It ran into the path of a car, which hit and killed it.

The grown-ups never locked us out again.

Nancyann (Oct. ‘14) says, “I don’t care for locked doors.”

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