Mort Laitner
Mort Laitner

The Cat

I heard screams, shrieks and howls resonating from the lower deck of the stadium.

“What the hell is happening down there?” I wondered.

A fight, an explosion or a terrorist act.

I sat perplexed by the cacophony of sounds reaching my eardrums.

Then in a matter of seconds, they ceased.

My attention returned to the football game on the field.

And it was not until I arrived home and turned on my computer that I learned what the commotion was all about.

I watched the YouTube video of this black and white cat hanging from the blue awning attached to the cement rafters in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.

Clawing and slipping.

Slipping and clawing.

This cat literally hung on by a thread. I heard a gasp as the cat fell approximately 30 feet into a United States flag held and spread open by two football fans.

Of course, during the fall the cat reflexively twisted its body and righted itself.

The whole show blew me away, causing a bombardment of thoughts:

What drama!

What were the odds that  this cat would fall safely into Old Glory?

How did the cat get into the stadium and on to those rafters?

Why did this miraculous stars and stripes rescue occur on 9/11?

Do cats really have nine lives?

Where is that cat going to end up?

I saw it had a collar.

Was this a pre-Yom Kippur message falling from the Heavens?

Was this cat-falling story a reminder of the historical past?

Then it hit me.

Israel was the cat.

America was the flag and the year was 1973.

Yes, the Yom Kipper War.

Fear, screams, sheiks, howls and air raid sirens blanketed Israel, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.

In the early days of the war, Moshe Dayan warned Golda Meir that Israel (Code-named, “The Third Temple”) might lose. The nation of Israel hung precariously by a thread.

Then on Israel’s request. President Richard Nixon ordered the U.S. Air Force to airlift and resupply the Israeli Defense Forces with F-4 Phantom II fighters and M60 Patton tanks plus other weapons and supplies.

And this almost-lost war became a military victory for Israel, albeit with a great loss in soldier lives.

So a falling cat—with thousands of people praying for its safety—rekindled old memories, caused us to reflect on the loss of loved ones and strengthened our belief in miracles.

May you have an easy fast.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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