Peter Elbling's The Vinégar Jonesy Chronicles



Peter Elbling is Sour Mr. VinégarMr. V looking for JonesyA month after the crow incident, I called Jonesy in at the usual time but he didn’t respond.  I waited ten minutes and called him again.  Still no answer.  Puzzled, I walked around the block calling his name.  Nothing.  I tried to think lightly of it but dark thoughts kept slipping into my mind.  Was he hurt somewhere?  Perhaps he had unwittingly strayed out of his territory and had been unable to find his way back.  But his name and address were written on his collar!  So if he was found by a Good Samaritan that person would know where to bring him.  But the collar was the breakaway type in case he caught himself on a limb while climbing a tree so if the collar had come off and he had been found than the Good Samaritan wouldn’t know where to bring him.  But what if they weren’t a Good Samaritan?  What if they were a catnapper?

Mr. Vinegar's Catastrophe.  Catnapper.They could have ripped off the collar and driven to San Francisco or Chicago by now.  He could be anywhere!  I got into my car and drove around in increasingly wider circles calling JONESY!  JONESY!  The only answer I received was from some old bat who shouted at me to be quiet.  A half hour later, in a cold sweat, I climbed the stairs back to my apartment filled with guilt, fear, and remorse.  How could I have let him out?  He was just a kitten!  I didn’t deserve to have a pet.  If he came back I would… I would give him to someone more deserving.  I barely slept all night.






Jonesy's thinking. Mr. Vinégar blog. Peter Elbling.Freeeeedom!  Freeeedom!  I had heard the word a lot but I had no idea what it meant until that night!  How can anyone know what that word means unless they’ve been restrained and constrained and destrained and all the other types of strained?  I know my mother was an alley cat and I guess my father was too because I crave the night.  I’ve heard of cats who never go outside day or night.  There are some who even run away from an open door!   D’ya know what Prince and I call them?  Pussies!

How can a cat not love staying out at night?  There’s hardly any traffic, even less people, and the dogs are all locked up!   Sure there’s possums and rats and mice and squirrels but that’s nothing.  The night is ours.  I’d been planning on staying out all night for a while now but I needed a push.  Prince gave it to me.

After the thing with the crow we became buddies.  I knew his rep.  I mean, who didn’t?  There wasn’t a cat in the neighborhood that Prince hadn’t scarred.  There was a rumor that he had killed the kittens of his girlfriend because they weren’t his, but that’s street talk and you can’t believe everything you hear on the street.  But Prince was tough there was no doubt about that, which was why I always got embarrassed whenever we were kicking back and suddenly Mr. V started calling, Jone-zee!  Jone-zee!  It was humiliating!  I can’t help it!  I mumbled as I left.  Prince looked at me then bent down and licked himself.  I’d never been so miserable in all my life!  That’s when I made up my mind I was gonna do something about it.

So the next night just before Mr. V called me I said, Why don’t we do something? Prince looked at me real casual.  He didn’t say anything, he didn’t have to.  That was one of the great things about him.  You just knew right away what he was thinking.  He stood up, stretched his front legs and slipped off.  I was right behind him.

We cruised down the block past my boundary, crossed the street, turned the corner, went two blocks, and came to a big street.  It was the biggest street I had ever seen.  I stopped.  I had never been this far from home before.  Prince said, Stick with me.  He waited until a car had gone by and then said Now!  We raced across the street.  Okay?  He said when we got to the other side.  I nodded.  My heart was pounding.  But I was stoked.  We went down another block or so until we came to this old house that was surrounded by bushes and trees and stuff.  I could smell cat piss everywhere.   There was a hole in the fence in front of us.  Prince squeezed through.  I looked around half hoping Mr. V might be calling me but if he was, he was too far away for me to hear.  I took a deep breath and followed Prince through the hole….(to be continued)


To read about the Crow incident click HERE.

If you can’t remember who Prince is, click HERE to read the blog where Prince is introduced.

To read about when Prince and Jonesy first met click HERE.

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