I dropped the H-girl off at dance yesterday evening at 5:30. I pulled out of the studio parking lot onto State Route 11 in the middle of Cicero rush hour traffic. Ahead, I see in the middle of my lane on this 4-lane beast of a road, a small black object, what at first appears to be some twisted rubber from a blown tire. As I get closer, I realize it is clearly a fuzzy hump of black fur–possibly a squashed black squirrel. As I move to straddle the black fuzzy hump, and as I zoom nearer and nearer, the fuzz’s head turns toward my oncoming car, its small triangle ears lifting slightly off its small black face.
And I’m over the top of it. And I’m past it.
And I’m stopped in the middle of State Route 11 in Cicero. I’m smashing the button to turn the hazards on. I’m only thinking peripherally, cloudily, that I’m leaving my two sons in a parked car in the middle of the busiest street in town at the busiest time of day so that I can rescue a kitten from certain death.
And I run back to scoop up the cat, only thinking for a split second before my hands reach down to retrieve him, that he might already be a bloody, broken mess of a cat.
But he’s not. As my hands reach down, his little body emits a small grumble at me that makes me smile. He’s probably been out here grumbling his little growl at every car that accidentally doesn’t hit him.
I run back to the car, throw the door open and place the kitty in Big J’s lap, who immediately cradles him in the crook of his elbow. I slam the car in gear and start moving just as a car rides up behind us. The thing smells foul and his bones are sharp. The white of his mittens and nose is so filthy it looks dark grey, only shades lighter than the black fuzz of his fur.
We drive home, and I’m thinking: “What the HELL am I going to do with ANOTHER cat?” And J is talking quietly to it, telling it we have a whole bunch of cat food at home for his hungry belly. Little J, in the back seat, is squealing “Cute kitten! Yet me schee da CUTE kitten!”
After two baths, for which he sat fairly patiently through, the white is still tattletale but the stink is gone. He has no idea what the litterbox is yet, but Big J is intent on cleaning up after him and making sure the family understands that “He’s just not potty trained yet!” Big J has become the kitty advocate.
He’s recovering. He purrs when you snuggle him and pretty much eats and sleeps all the time, like any other starved, neglected child would do. When the batteries for my camera come in the mail (damn ancient, battery-obsolete thing that it is), I’ll post some pics.
I’ll be taking donations for his vet bill. And we’re calling him Lucky.
edited to add: Tyratae and I have decided that his name will be either Gati (Sanskrit for the course of the soul through numerous forms of life) or Seamhas (pronounced “shavas”; Scottish for luck)–I’m going to let Big J pick. I’ll let y’all know.