07/10/11 0541.21 PST
San Jose, California

Shortly before Christmas a lithe feline raider became notorious in the neighborhood, unerringly finding parties and gatherings for the many opportunities to dart inside and get something to eat. Curious and a little disturbed I waited, ‘n sure enough before New Year’s he showed up, quickly trotting inside to immediately eat.  Small, thin and medium-haired with the most extraordinary grey coat I have ever seen, so richly dark it glints opal grey charcoal in the sun.  Opal, I called him.

A bad winter soon brought cold heavy rains and rattling winds, Opal often taking refuge under the kitchen table on his favorite chair.  Stern warnings that another expensive mouth to feed and coat to rid of fleas went totally unheeded, this feline youngster was so aggressive and hungry by nature?  What twaddle.  Something was wrong from wherever he came from, it’s very cold and wet outside.

Choccy from across the street demands and gets food daily, while the brilliantly wily and handsome Jackson often drops in for a bite.  Resident Maine Coons Smoky and Tiger chow with pleasing regularity, Jasmine the rescue cat is a total chub-tub, while despite all my warnings and totally accurate forecasts of time and treasure that fucking rescue dog Jasmine the outrageously pretty Pomeranian chows almost every time I do, I love her dearly and am helpless before The Stare.  What was another mouth to feed, really?  Nothing, of course not.

“Kick him out!” A neighbor said fiercely upon inquiry.  Unimpressed, I eventually found out Opal lives behind us, I very nicely let them know he often hung out with us, never any problem.  Good people, but something had gone wrong and I was afraid if I complained they’d get rid of him.

About two weeks later one morning much became instantly clear, for of course Opal wasn’t a him at all, she was hungry, pretty, pregnant and on her own, so glad to have something to eat in a warm dry place.  I inwardly noted with mature, magnanimous gravity that the complaints and warnings about her daily visits instantly stopped.  Yep.

Then waited while doing nothing, Lord anything but that.  If I fought or advocated for her I could embarrass or irritate her owners and she’d be so easily gone.  Hope for the best, see what happens, wait, have I seen this movie before?  Man.

After a long absence I knew would happen suddenly one of the best possible scenarios appeared, Opal my dear beautiful gorgeous sight for sore eyes, come in, come in!  Purring and arching, she leanly chowed with a gratifying casualness.  She’d been aborted and fixed, something resolved at home and then finally stopped by for a casual chow like old times.

She still comes by every day, she often eats well in the morning like a few minutes ago, but much more often just flitting in for a quick bite of affirmation, not hunger.  She still likes her little throne under the kitchen table, the snarls and spitting much less frequent now. She’ll still allow only me to touch her, but time, steady food, shelter and love will do their usual trick, some day in some way, and those big green eyes will slowly close before me in that enchantment of relaxed feline contentment more often.

Yes, that decidedly will be so.  Seasons will pass, years will go by and this place will always be here for her.  A tiny thing from a small person, I can only be what I possess, are such minuscule evolutions worthless and unheeded in the vast swirling maelstrom of our human and earthly experience?  I hope not.

Originally posted to paradox on Sun Jul 10, 2011 at 06:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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