LVI.

There’s a kitten meowing constantly in the garden in back of our building. It began yesterday but sounds desperate now. I can’t listen to it without wanting to scoop the animal up and somehow help it to live – but I can’t take in a stray cat for about a hundred reasons: Valentine would flip, the kitten might bring in diseases, strays aren’t easy to care for, I’m going out of town tomorrow, and I haven’t forgotten the nightmare that was Pandora, the cat I took in when I lived in Turkey. I seriously doubt the animal people will show up tonight to rescue this cat… one of the neighbors stopped by to see if it belonged to anyone, but it seems like it must be a stray. If I leave food out tonight, what will I do tomorrow? Should I just harden my heart until it stops meowing?

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2 Responses to “LVI.”

  1. Kelly,
    Your post made me think of Paula Fox’s marvelous novella, Desperate Characters. It’s about a married couple living in a nice apartment in the middle of a deteriorating NYC neighborhood. It opens with the woman attempting to coax in a stray cat and getting bitten. The ensuing complications add up to powerful story that becomes a subtle meditation on social and personal upheaval. One of my favorite post-war works by an American writer. It’s been compared to Billy Budd and Great Gatsby. I’ve taught it in an Intro Amer Lit course, and I think that lofty comparison is well-earned. I highly recommend it.

    best,
    Tom

  2. Leave food. The animal people will eventually come and food today might make the difference between a slow lingering death and a swift peaceful one for that poor sweet kitten.

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