Today I discovered a very scrawny, scruffy white cat on my back porch.
The cat looked ill and hungry so I fetched food and water but he wouldn’t eat.
I picked him up and my fingers went through his ribs, he was that skinny.
I say all this by way of explaining what happened next.
After conferring with my daughter, here visiting from California, and my husband, upstairs on a Zoom call, I called animal control, our city’s lost and found for dogs and cats, and asked them if I should bring the white cat to their place.
And they said, “Sure. That would be great.”
And so we put the cat in our cat’s cat carrier and we all got in the truck – me, my husband, our daughter, and her daughter. So, four of us and the cat went across town during rush hour using ‘back streets’ which meant there was a stop sign every other block so it took forever.
On the way to animal control, the cat, which we decided was a girl whose name should be Mitzy, started to loll about in the cat carrier like it was the coziest place he had been in weeks, and we all felt righteous and compassionate for bringing the obviously starving, sick cat to animal control to be taken care of.
After we were buzzed in at animal control, the nice lady at the desk took my name and address and then another person came to get the cat. She brought back our cat carrier and said, “That cat is very old, at least 15. They get real skinny like that.” While we waited for all this to happen, we watched four kittens playing in their litter box and wondered if we should adopt a three-legged kitten who looked like a cat we had thirty years ago. The place was lousy with cats.
So then we drove home, this time on the freeway which wasn’t so jammed up as before because it was now past rush hour and soon we pulled up to the front of our house where our next door neighbor and her daughter were walking up and down the sidewalk with worried looks on their faces.
“I bet they’re looking for a cat,” my husband said.
Oh my God, I thought, and so I asked, “Are you looking for a cat?”
It turns out they were.