The Horrible Mistake
By Perry Terrell
The plane was scheduled to leave on time, but Callie was running late. She was a last minute person anyway and things always worked out in her favor. So she thought by the time she get to the check in and screening site, there shouldn’t be a line. This was a very small airport and there were not many people flying out of it anyway.
Callie only had a carry-on bag and a covered cage with her cat.
The fellow that was doing the screening and x-raying the bags was also one of the flight attendants. His name was Jonathan. Callie assumed his name was Jonathan, but he only had Jon on his name tag. Usually that is short for Jonathan.
Jon told her as she approached the x-ray machine, to put her bag on the conveyer so it could be x-rayed. He also told Callie to take off her tennis shoes and put them on the conveyer.
Well, that was no problem for Callie because she expected that. What she didn’t expect was him telling that if she had a pet in that cage, it could not go on the plane with her. It would have to go in the baggage compartment with the luggage. He told her that he will take it and check it for her.
“But it is a cat and it won’t be any problem. I can put it in front of me at my seat,” said Callie.
“Is that a service cat?” asked Jon.
“Well, it won’t be sanitary to have your cat in the cabin, so I will take it and check it with the luggage. The luggage compartment is at the back of the plane. Since this is a small plane. I will be able to go and check on it for you.”
Callie thought about the sanitary part and said, “well if you must.”
Lori, the other flight attendant, since there were only two, walked up and asked if there was a problem.
“No,” said Jon. “I am going to put this ladies’ pet in the luggage compartment for sanitary reasons. She wanted to keep it in front of her at her seat, but she understands we can’t let her do that.
“Mam,” said Lori. “If there is anything I can do to make you comfortable, just let me know.”
Callie didn’t bother to answer because she was watching Jon take her cat and put it on top of the luggage that was being loaded on the plane.
“Coming through, coming through,” another passenger that was running later than her nearly pushed her down trying to get through to that x-ray fiasco.
Lori stopped her and told her that she had to pull off her tennis shoes and put them on the conveyer. The lady pulled her shoes off and threw them on the conveyer and ran pass everyone, grabbed her shoes and purse and sprinted to her plane in her bare feet just before they started closing the door. Luckily it was a different airline.
Callie was still standing there because she had about three minutes to grab her bag and tennis shoes and get on her plane. She was thinking to herself that she wasn’t happy, and there was nothing Lori could about it.
Jon came back and he and Lori started rushing everyone the plane.
“Grab your stuff everyone. We only have a minute to spare,” said Lori.
Callie grabbed her bag and hesitated when she started to pick up her tennis shoes.
“Hey, only one of my shoes is here. That woman picked up one of my shoes and one of hers. Now I am left with one of her shoes and one of mine. I can’t wear these mix-matched shoes.”
Callie hadn’t thought this would be a bad flight before she got to the airport, but now she was thinking that everything was going to go downhill from here.
“I’m sorry Mam,” said Lori. “But you have to get on the plane now.”
“Have you noticed that I now have mix-matched shoes?”
“The airline will either try to get your other shoe or reimburse you, said Lori, apologetically. She and Jon just looked at each other and shrugged their shoulders.
Callie walked barefoot to the plane and found her seat. No one was sitting next to her and she thought that she could have put her cat on the empty seat.
She asked Jon if she could put her cat in the seat next to her while she sit on the aisle and the cat would be by the window.
“No Miss. Don’t worry about your cat. He is in a comfortable space and is just fine.”
Callie leaned back and got comfortable. She decided not to put her bag in the overhead compartment. Since there was an empty seat next to her, she put her bag there.
Lori did her flight attendant informational number and told everyone to sit back and enjoy the flight.
Callie was not happy and couldn’t help but show it.
The plane was in the air and Jon and Lori started handing out peanuts and cookies.
When they got to Callie, she refused the snacks.
Lori told Jon that Callie must still be mad about her cat and her mix-matched tennis shoes.
“I know how to make her feel better,” said Jon. “I will tell her that I am going to check on her cat. That should please her a little.”
