Monday, August 6, 2007

Story Jar - Leaping York

Leaping York
Story Jar published in The Patriot, August 1, 2007

York is our cat. Named for sharing a color scheme with some famous peppermint patties, her white face and feet decorate her silky, black presence.

On a cool November afternoon in 1995, I went to Max’s house to pick up Jay and his bike. Opening the back of the van to put the bike in gave local cats the opportunity to invite themselves into our lives and they didn’t miss the chance.

A male cat flew under my arm through the open hatch and began to walk around simultaneously sniffing the car and ignoring me. I wasn’t sure if I should try to pick the cat up or not and didn’t know where it had come from. As I stood pondering, his sister jumped up to share in the exploratory sniffing.

Someone called out from the porch across the street asking if we’d like a cat. She scarcely touched the steps as she left the porch and bent in an ever-moving, fluid motion to scoop another cat from one of the many boxes on the porch. Hope filled her face and, it seemed, sent out some kind of radar that brought people from several houses. In no time, Jay and I were surrounded by excited people and cats. We must adopt cats, they urged – as many as the car would hold.

A family had moved away in August leaving behind a pregnant cat. She gave birth in an empty box on a porch in September and, now, cats were growing and the temperature was falling and someone must take the cats.

Tim put out the box that lured the mother cat to his porch and wanted to keep the litter but, since he already had five cats in the house, his mother only allowed the kittens to live in a box on the porch. Their food came from neighborhood residents who never lost an opportunity to offer the cats to passers by. Since the cat was already in our car, hope was high.

While I was distracted by all the conversations around us, Jay did the serious business of bonding with York – scratching her chin, rubbing her ears, snuggling her in his arms. We went home with a bike and a cat and sent an Email to Rick who was working in Malaysia at the time.

He said he wouldn’t mind a new cat in our home as long as it wasn’t black and white.


Emilie said...

that's my cute kitty!

actually, mom, i was with you, not jay when york jumped in the van. jay came out from max's later and was surprised to find us waiting for him with out new cat. i remember that you named her miss jefferson first, but jay and i lobbied to change it to york.

Elaine said...

The aged have foggy memories but at least I remember we have a cat.

Yes, I still think Miss Jefferson was a good name but you two ganged up on me hard and fast.

Elata said...

Interesting to know.