11 April 2007

Wednesday, I am grateful...

...for meeting my neighbor for the first time yesterday and discovering she's got a good heart. No, not the tabby cat - the lady that feeds him. I've taken these words from something I posted in my regular blog yesterday. I feel like telling a story today, as I am also grateful for those who take care of the lost and unloved animals that live in the city streets.

Yesterday afternoon, I peeked out the front door window to see my neighbor feeding her tabby cat and the squirrel. Yes, they were sitting side by side. I never met her before - only her husband, who is a bit standoff-ish but generally a nice man. I heard from my partner that she is a nice older lady so I thought I would say hello and introduce myself. Heck, we've been neighbors since November afterall.

I had other motives though. I wanted to find out the name of her old tabby cat and what happened to her other cat that hasn't been seen outdoors in many months. I've been waiting to photograph this cat that I affectionately call "the big white cat with the small white head". Everytime I saw this cat, I'd get a chuckle. He'd be sitting outside on the balcony tied to the railing with a small string, while sitting on a small piece of cardboard. The tabby was free to roam...but no, the big white cat with the small white head clearly had special needs. We'd imagine that white cat with a white ruffly satin clown collar, just sitting there tied to a string on his small piece of cardboard while saying a humiliated "meow".

Unfortunately, I did not like what I heard. She told me that the (big) white cat (with the small white head) died. He was poisoned. He was on his string (sitting on his piece of cardboard, I imagine). He ate something. He went inside the apartment and died a short time after. This made me rather sad, I have to admit. For months, I have been waiting to photograph this silly looking (but adorable) cat. And now he's gone, died without a name. At least, he had love and a warm home to sleep and a lovely piece of cardboard to sit on.

I asked her what her tabby's name was. He has no name, she said, she did not know. She takes in stray cats and feeds them and, clearly, the tabby decided to live with her and husband. It made me smile - I have a neighbor with a good heart, which is a big change from my last neighbors who piled dog shit in front of our living room window and waist-deep garbage in our fire escape. She seems to feed all the stray cats, as well as the squirrels and pigeons. She seems like a sweet lady, even though sometimes there are about 20 pigeons on the balcony.

I like to believe the big white cat with the small white head died of natural causes, in his sleep where he was dreaming of eating fancy cat food out of foil packets or chasing a delicious bird. May his kitty-cat heaven be lined with cardboard. Godspeed, big white cat with the small white head, Godspeed!

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