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Thursday, August 27, 2015


It was a balmy night. A gibbous moon hung high in the golden evening sky. Postprandial stroll in the neighborhood was in order. The kids and I embarked on a not-so-beaten path. In fact, it was a road-never-traveled -- for us anyway.

As we walked on the as-yet-unknown residential streets (yes, on the streets, as sidewalks are a rarity in our neighborhood), the kids took it upon themselves to take a census of the 3 mile stretch we covered. Not a count of the human citizenry, mind, but an accurate enumeration of the feline population that has commandeered the domiciles.

The crowning triumph of the census-taking? Meeting the youngest member thus far: a 3-week old kitten that was too cute to hand back to its human. The kindly lady of the house saw the kids stroking an affectionate old tabby who had volunteered herself for some pampering; the lady immediately popped back in and brought out one of her foundling kittens to meet the kids.

"Moeow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow..." The wailing intensified till the kitten got some milk. When the lady offered to let me hold him, I knew it wasn't a good idea. If she had hinted a bit more strongly that the little black kitten needed a home, I would have bundled him up and brought him with me in a heartbeat. Thankfully, no such hints came my way and the kitten seemed happy with his human.

Fifteen in all! That was the final count. Fifteen, that is, of these elegant and temperamental creatures, who allowed themselves to be noticed. Perhaps an equal number stay hidden in plain sight. Perhaps more.

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