Yesterday I had a date at a lovely local coffee shop with my dear friend Danette Relic. I wanted her artistic input on a project, plus we were overdue for a good catch-up. About an hour before we met, I had reason to ask if we could switch our local to the bakery across the street. Little did I know this started the wheels of an adventure in motion!
After a rich visit full of inspiration and sharing, Danette and I headed out, both of us needing to pop by the art store. On the way a sign in front of a fruit market caught my eye.
I don’t know why but I felt that sign was meant for me. I looked at Danette, “Is it bad for me to go look?” She said, “Is it ever bad to go look at kittens?” We stepped into the store.
When I asked about the kittens, the woman stocking the shelves asked if I knew much about cats. I explained that I had lost my cat of 20-years just two weeks ago to the day. She smiled at me, “Oh, then you know.”
She took us around front and opened the door to the upstairs apartment, explaining that the tenants had left it in an awful state and though they had come back for the mom of this brood, they had left the kittens behind. She was worried about them and had been bringing food but she needed to find them a good home.
The smell in the place was awful and got worse as we climbed up the stairs. There was a plastic bag full of empty mickeys of liquor. The couches were overturned and the rugs stained beyond repair. And yet this roughed-up place had charm: French doors to the living room, a skylight in the kitchen, an old clawfoot tub – and kittens.
Danette and I had a peek and saw one terrified grey kitten hiding in the back corner behind the fridge. In the other corner, all I could see was a flash of eyes.
The landlord told us about the difficult tenants, about why she couldn’t take the cats herself, about how she didn’t want to give them to just anybody. She glanced at me and said to Danette, “I look at her, and I know she’s going to love them.”
I called home.
I got through to my sister Shannon and gave her a quick rundown. And though my husband couldn’t hear the details there was something in our voices that had him respond, “Oh, no.”
Shannon handed over the phone. In the midst of a day of meetings, deliveries and repairs, Justin listened to me say, “I want to bring these three abandoned kittens home.” With the weight of the decision on his hands, Justin said, “How can I say no?”
As we left and I headed home to get the cat carrier, Danette reminded me that just over a week ago she texted me from the streetcar that she had had a vision of me with a grey cat.
Clearly this adventure was meant to be.