By Patricia Gordon
The end of the month always brought about a flurry of activity in my residential complex as the moving vans pulled into and out of the parking lot. These departures also resulted in the discarding of unwanted items besides the dumpsters. On this occasion I noticed a mother, while holding her baby, placing an empty cat carrier by the bin, but I thought nothing of it. Eventually I became bored with the people-watching so I decided to head to the store. Upon my return the moving van was gone and the collection of discarded items had grown. One thing struck me as odd as I looked at the cat carrier. A small blanket had been placed inside the carrier. Why did the mother put a blanket in the carrier, I asked myself? Then a horrible feeling came over me, and I suspected it wouldn’t be too long before I would see with an abandoned cat.
Two days later as I headed to work I noticed a young grey cat all alone. I had a hunch the appearance of this cat was connected to the departure of the family. The cat looked perplexed and unsure of his surroundings and I knew I couldn’t leave him there. I called to him softly and he bounded towards me; however, in my attempt to squat down to his level so I wasn’t towering over him, my backpack slipped clumsily to the ground and scared him, and to my horror he fled. It was not until another two months later that our paths would cross again.
It was a beautiful sunny day and I had decided to go for a walk but opted to cut through the park; however, before I got to the park I glanced over a fence and noticed the grey cat curled up in the grass. My heart sank; he looked dead still. I called to him, but there was no response. I made a louder sound and finally he lifted his head but did not flee. I sensed he was exhausted from hunger. I was afraid if I made an attempt to catch him, though, he might run, so I opted to back away and walk the 300 yards or so to my house and grab some wet cat food and a container of water. Upon my return the cat was lying in the same spot. I pushed the food and water under the fence and backed away. Not wanting to take his eyes off me he slowly made his way to the food; I had never seen a cat devour food so quickly. I could see he was quite thin. I knew he was famished so I returned with another can. I decided I would allow him to eat before attempting to pick him up and carry him home; however, he had other plans and quickly headed under the parked cars and down into the sewer.