A cat has been staying on my deck. She was crying—a plaintiff, almost Siamese screech, although she is a calico and definitely not a Siamese cat—day after day, so I began to feed her, and after I had fed her all of the sardines and then the last of the tuna in my pantry, I bought some small cans of cat food. She ate every meal, but hissed at me. Yesterday she hid behind the plants on a shelf at the edge of the deck. She was definitely hiding, but from what? She (I don’t actually know if the cat is female or male) allowed me to stroke her head between the ears. I tried to rub all of the soil from my plants off her coat and she let me. I was checking for fleas, but she appears to be flealess. I was able to see that she is bony thin and has several cuts on her face and head. I have emailed my friend who owns the house to ask if this particular cat was coming around before I moved in in April. There are two other cats that come up onto the deck, but they seem well cared for. This one doesn’t have a home, I suspect.
A few days ago, I sent off a piece of short fiction to a journal requesting a particular theme. The theme reminded me of a journal entry I had written some years ago, and I was able to locate it. I submitted it pretty much verbatim, without much editing. I’m not sure why I did this, it wasn’t very polished and I knew that. It was rejected within 24 hours. The comment was: I really liked the concept but the story missed its chance to connect with me.
I’m looking forward to having a neighbor’s cat stay with me for a couple of weeks, while they are on a camping trip. The cat’s name is Lucky.
Seems like every day now, I imagine never going back to work. The longer I stay at home, writing, reading, blogging, lapping up a silent sort of existence, folding more and more into the ball of myself, the more I crave this life, the less I want to return to the workforce.
I check the News Feed on Facebook every morning and comment on things that I find meaningful or funny. I have joined Google Plus. I don’t want to be completely alone. I want ways to connect that don’t involve much face-to-face contact. That don’t involve intimacy.
If I don’t return to paid work, I will definitely have to move to a cheaper place and scale down my life considerably. I might have to go without health insurance and get rid of my car. I wonder what would happen if I stopped taking pharmaceuticals, which I would no longer be able to afford. I wonder if I am becoming like the cat. I worry about what will happen to her next week, while I am out-of-town.
Since I cleaned off the shelf, where she hid yesterday, hoping to make her feel more welcome and give her more space, she has not returned. I kind of knew that changing anything would probably spook her. But I suspect she will show up again. I know she is hungry.