Forest Lawn

“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!

Cat-magnetly,
June

59 thoughts on “Forest Lawn

  1. I’m more of a dog person, but that is one cute kitten. He might have been leery of Millhouse because I think I might also worry about an orange arm coming underneath a door that doesn’t seem to be attached to anyone. It’s always fun to read your adventures.

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  2. I didn’t even read all the 54 other comments and I’m on my 2nd glass of wine whilst waiting for pizza so… take this for what it’s worth.

    There is a site called Patreon. It allows you to have subscribers for a set monthly fee. I am sure I am not alone when I say, I’d pay $5/month – what I currently already pay for an Insta account I LOVE – to provide you a steady source of income for the reading we all scurry to here every day. That income stream would allow you perhaps not only a small measure of the life you’d like to become accustomed to, but also yes, to keep kittens.

    So. Assvice you didn’t ask for, but I would be happy to support you in a more sustainable manner, for kittens or.. life. Bc you provide a service I would gladly pay for.

    Let the liver slapping begin!

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  3. I hope there is a special kind of hell reserved for people who mistreat (including dumping) animals. I’m so glad you’ve saved him!!!!!!!!!!

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  4. Forest Lawn is a hilarious name!!
    I predict Edz will take a shine to FL. Last night on our walk we found a very young, rambunctious (is there any other kind?) golden retriever. Oh she carried on with the wiggling and the gnawing and the licking and the wiggling while we tried to check her collar in the dark. Finally her mom came frantically looking for her. She escaped through the gate during trash can time. Been there! Daisy. Her name is Daisy, but we never bothered to get her mom’s name. Ha!
    Now we’re just waiting around for a hurricane. Whatever is currently in the fridge is extent of our preparation. I have no extra bandwidth for weather shenanigans.
    Fun times! 🍷🍺🥃🍸🍹🧉

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  5. He is adorable – or maybe she? I never can get why people dump their pets. It is so maddening. Take them somewhere safe at least if you do not have the balls to care for them! Geez.
    You have a kitten heart of gold, June!

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  6. Wow! The stars were surely aligned! I hope karma gives the guy who dumped that sweet little kitty a swift and hefty kick in the arse.

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  7. What the hell is wrong with people? Good thing you were there. I’m trying to stop being so cynical and then people like this exist.

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  8. June Gardens, kitten whisperer and rescuer. How perfect (purrfect) that you were in the right place at the right time as who knows what could have been that sweet kitten’s fate. I’m flipping through the pages of The Big Book of June to see if you once had a black fluffy cat similar to Forest Lawn. Did I just imagine it?

    Have you practiced your cat-sexing to determine if Forest is a girl or boy? Someone will be mighty lucky to adopt that sweet kitty.

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  9. He’s so cute! I love him.

    My mind always races with the “what ifs” too, but the FACT is you WERE there, you DID save him. Thankfully. Poor bubba.

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  10. I found a wallet once, but it didn’t have the ear tufts or silky fur. Good job, Joob. Or is that good Joob, Job?

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  11. Forest Lawn is beautiful. He looks healthy and well fed, or did you fill him up. And he uses the litter box, what a plus! I have such disdain for any person (I was going to say human, they aren’t human) that abandons an animal, it makes me furious!!!! I wish that dude could be identified and heavily fined for being cruel to an animal. You are such an animal magnet, this baby couldn’t have found a better person to rescue him. I hope you can find him a home that love and care for him since you have three perfectly serviceable cats.

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  12. I can’t imagine the kind of person that just sets an animal aside. I saw this horrifying video on facebook of this woman dumping a dog near the woods, and the dog tried to walk back to the car so she played like they were going for a walk, and she led that dog into the woods and then ran back to her car and sped off. That dog came back looking for the car and sniffing around. All of this was caught on someone’s security camera.
    Joon, are you St. Francis’ designee or something? Whatcha gonna do with that cat? Isn’t it cool that you almost got one of Lilly’s black kittens and then the universe presents you with a black kitten? I’m gonna go calculate how long of a drive it is if that kitten needs a home…

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      1. It was, with the law on the lookout for the driver. The image of that dog going back for the car haunts me.

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  13. Kitten floofball muffinhead! I love him (or her). Those ear tufts are killing me! I’m so glad you found him. Poor baby.

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    1. That found the kitten, I mean, and didn’t dump the kitten. I hope he gets a really painful ingrown hair in his testicle that he can’t get out by himself, and that he has to seek out help in a really vulnerable and humiliating way. The end.

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  14. He reminds me of my favorite pet of my lifetime, my Cleo(patra) who was a long haired black cat. She grew to be quite chubby. I still miss her decades later.
    He is SO pretty and I love the silky fur. It’s a graveyard when it’s attached to a church. It’s almost like a fairytale, the villain in his car, dropping off the black kitten in the church ‘s graveyard. You are the heroine, June. Lucky Forest Lawn! No coincidence.

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  15. Beautiful post, you dear soul. Thought you might name him Moses and he would grow up to be famous and stories would be told for thousands of years about how he freed his people. If only he’d been in a basket. But Forest Lawn is cool. Kiss the little dolly head for me.

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  16. What in the world? Was he thinking this was like the little leave one/take one library boxes people set up in their yards? I don’t have pets but I don’t get it.

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      1. Let’s hope so. My dog park gets a drop off about monthly.
        Many of us regulars will keep spare leashes and food in our cars for them.

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  17. Joon, this is why you are my people!
    What a blessed kitty and to think some folks believe black cats are bad luck.
    Love the name!

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    1. It seems to be my strong suit. Sometimes I will think I hope I find some sort of animal today and days I think that I never ever do. It only happens when I’m not thinking about it.

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      1. That’s crazy lucky that you saw it happen. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed the car. Glad the kitty has a chance now.

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    1. What a horrible example that man is presenting to his daughter, just abandon an animal, just throw them out they’re just an animal. There has to be extra horrible punishment for people that mistreat animals and children!
      Tee

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  18. I LOVE HIM.

    (Also, I 100% thought those dark marks on the rug (leaves?) were kitten poop at first glance. Everything looks like poop to me. I have poop PTSD. PoopTSD.)

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