Thursday, June 24, 2010

Orphans of the Storm

He was a little sable kitty, sitting in the rain under the tailpipe of a motorcycle. “Meow,” he mepped as the rainwater dripped on his head. The Bearded One and I were in college and had met living as neighbors in the same apartment complex. The Bearded One is a “cat person”.
“How did you get out here, little kitty?” he asked as he picked the little guy up. As he headed back into the building, another little sable kitten dragged herself out from under the apartment steps, she was dry but dragging her right rear leg. The Bearded One picked her up as well.
I was surprised to hear the doorbell ring at that hour of the morning. I was even more surprised to see The Bearded One in motorcycle leathers with a tiny kitten in the palm of each gauntlet.
“Here take them. I’ll give you $20 and you can go to the corner store and get litter and cat food. Then find a vet because one of them is hurt.”
At the vet that evening, shots were given to both and an x-ray was taken of the little girl with the limp. The Bearded One was assured that it was a broken hip, but that if we cut down a litter box for her and kept her quiet, nothing was displaced and she’d heal up just fine in a few weeks.
The Humane Society, however, said, “We’ll take the male, but we’ll have to put the female down.”
The Bearded One explained that he had a vet’s report that said that the female would be just fine and she had her first shots.
“We’d have to put her down.”
The Bearded One said, “F##k you,” and slammed down the phone. We now had two cats. Which was probably what the Humane Society planned on: What college student pays for shots and x-rays for stray kittens? A good adoptive cat parent, that’s who.
As I could keep animals in my apartment building but he couldn’t in his, I assumed custody. I sometimes wonder if that is why our relationship lasted – I had “his” cats.

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