My dad called me yesterday. He doesn’t call often, but when he does, it’s usually news. Turns out it wasn’t bad news, a fact for which I am thankful. Since the pandemic, it seems as if bad news is more frequent than good.
My parents found a kitten outside their house. He was wandering around under the parked cars in their driveway. A baby, no mare than 8-12 weeks old, asked for help in the ways animals do.
They decided to do what they could for the little guy.
My parents have lived in the same house for pretty close to forty years. They live in the heart of a small town and there are a few stray cats around. I’ve seen a few as a child but I don’t live in town anymore, so I’m a little out of the loop in terms of the neighborhood strays. We’re not sure where he came from. He doesn’t have fleas and is very friendly.
His exposure to people is obvious. Whoever had him in their home might have domesticated him but they weren’t kind. He’s malnourished and has an upper respiratory infection. Between the veterinarian and I, we’re getting him healthy again.
So far I’ve learned two lessons from him. One is that we all need help now and then. Asking for it means we’re strong enough in spirit to reach out.
I think it was my niece, who had been visiting my parents who saw him first. He must have been trying to get warm under her car, but when he saw her, he made his presence known. He’s been under my care long enough for me to pick up on some of his habits, so I can just imagine the long meowing cry and that the way he looked up at her.
I suspect we’ve all had moments like my little guy where we’ve felt alone and desperate. We’ve reached out and sometimes someone lends us a hand. Other times, that hadn’t been the case. It’s the moments when someone was there that restores our faith in humanity.
The second lesson happened on the morning of day two of having him. The poor little guy could barely breathe at that point, and he slept for twenty out of twenty-four hours of the day. And he was so malnourished he appeared skeletal. But he sat on my husbands lap while watching the morning news and purred. In his short little life, humans hadn’t given him any reason to trust them, yet he feels safe with us to let his guard down.
April Kelley is an author of LGBT Romance. Her works include The Journey of Jimini Renn, which was a Rainbow Awards finalist, Whispers of Home, the Saint Lakes series, and over thirty more.