One fine day when I was when I was fourteen years old, I was sitting in the living room watching television when a horrible beeping interrupted my regularly scheduled programming. There was a tornado watch! Where I come from we don’t have tornados. We have mountains and blizzards, but no tornados. I started to panic. Certain death was headed our way! But no one in my family seemed to understand our impending doom. My father turned to the weather channel. My sister watched calmly with him. My mother was at the grocery store and beyond my help. I was sure I would never see her again. But I would have to live on without them. If the tornado was coming, I was going to survive!
I ran down to the basement to wait out the storm, but there was a boiler there. When the tornado ripped the house apart, the boiler would explode! And a fiery exploding death was hardly better than a fatal Wizard of Oz reenactment.
I decided the only way to survive was by hiding in the tub, covered with a mattress to deflect debris. I ran upstairs and heaved the mattress off my bed. My father heard me banging the mattress onto the floor in my room and came to check on me. He found me sweating and panting, struggling to get my mattress down the stairs. He laughed and walked away, not even acknowledging the brilliance of my plan.
Finally, after several near fatal stumbles on our stairs, I got the mattress to the bathroom. But even if I couldn’t save my family, I would save my cats. I grabbed all three cats in one hissing and squirming armload, dumped them in the tub, and pulled the mattress over us. Together we four waited for the twister to come. Well, to be honest, I waited for impending doom while my cats did their very best to claw me to death. (I still have several scars.) But I refused to let them out of the tub. What did I care for a little pain if I was saving my kitties’ lives.
We waited like that for an hour until my father took pity and came to haul me out of the tub. He found me scratched and bleeding, but alive! I had saved the cats and survived the storm!
I was triumphant. It didn’t matter that the tornado was ten miles away and only knocked one tree down. That downed tree was all over the news, and I should have been too! I deserved a medal and a parade and cookies. My sister cleaned my wounds, but there was never a parade. Sometimes the most heroic people go unnoticed. I am Megan: the bath tub crusader!
This post is in loving memory of Maggie (left), Kat (Center), and Tigger (Right), the best pets anyone could ever ask for.