Ode to the Queen of Strays
I am in the emergency vet – the pricey one based in a university, where the not-yet-vets get to earn their chops. I’m thinking about chops because at my feet is a cat carrier with a wildling of a cat in it. Last night, I found her in my kitchen under a chair with her mouth hanging open above a pool of drool and a blinked-back look of pain on her face. It was 1 a.m. I was ready for bed. My children were at their father’s, sleeping in a house I’ve never seen. I had once again fallen asleep watching TV and was preparing for the usual light switching and door locking. But then there was a cat that did not look at all right in my kitchen. I put out a saucer of milk. It lapped. I tried some cheese, thinking, hoping, an appetite might mean it was not dying a painful, poisoned death. She let me rub her forehead. Now I really have to worry about this cat. But she managed to gum the cheese.