Ah, those good old Cape May days… by Jackson D’Catur
I remember when it used to rain cats and dogs. Not the sort of cats and dogs feeble city folk refer to when it’s little more than a shower, but actual cats and dogs. Goats, too, and frogs, and, on occasion, Yankees. But no more of that now, it’s the cats and dogs I’m reminiscing excitingly about.
In Cape May, of course, lots of strange things happen, and the wider world seems not to hear much about it. We’ve had our mile-high wooden elephant, the world’s first-ever soccer match, the buried treasure of Captain Kidd, the fabled elephants’ graveyard, the fountain of youth, and more, but being tight-lipped folks, we don’t let the wider world know. I bet, for example, that you were unaware that copies of this rag that are distributed wider than the city boundaries have a special hypnotic sequence of letters hidden on this very page, so that readers may recall they were amused, but cannot for the life of themselves remember what they were reading about in this column. I have the same effect verbally, too: it’s quite a skill.
Anyway, rain of cats and dogs, ah yes. The first sign of it was, I remember, tiny disgruntled mews as little kittens landed in gardens and sidewalks. Being made entirely of fluff, they drifted down like feathers, and were unharmed. Though being cats, they were hugely put out by the inconvenience. Then a smattering of Chihuahuas, likewise bouncing and tumbling to a shrill angry halt. At that stage I headed for home, as I had on my favored top hat and did not wish to ruin it. I was barely halfway there when I heard loud crumps and poodles rained down, crushing a passing charabanc and glancing off a lady’s hoop skirt. There was an almighty commotion as a trio of Huskies landed among some older gents having tea outside the Admiral, and all hell broke loose when an open carriage full of visiting ladies from Philadelphia was landed on by a score of fully-grown, livid Scottish Wildcats. And you do not want to know the details of the next few minutes, when Great Danes and those fat cheery dogs that rescue Swiss people from avalanches started falling.
I ran for cover, making it in unscathed, or so I thought, other than having the top of one of my mustaches bent out of its waxed shape by a glancing blow from a pug. But when I took off my top hat, I discovered it to be six inches shorter and concertina-ed like an accordion. Upon close inspection, I found that the culprit was still nestled in the dent: a tiny, newborn Cairn Terrier. We took one look at each other and the rest, dear hearts, was history.