“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” 
― John Donne

The Little Black Devil Who Lives With Me

Kitty came to me somewhat by accident.

She was born in my parents' backyard to a stray, the runt of her litter. I saw her a couple times a week. Of all her siblings, we seemed to lose track of her the most. We weren't sure if it was because of her dark fur or because she was adventurous and liked to climb a lot. She remained the smallest of her siblings.

Eventually all but her and her big brother were adopted into homes, and somebody was interested in adopting her brother, too. We didn't want the little runt of the litter to be left all alone out in the backyard, hiding under the porch of my dad's shop, but the only person we knew who was interested in a new pet couldn't adopt her for a couple weeks. This person was my friend, and the house I was living in was cat-free but pet friendly, so I agreed to take care of the little black kitten for a couple weeks and then pass her on.

I didn't name her at first because I wasn't going to be her permanent owner, so I just called her Kitty. 

 Kitty, 2013. All I had was my cellphone to take a picture. Without the flash on she wouldn't be visible at all, and even with it I could never get her in focus.

Kitty, 2013. All I had was my cellphone to take a picture. Without the flash on she wouldn't be visible at all, and even with it I could never get her in focus.

My friend never came back for her, but I didn't mind. Kitty was a perfect kitten. She never made a mess outside the litter box(except the first night I had her, but I really don't think she had found it yet), she didn't claw up too much of the furniture(just an old chair), and of course she was furry and soft and adorable. Her claws were(and still are) the sharpest little claws I've ever felt, and she would sit in shadows and just watch me walk around, a pair of round green eyes.

When I came home from school or work and she was upset I'd take the cap off my milk jug and fill it with just a little milk for her, because if I gave her too much it would make her sick, but if I didn't give her a treat she'd sulk all night.

I bought her a scratching post once, with one of those fuzzy balls on a spring on the top. She ripped apart the little red ball and then never touched the scratching post again. I eventually just threw it out.

I never renamed her. Even if it was only two weeks, I felt like if I had become used to calling her Kitty, she was definitely used to being called Kitty.

When I moved in with my brother Sam, she would escape out the door(or once the window) and roam the neighborhood for the day. She was impossible to catch once she got out. I tried once, diving through the bushes into the neighbor's yard, I had lost sight of her before I cleared the hedge. But she came back. She gets scared as the sun goes down and returns to the house, meowing to be let in.

One night, after we moved here to Stormzand, she got out without me knowing it. In the morning I woke up and felt something was wrong, and realized I hadn't seen her in a bit. At the time, we had a roommate who tended to let the door stand open for long enough to let Kitty easily slip out, so I immediately went to check outside. She wasn't outside the door, or on the porch step, so I went back inside to check. Nowhere inside. I decided to go back outside but got my shoes on so I could walk around a bit more. As I stood on the front step, I meowed. I heard a tiny little meow come back from down the walk. Slowly walking down toward the mailbox, I spied her. She was sitting amidst some leafy branches on a stump in the neighbor's yard, paws tight together and eyes wide. Reaching over the fence I told her she'd have to come a little closer if she wanted me to rescue her, and she took a couple baby steps toward me, but it was enough for me to scoop her up and carry her inside, where she got a good meal and slept the night off for the next couple days.

 Kitty, 2017, Canon Rebel SL1 and specialty lenses and I still can't get her in focus.

Kitty, 2017, Canon Rebel SL1 and specialty lenses and I still can't get her in focus.

Now Kitty doesn't sneak out quite as much(but she still does from time to time), and she still never misses the litter box, but she did pick a new chair to destroy. A brand new chair. She's getting a little older and a little bigger, but her paws are still tiny and she still hides in the shadows with big round eyes.

Meaningful Storytelling

The West Side; Gentrification or Development?

The West Side; Gentrification or Development?