Monday, January 5, 2009

A (Nearly) Happy Ending

Today was back-to-school day for the twins. At 2:30pm or so, I got a phone call from the school asking if I could come pick up Airius because he was running a temp of 102 degrees Farenheit.

I pulled into the parking lot and waddled my way through (yeah, that's part of being firmly planted in the third trimester of pregnancy) only to be greeted at the sidewalk by an eager little kitten. In the busy Head Start parking lot. You know, where the buses that couldn't possibly see a kitten drive and park. Yikes. But I was on a mission to retrieve my ailing son, so I sidestepped the kitty with an apology and headed into the building.

A few moments later, I was towing two children by their hands towards the front door and was contemplating whether or not to mention my feline run-in with them when, both at the same time, Annie and Airius began the tale of their morning entrance into the school... complete with how their was a "cute little kitty" (Annie) or "scary, poisonous cat" (Airius) running around the parking lot that their teachers warned them not to approach because it might bite or scratch. Just as I lay my hand on the knob to enter once again the sea of asphalt, a Head Start administrator poked her head around the corner and said that if I like cats, I could do them a favor and take the parking lot kitten home. Apparently, she'd called the Humane Society but was told that they do not do pickups. I smiled and told her I probably wasn't her woman, but, well...

Back out to the parking lot we went, and the scary, poisonous, cute, little kitty trotted up to us once more. It was then that I noticed he wasn't walking perfectly on his hind legs. He looked a little shaky all over, in fact. Oy. If I wasn't in love with the little guy before, I certainly was once I knew that he really needed help. I'd noticed him sniffing at the rainbow pools scattered about the pavement. Maybe he drank some antifreeze? Perhaps someone hit him but not hard enough to kill him? I got the kids into the car, all the while trailed by our little buddy. I couldn't help it. I had to call The Husband and do a little groveling. He was so friendly that he must belong to someone. I'll just put out a found ad for him, I assured The Husband. No go. We can keep him just a few days in a comfy bed out of doors until I find someone willing and worthy to take him. Still an emphatic no from my other half. I could at least transport him to the Humane Society. No no no. "There are hundreds of stray cats out there. If you bring one home, you'll want to bring them all home. NO!"

Sigh. By this time, the kitten had taken a couple of tries at crawling into my minivan, despite its shaky, uncooperative limbs. On its third try it succeeded, at which point Airius let out a pealing scream and begged me not to take it home. That smart little cat scrambled from the van at the racket but waited just outside, staring woefully at me. Sorry kitty. Not today.

Kitty and I weren't the only ones upset. Annie was rather peeved that Daddy hadn't given into my pleas and was very worried that the kitten would be hit in the parking lot, or would freeze to death, or would starve because he hadn't had any food. I promised that none of those things would happen. I would find someone to go pick the cat up. And if I couldn't manage that, I'd use all my womanly nagging powers to whittle down The Husband's resolve. Muahahahaha!

Back at the homestead, I tucked Airius onto the couch with a new book to read, and Annie and I headed next door to our neighbor's house. It was probably a long shot, but E. and J. had brought home a couple of kittens right around Halloween, so I thought it might not be too late to add another. And, hell, what's one little kitten to a woman who cares for herself, a boyfriend, six kids, a dog, two kittens, a few hermit crabs and an unknown number of fish, right? I was in luck! They were looking for another kitten for J's oldest son, and J's as much of a sucker for a sob story as I am. She was without transportation though, so I straightened my spine and told The Husband I'd be driving J. and two of her kids back to the Head Start building to pick up the cat. J. had a carrier and some canned food as a bribe, but I assured her there would be no trouble from the little guy. He was eager for a human (or 8) to call his own, I knew.

And so unfolded the easiest cat catch ever (uh, approach cat, pick up cat, point cat towards carrier and watch as he walked in of his own accord and greedily gobbled the canned food). All that was left was to name the little fellow, and J. gave the honor to Annie. "Sunny" it was to be. And off to the vet he will go, it was promised, on Wednesday. Let's hope for a promising prognosis and that he gets along with the other kitties already in residence next door.

I love a happy ending.

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