When I was about ten, I had a white stuffed cat that I adored. Her name was Milky Way.
I was in 4th grade at the time, and we were studying Ancient Egypt. One day the teacher was telling us about how the Egyptians worshiped cats, and when these cats would die, they would cover them in jewelry, mummify them, and then bury them. I was fascinated, and raced home to practice this ancient ritual on Milky Way.
I started by rooting through my mom's jewelery box and wrapping Milky Way in all the bracelets and necklaces I could find. I pierced Milky Way's ears with dozens of earrings and stuck rings around her tail. After searching through the medicine cabinet for sports tape, I bounded her arms and legs tightly together and wrapped her entire body in gauze. I performed a short, Egyptian-like prayer, and then buried Milky Way in the backyard, her soul protected for its journey through the underworld. Finally bored, I headed back into the house to watch cartoons.
It was that evening when it occurred to me that I might have done something wrong.
"Where's my good gold bracelet?"
I heard Mom say this to Dad, her voice loud from the back of the house where their room was. Seconds later, I heard her screaming.
"Where are all my earrings!?" And then, more hysterical, "My watch! My watch is gone! GONE!" Frantic, Mom raced into the kitchen, where my sister and I sat pretending to do homework. "WHAT did you two do with my jewelry?!?"
My sister stared at my Mom frothing at the mouth in awe. "Nothing," she said, and then both of them slowly turned their heads to me.
My mouth went dry. "Cat..." I whispered, staring down at my hands. Because I knew I was fucked. "Backyard..."
"What." Mom was using her flat, sharp voice that let you know she was capable of killing children, including her own.
"I mummified Milky Way by wrapping her in jewlery and gauze and burying her in the backyard. Like the Egyptians."
I was lucky Dad stepped in at that point to stop Mom from attacking me. He held her around the waist while my sister and I ducked under her flaying arms and ran into the garage, grabbed a shovel, and raced outside to dig up Milky Way. Like two grave robbers, she holding a flashlight and I frantically ripping up the dirt, we finally found her. Milky Way and my mother's jewels were back from the dead.
Later, after spending hours wiping the mud off of enough gold, silver, and bronze to cover an entire Olympics, I received a two-hour lecture on the importance of respecting other people's property, and was grounded for a month.
I was just glad Mom let me live, knowing there was an empty grave out back.
Quarter Life Whatever
4 years ago