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Installment #14

The following summer, 2006, my little hamlet of High Falls organized it’s very first annual pet show contest that would be a part of the annual High Falls Fair Day, a small-town mini festival that took place every year. There was a recent changeover of committee members and with the new energy came lots of new activities to make it more appealing to locals and tourists alike. I decided that Henry needed to be in the contest, I figured “why not”… I was living in the center of the hamlet and getting to know the locals, and Henry was adorable. I placed him inside of the backpack pet carrier that my boss had given me as a gift the Christmas before, he thought that I would be taking Henry with me when I went to visit my family in West Virginia for the holidays, I had no intentions of doing that… I hired an in-house pet-sitter instead. The backpack pet carrier was finally coming in handy! I loaded him onto my back and we walked over to the local churchyard where the pet show was being held. I signed him up and got a number. We waited until it was our turn to go before the judges in a small grassy area under a tree a little bit away from all of the barking dogs. This was the first time Henry had ever been out of my apartment, and the first time he was ever around any other animals. I had no idea how he would react… and you know how cats can be! He was such as good boy; he just sat on my lap and looked around at everything that was going on. I kept the pet carrier open and very close by, ready for any instance that I might need to place him in there and zip it up. Henry was the ONLY cat that was entered into the contest; I figured he was a shoo-in if there was a cat category (which there wasn’t, by the way). Our number was called and we went before the judges, I held him in my arms and I took one of his little paws and waved at the judges as we walked past each one. We went back to our grassy area where I had left the backpack pet carrier and waited for them to announce the winners. Well, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear… Henry took home a blue ribbon and was proclaimed “Mr. High Falls 2006”!

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