“Walk?” texted my neighbor, R, yesterday afternoon.
“Nah, I got too much to do. Tomorrow?” I wrote back. We agreed.
But then the thing is, once I got done with all my stuff, it was still sort of light out. And I’d played fetch with Edsel and noted what a lovely, breezy night it was. It was like 82, which for here is a lovely night.
So I decided to take an abbreviated walk. Normally I’d take Edsel, but we’d just played and he was very dramatically drinking water and panting so I walked alone. Yeah-h-h with nobody else.
I take the same route, generally, which involves cutting through the school parking lot and over to the church across the street. The church has a cemetery attached to it—is it a cemetery or a graveyard when it’s attached to a church? I can never remember—but I rarely walk through the cemetery. Snakes. I fear snakes are in there.
But a couple times when I walk over there in the evening, I’ve seen this woman pull up and psstpsstpsst with some food, and I assume she’s feeding ferals in there. She may even be one of those trap-neuter-release people and these are her ferals from that. I don’t know. All I know is when I see her I try to look for cats, because it’s not enough I have three perfectly serviceable cats at home. No. I also gotta see OTHER cats, and it’s exciting every time.
So when I was over there last night, I saw a car slow down. Oh! Was this the (wait for it) middle-aged white woman coming to feed the ferals?
But it wasn’t. It was some dude. And he walked to the low fence of the cemetery and put something in there. What was he…? Was that…?
The dude drove away and I don’t even remember crossing the street. I hope I looked both ways but clearly I made it. He’d put a kitten, or a small cat, in there! In the cemetery! It was black, and looked like maybe it had long hair.
“Hey, kitty!” I said softly, but that kitty wasn’t having me. It hunkered under a bush, looking at me with big yellow eyes.
My mind raced. If I went back home and got the cat carrier, this cat might disappear forever. Also, goddammit, I didn’t HAVE a cat carrier. It’s with Iris! With all my shelter stuff, I have lost and gained about 20 crates. I’ll take kittens in for shots and they’ll return them with a whole new crate. I’ve lost towels and bath mats and I can’t begin to tell you. So, I used to have two crates and now I have one and it’s with Iris in Chapel Hill.
Remember a few summers ago, when I was driving home from a restaurant, and it was dark, and yet somehow I managed to see a tiny skinny black kitten on the sidewalk? It wouldn’t come to me either, till I got the ham out of my sandwich from the restaurant.
O! Ham shed diffrent lite on matter.
How I longed for ham right then.
Fortunately, when not being abandoned in a cemetery, this kitten, and it is a kitten, maybe four months old or so, is really friendly. Eventually it came out to me, and I scooped it up, and headed for home.
God, I was nervous. I was trying to exude calm, so the kitten would stay calm, but do you know what I never exude? Also, I was sleeveless, of course, and I pictured self arriving home resembling Rambo, all sleeveless and bloody.
But while he wriggled, a LOT, he did not scratch me, and every so often I’d stop and rub his neck. If you pick up a kitten’s neck a bit, it calms them. Like, where their mothers pick them up. Right there. So I did that, and was sweaty and nervous, but eventually we got home and into the kitten room.
If anyone was gonna find a kitten, it’s convenient that it’s me, as I had the kitten tent, a tiny litterbox, scads of bowls and both wet and dry kitten food from all my shelter stuff. I had the room kitten ready in about 5 minutes.
I CANNOT KEEP HIM. But meanwhile I’m calling him Forest Lawn.
I am keeping him separated from everyone, but today Edsel looked at him and got scared. I know! I think it’s because he isn’t tiny but rather almost big. He’s SUCH a sweet cat, oh my god. And his fur? Silky! Also, why does he have the flyswatter? Where has that flyswatter BEEN?
OK, I gotta go. But I just keep thinking of the timing. If I’d gone for a walk with R earlier. If I had taken Edsel. If I hadn’t walked that way. I’m so glad I saw him!