"The Chameleon Cat"

Mimyz Sweetpea Princess of Siam was a purebred Siamese so her owner Mrs. Yates was a bit surprised when she gave birth to a small gray kitten who looked strikingly different than it's white littermates. All of the kittens were ordinary looking, little balls of white with tightly closed eyes and ears and it wasn't until a week or so after their birth Mrs. Yates detecting anything unusual about them-or at least one.

At first she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her when she had looked into the basket one day and seen four kittens instead of five. Mimyz seemed unperturbed and continued to wash her little family seemingly to give the blanket underneath her a cursory lick every once in a while.

Odd, thought Mrs. Yates, but it was probably just the over cleanliness of a nursing mother cat.

She didn't really see any cause for alarm until one afternoon when the disappearing happened again that this time she really looked and was shocked by what she found. In the fold of the blue blanket in the basket was something blue and fluffy with a tiny pink nose, with shock she realized it was the other kitten! Carefully, she picked up the kitten who gave a sharp mew of protest at being disrupted from the warm blankets and promptly changed to the color of her hands, a dusky pallid flesh tone.

Alarmed, Mrs. Yates took the kitten to the vet, but the vet was just as perplexed when the kitten turned the same color as the stainless steel examining table. In fact, the veterinarian could find little wrong with the kitten it seemed to be a very normal kitten except that it changed colors when put in a new environment.

The kitten, who Mrs. Yates had now named Anole, after a type of common chameleon, was now growing bigger and stronger and as such he proved to be hard to take care of. He was constantly disappearing-or more accurately- blending into his environment. Anole, still bore resemblance to a Siamese right down to his almond shaped blue eyes which were the only thing other than his nose that didn't change color.

Mrs. Yates and taken to putting a bell around Anole's neck so she could hear him coming when you was running around with his littermates because more often than not he was a multicolored blur that streaked across the living room toppling everything from the morning mail to Mrs. Yates favorite books. By the time the kittens were six weeks old Mrs. Yates was already getting requests for new homes from the neighbors and even a few people out of state considering her cattery (thanks to Mimyz and a few other cats) had champion bloodlines.

Mrs. Yates and stated that "that weird cat" as her neighbors called Anole, was not for sale she couldn't trust putting Anole out into the world and have someone exploiting his "unique" gift.

By the time Anole was a year old he was like any other cat of his breed, fine boned, muscular and strikingly handsome whether he was black, red or green. Anole's favorite place to nap was on Mrs. Yates favorite red Kashmir sweater, not that this matter considering any hairs left behind were the same color as the fabric.

"Anole," Mrs. Yates scolded, "a normal cat would be a lovely shade of brown, black, or even cream I don't think a shade of fuchsia is exactly the right color."

Anole only looked at her his blue eyes regarding her reproachfully his scarlet paws discretely tucked under him his tail lashing languidly. He yowled plaintively before leaping to the carpet turning a nice shade of tan in the process.

Anole, it also became apparent like any other Siamese and had an unquenchable inquisitiveness and curiosity and developed a fascination with the great outdoors. Every day he waited at the door for Mrs. Yates to come home from work he would meet her at the door the other cats but one day he had decided he was going to make a break for it and just as Mrs. Yates opened the door he streaked past, the only indication he had ever been there was a flick of a now green tail.

"Anole," Mrs. Yates sighed, more exasperated than annoyed she went to retrieve the runway animal.

However, finding Anole was easier said than done, Mrs. Yates searched till it was dark and she still couldn't find him, she returned home dejected wondering if she would ever see the special cat again.

Months passed and there was still no sign of Anole and it seemed he had vanished (quite literally) into thin air. By now she knew what to look for to find him when he appeared to be "lost" and she never saw any signs, the area around her neighborhood seemed quite devoid of a color changing cat.

Summer turned into fall and fall turned into winter and ever so slowly winter turned into spring. It was one of those days where the weather hadn't decided whether or not to be nice and it was sunny but still quite chilly. Mrs. Yates was getting her mail from the young man who brought it every day when she noticed a big unusual about the hat he was wearing she was about to say something when a piece of the hat moved.

A bit unusual for a seemingly normal fur-lined cap, she thought, but then it dawned on her and she pulled a cat toy out of her pocket and shook it softly.

Suddenly a head came up and a number of things happened at once. The mailman shouted, Anole jumped off the man's head (from where he had been a smooth dark brown) and launched himself into Mrs. Yates waiting arms.

"Anole, Anole, where have you been?" She exclaimed. The cat was covered with mud and some foul odor rose from his fur, which had turned an alarming shade of purple to match Mrs. Yates sweater but she didn't care as she cuddled the dirty but loudly purring cat.

She supposed she would never know where Anole had been because cats (even ones that changed color) kept their secrets.