“Good idea,” said Lori.
Callie pulled out her phone and searched to see how long she had to be on the plane from Oakland to Los Angeles. She found the flight time from Oakland to Los Angeles is 1 hour, 17 minutes. The time spent in the air is 56 minutes. The flight distance from Oakland to Los Angeles is 337 Miles.
Less than two hours, she thought. Other than me wearing mix-matched tennis shoes, this journey might not kill me.
Jon came back and motioned for Lori to join him.
He looked frantic so Lori rushed to the back of the plane.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“That ladies’ cat is dead,” Jon whispered.
“Oh no, Jon. What are we going to do? She’s already mad with us and having a rough time.”
Jon said, “I have a friend in Los Angeles that owns a pet shop. I will take a picture of this dead cat, text it to him and see if he can find another cat that looks exactly like this one. By the time we land, we can stall the lady until we switch the cats.”
“That won’t work,” said Lori.
“It’s got to work. This lady is having a bad time and for us to have killed her cat, she will definitely sue the airline and probably both of us.”
Lori couldn’t figure out why she might be sued, but she agreed that Jon should try to get a replacement cat.
“Do you think she will know the difference?” asked Lori.
“It’s a plain old black cat with one white spot on his forehead. How hard can that be to find a cat like that even if he have to paint a white spot on it’s forehead,” Jon said anxiously.
“How are we going to do this?” asked Lori.
“You pull the cat out of the cage, I will take the picture and text it to Dennis. Then I will call him and tell him what we need.”
“I need gloves,” said Lori.
“If I am going to touch a dead cat, I’m not going to do it with my bare hands. Why can’t I take the picture and you pose the dead cat?”
“This flight is only 56 minutes. We can’t argue. We have to hurry. Go find your gloves. And please put a rush on it.”
Lori found some gloves, put them on and posed the dead cat for the picture.
The few passengers in the cabin was wondering where Jon and Lori were since there was only two flight attendants on the plane. Everyone was thirsty from eating those peanuts and cookies without anything to wash them down. They just knew that at least a half a drink would be given to them before the flight ended.
One of the passengers yelled out, “hey, can we get something to drink out here?”
“Coming,” Lori yelled back.
Jon stayed in the back and called Dennis to see if he had a black cat with a white spot on his forehead. He was in luck. Dennis had a black cat but no white spot. Jon proceeded to explain his dilemma and Dennis said he would paint a white spot on the cat’s forehead.
Jon told Dennis that he will carry the cat for the lady, load it in whatever transportation she was using to leave the airport so she wouldn’t immediately see that it was a different cat.
“Okay,” said Dennis. I will be there when the plane lands. I will bring a bag to put the dead cat in and give you the replacement cat.
Lori didn’t have time to pour drinks in a cup for the passengers, so she just gave them a whole can of drink. Everyone seemed to be happy with that. And so was the cat lady.
The plane landed.
Lori guided everyone off the plane and told them to have a pleasant stay in Los Angeles.
Dennis was there and ready with the replacement cat. He looked exactly like the dead cat. So he and Jon high fived each other and Jon told him that he will settle with him later.
Dennis took the dead cat and left immediately.
Jon told Callie that he will carry her cat for her since he knew she was uncomfortable in her mix-matched shoes.
The cat said “meow” three times in a row.
Jon smiled and told Callie that she has a happy cat.
Callie looked at Jon with a frown and said, “that’s not my cat.”
By that time, Lori had walked up and heard what Callie said.
“Yes Miss, this is your cat,” said Jon.
“That’s not my cat,” said Callie.
Jon and Lori was confused because she hadn’t even looked at the cat.
“Take a look,” said Jon. “This is your cat.”
“I don’t have to look. That’s not my cat,” Callie began to yell.
“If you don’t look at him, how can you tell it’s not your cat,” said Lori.
“Because I was bringing my cat home to be buried in the family pet cemetery. I spent $500.00 getting him ready for burial. That cat is alive. My cat was dead.”