“Mommy, come sit next to me!” Tori calls out to me as I open the driver’s passenger side door and quickly dump my computer bag in.
“Sorry, honey, mommy’s got to drive the car.”
Moving at hyper speed, I slam one door, open another and turn the key in the ignition before I’m fully in my seat.
As the engine roars to life, I glance at the clock. 8:03. If I don’t take off my shoes when I drop her off at daycare, I might actually make my 8:15 meeting.
I’m about to slam into reverse when I see it. A little black and orange blur streaking out from underneath the car.
My hand pauses on the gear shift. Was that a cat?
Yes, it was. There, cowering in front of my cranberry-colored front door is a tiny little black and orange cat.
I don’t remember seeing that cat before.
Should I get out and make sure it’s okay?
It’s probably fine. Probably just a neighbor’s cat out for a morning stroll.
That cat looks scared though. She doesn’t look like she’s supposed to be outside.
But if I don’t get moving right now, I’m going to be late. Again.
“Stay here for a second, honey. Mommy needs to go check on something,” I call back to Tori as I get out of the car.
Walking slowly so as not to scare it, I clack up the sidewalk and crouch down, holding out my hand.
“Come here little kitty,” I croon.
Meowing plaintively, she sidles over, pouring her body into my outstretched hand.
My heart melts.
With two cats already inside, there’s no way I can bring her in. But the garage is heated. If I bring out some blankets and some food, she’ll be fine for the day.
Tonight we can post signs around the neighborhood. Somebody might be missing her.
And if nobody claims her, I think, looking down into those trusting green eyes, we could just keep her. There’s always room for one more…
Just then, our neighbor’s daughter stumbles out of the house.
“Hey Judy,” I call, “Did you guys get another cat?”
She looks at me blankly. “Wha-at?”
“A cat. Do you guys have a little black and orange cat?”
“We’ve got a black and brown and white one…”
“Well, I just found this one,” I say, scooping up the kitty and carrying her across the lawn. “Do you know who she belongs to?”
“That’s Sookie! She’s not supposed to be out here.”
A sweet and sour mixture of relief and regret floods my system as she takes her from my arms.
“Oh, okay, good. I’m glad I found her then.”
Getting back into the car, I think about stopping at Petsmart at lunch. Kermit’s out of treats, after all. It couldn’t hurt to just peek at the kittens while I’m there…