Posted by Mel
One Valentine’s Day I had arranged with Laurie for us to have our own private party, starting with dinner at some fancy-schmancy restaurant. In those days she lived in her own apartment about a five-minute walk away from mine on a curvy path through a complex of two-story apartment buildings. I was dressed for the evening, and on my way over on foot. For some reason I guess she was going to drive that evening or what happened next would not have happened.
I rounded a corner, and there before me on the sidewalk was a tiny kitten. She looked awful — thin, with scraggly fur and goo dripping for her eyes. This was long before Laurie became involved with Molly’s Mutts & Meows, but she had a rescued cat named Dinah (after Alice’s cat), and anyway, it didn’t take an expert to see that this cat needed help.
Hoping the cat would be safe and stay where he was for the next few minutes, I ran to Laurie’s apartment and explained the situation. Immediately she sprang into action. She was dressed in some hot number for the evening when we returned to the scene with water and cat food. The kitten had either had OK experiences with people or was too sick to care because he ate a little and drank a little and allowed us to pick him up. Without even discussing the situation, Laurie and I knew that it was more important for this cat to see a vet immediately than it was for us to eat a fancy dinner.
And so it was that we spent some hours in Dr. Ken Jones’ office waiting to see the veterinarian and then watching while he examined the kitten–which proved to be female. Laurie and I knew that the goo coming from her eyes meant that she had a respiratory infection, but there were other things wrong with her too, mostly the result of having lived on the street for too long.
We left the kitten in the vet’s care overnight and had dinner at a cheap neighborhood dive. We were overdressed, and we’d spent a lot more at the vet’s than we would have at the fancy restaurant. Over dinner we assured each other that we had made the right decision, and we generally felt pretty good about doing the right thing.
Over the next few days the cat, still nameless, became healthier and perkier. Eventually, the kitten went to live with Laurie’s sister Deirdre. She and her son called her Yoda, on account of her huge eyes and despite her gender. As I write this, Yoda is nearing the age of twenty-two, and according to Deirdre, her hobbies are “demanding wet food. And kicking the dog’s ass.”
We never regretted trading an expensive dinner for the life of a sick cat. And when one of us tells the story of Yoda the Valentine cat, listeners generally agree. Of course, a person who might feel otherwise would not be our friend anyway.
If you would like to rescue a cat or dog for Valentine’s Day, you don’t have to go out and find an animal. Many organizations will do the work for you, and you can contribute to them. Our preferred organization these days is Molly’s Mutts & Meows.