Saturday, October 31, 2015
I had some time to kill on Halloween evening.
I love that phrase, "time to kill."
As if unstructured time were the enemy, instead of one's best friend.
I love having time to kill. It doesn't happen very often for me. I'd taken Liam to his high school for two performances of a play he's in, and I was planning to attend the late show.
So I went to Apex Tru-Value Hardware to buy some peanuts and sunflower for the birds. And there I fell into conversation with someone I recognized. We figured out that he'd been facilities manager at a venue where The Rain Crows had held concerts. We yakked and yakked. And over his shoulder, I could see this little bitty cat. She was walking back and forth on the feed loading dock in a kind of agitated way.
"Excuse me," I said to my new friend Eric. "This little cat wants to be in on the conversation. Let's walk over and include her."
She purred and rubbed her head around.
She held up one paw to her breast, like a squirrel. Ohhh my gawrsh.
I stroked her head and pulled on her little ears. "This is Simba," Eric said.
"She drools when you pet her."
And yep, she was drooling, copiously. The paw kneading, coupled with drooling, intrigued me. I wondered if she associated people and lavish petting with comfort, such as she'd have gotten when she was a kitten, nursing. And maybe kneading her paws, as she did when she was a nursing kitten, made her drool. I dunno. Whatever the neural pathways that made her drool when I loved on her, it was durn cute.
I was enchanted by this little torti-tabby. I had known it was a female from the get-go, because tortoise-shell coloration is sex-linked. Unusual, and very beautiful, to see it overlain on tabby striping. I really like tabbies. They tend to be super sweet and affable.
Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a dog person. But if she did not make my eyes itch and my nose run; if there weren't the litterbox thing to deal with, I would have gladly bundled this sweet little number in my arms and taken her home. Chet...well, we'd have worked it out with Chet. I mean, look at those seaglass eyes! That sweet face! That paw....that drool... But I knew that would make Rita sad. Every day Rita calls the loading dock cats into her office and feeds them the best cat food. Cats with a job. Mousers. The only birds they're going to catch here are house sparrows. That's OK by me.
Reluctantly, I wound up the conversation with Eric and Simba and drove a short way to the wonderful Marietta Bicycle and Walking Trail. I hadn't gone 50 feet when this little number came hurrying out from under a shrub. I smiled at the superstition about a black cat crossing one's path. It was Halloween, after all!
It just felt like marvelous luck to me.
OK, Kitteh. What's going on here? Is this Make Zick a Cat Person Day?
I got the memo from Simba just in time to meet you. Please note my just-washed mittens and tuxedo. Got any room in your car? Wait! Must you be going?
Yes. I must. You are adorable, but I, Birdwoman, cannot walk in the door with a kitteh. They'd call the nutwagon. Which would come careening around the corner on two wheels and bundle me away.
I proceeded toward the Ohio River, looking for my people.
Ah. That's more like it.
We heard you were consorting with cats??
Wak wak wak wak wak!!
Seriously, Zick. You feelin' OK? C'mere. Lemme feel your forehead.
I'm OK. Really. It was a momentary, never to be repeated perturbation.
Righto. Dusk's coming, you know, no offense, but we must be moving on toward the roost. Sure you're OK?
Zick. Get a grip. Those were cats.
I know. I know. I'll be OK. Gotta walk it off.