My daughter Kiki wants to become an Animal Rescuer. And like any passionate 9 year old girl she is all in. All the time.
Now let me introduce you to some of my neighbors. There is Ms. Shayna, the kind single mom from across the street with 2 daughters, 2 small pugs and a cat named Poppy. The kids swear our tomcat Shadow has a crush on Poppy. And then there is ‘The Crazy Cat Lady’ – embarrassed I have to say I don’t know her real name. She lives around the corner with her husband and she feeds the stray cats in the neighborhood. I think Shadow has a crush on the Cat Lady due to the endless supply of wet food in her yard. Everyone in the neighborhood despises that she feeds those strays but we are all too polite to say it out loud.
The stray cats eat well, and love each other. A LOT. That means we have kittens about twice a year. We all try to catch those, forming a steady stream to the local SPCA. The momma cat, a feral Siamese the kids have named Mulan, bit me so badly last year that I developed blood poisoning. She got me in the arm, piercing a vein, and I was literally dripping blood on the floor, whilst cheerfully saying to the kids that it was just a scratch.
Every now and then, Kiki will burst into the house and tell me that a kitten is up for grabs. I snap on the rubber gloves (you live you learn) and dutifully follow her to the place she last spotted the kitten. Success rate is about 5%. This time is no different than others. Well apart from the fact that the kids have a TaeKwonDo exam in 45 minutes. Like any other single mom, my weekends are made up out of taxiing kids to and from birthday parties (3 classes, 20 kids per class equals roughly 1-2 birthday party per weekend) as well as bringing them to and watching them do sports.
But back to the kitten. She comes in – I snap up the gloves and hey, I find a kitten stuck in Ms. Shayna’s yard. Because of her small dogs she has chicken-wired her back patio and the little fluff ball can’t get out. I step over the fence, snap up the kitten and lock it in my downstairs bedroom whilst I source the cat carrier. Kids are high fiving me, Kiki is over the moon and we rush to drop off the kitten at the SPCA before the TKD exam. So far so good.
We arrive at the SPCA. I feel like Wonder Woman. Everything is under control. I am SUPER MOOOOOMMM. They recognize me, take the kitten out of the carrier and then…. Then something unexpected happens. The kitten has been chipped. And adopted from this SPCA. Last week.
I ask for the address thinking I can drop off the kitten to its owner directly. They can’t give it out due to data privacy. And then it dawns on me…. My heart skips a beat. I give them my own address and they nod. I realize the awful truth.
I have stolen Ms. Shayna’s new kitten.
Wonder Woman feelings melt like snow in the sun. I ask the SPCA to forget that I was here, stuff fluff ball back into the cat carrier and race home to drop it back in Shayna’s yard. I leave a note (lesson for kids – always fess up!) saying ‘your cat went on a road trip’. I add a smiley face for good measure.
Note to self – drop off a bottle of wine at neighbors. And no more Wonder Woman. For a little bit.