I have an old “suitcase” style record player. It’s just like the one I had as a teenager. The speakers pivot out from the body and the turntable pulls down from its packed-up position to a horizontal one for playing. This morning I listened to Lambert Hendricks, and Ross perform Count Basie’s Everyday (I Sing the Blues):
“Nobody loves me; nobody seems to care. Speaking of bad luck and trouble, I’ve had my share.”
The song bored me so much that I switched to James Taylor’s Home by Another Way. I’d never really listened to it before, and it’s a really great song. You can read the lyrics and listen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3xUvzbmh1Y
But music and songs aren’t what I’m writing about this morning. Yesterday I had errands to take care of and when I was headed home to meet a client, I made the choice to enter my neighborhood from another way. As I made a left turn off N. Main onto Chestnut I saw the body of a little grey kitten on the road ahead of me. Heavy-hearted, I continued up the hill. I could hardly believe it, but there ahead of me was another one, another little grey body. Grieving, I drove the short two blocks home. Of course, I couldn’t get the wee ones out of my mind. Knowing I couldn’t bury them (it was hot, and I don’t do heat! And certainly can’t dig in hard ground, in the heat, or any other time.) I felt I had to do something, though. I got a shovel and drove back to move their little bodies out of the road, the only thing I could do, and it wasn’t easy. I realized they’d not been dead long (no rigor). It seemed to take a long time, but I was able finally to lay the first one under the shade of a bush at the back of the church yard. As I walked back to the car to drive down the hill to the second one, I happened to look up the intersecting road, Water Street, which is perpendicular to Chestnut, and saw what appeared to be a tall and slender grey and white cat. It was watching me from half a block away. Still as ice, it was. Regal, queen-like. So still that I wondered if it was not a cat at all, but a piece of yard art. But I had the strangest feeling that it was the mother.
I got into my car and moved further down the hill. Gratefully, I found an old cardboard sign (yet another yard sale sign that no one took down from three weeks ago). The cardboard made moving this little cat much easier, and I placed him in the brush on the side of the hill. Just as I was finishing, a young man walked up to ask what I was doing. I told him, and he said, “There’s another one over there,” pointing to the other side of Chestnut across N. Main. “I’ll get it for you. Do you have another piece of cardboard?” There was a metal placard on the hill, fallen into the brush. “Let’s use that,” I said. “Just put him right here with the other one.” He lovingly placed the little body next to the second of the three siblings. We chatted only a moment. “Thank you for your kindness,” I told him. As I was getting into the car, a policeman drove up. “Are you alright?”
“I’m just moving three kittens off the road.” He was still for a moment, then drove away. I came home haunted by the deaths of all three babies. I still am.
The yard art? Later, when I drove back by Water Street, just to see (I had to know), it was gone.
Do I wish I’d not gone home by another way?
Update: Sunday, 9:37 p.m. All three kittens have been buried. My neighbors, M and R, took care of the first one tonight. Someone else must have taken care of the second and third. I feel better knowing they’re now all within Mother Earth.
© Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Pierce and In Spiritual Wonder with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.