Monday, June 4, 2007

Where Is Blue From, Part II: The People In My Neighborhood

The last poem has inspired me to tell you a story. Or, perhaps, the story inspired the poem. Either way. ^__^

Last night, at around 11:30 p.m, when I was just about tucking myself into bed, I heard this strange screaming-squealing noise. At first I thought it was one of the small children who live in the apartment next to mine (the one whose parents use the two-foot alley between our buildings as their own private dump, and who throw items into the alley via their ground-floor windows).

But it didn't go away, and it sounded like it was coming from inside the apartment. So I went to investigate.

A gray cat with white feet had somehow managed to get into my heating system, and had found its way to one of the vents. The poor thing (damned determined was what it was) was repeatedly banging its head into the vent grate to try to dislodge it, and accompanying every headbutt with a piercing meow. Kitty had managed to push the grate about four inches out from the wall (impressive), but not quite enough to squeeze through.

I removed the grate and let the cat into my apartment. (This did not make my own kitty particularly happy.) The gray cat did not look at all malnourished or scruffy; it actually appeared fairly healthy and tidy, which led me to believe that it wasn't a stray but had simply lost its family somehow.

I had remembered seeing several "Lost Cat" signs posted around the neighborhood, so I sequestered the two kitties into two separate rooms and went out to find one of the signs and contact the people I hoped might own this cat.

"Hi, sorry for calling so late, but I think I may have your cat. The sign said that the lost cat was gray. This cat also has white feet. Does your cat have white feet?"

There was a pause. Then, on the other end:

"Hey, Tracy, does our cat have white feet?"

Another pause.

"Doug, does our cat have white feet?"

Another pause.

"Mike, do you remember what that cat looked like?"

At this point, I'm thinking y'all don't deserve to have a cat, but I keep it to myself. The group of roommates come to the conclusion that their lost cat does not have white feet, and I return home.

Now, a truly good person probably would have let this gray cat stay in their apartment for the night. But I'm not completely good, not all the time, and I could hear the gray kitty and my kitty meowing bloody murder at each other through their closed doors even from outside my apartment. So I set some food and water out on the apartment's front porch and went to tell the gray kitty that he could eat and drink all he wanted outside, but he couldn't sleep here.

And I took the gray cat in my arms and put him out on the porch.

But someone saw me. A pair of someones. The two young men who occupy the upstairs apartment, above the diaper-throwing family. These two men spend their time, as far as I can tell, hanging out of their bedroom window (screen open, one leg in, one leg out). They like to catcall me (oh, fine, pun intended). The first time I met them, one of the young men was hanging out of the window and combing his leg hair. That's probably all you need to know about these two.

From the window: "Put our cat down!"

"Is this your cat?" I asked.

From the window: "Duh. Now put it down."

"Will you come and get him?"

From the window: "Nah, we'll pick it up tomorrow. He's not going anywhere."

When I left for work this morning, the food and water were gone, and so was the cat.

And that is a story about the place where I live. ^__^


Anonymous said...

What I would be most concerned about is how the cat got into your vent system in the first place. That might be something you should have your landlord investigate.


Daniel said...

who combs his leghair? Who has enough leghair to comb it?