Sunday, February 22, 2009

Helping "Squirrel" get home safely

We had a pretty low-key weekend, which was nice. I imagine that next weekend, with its being Blake's birthday, is going to be pretty busy, so it was nice to just take it easy. Chris and Anna came over today and Chris and Blake set a WORLD RECORD for block building - 22 blocks high and even then the tower didn't come instantly toppling down!
I knew there'd be no way I can stay up for the Oscars tonight, but the Lexi was showing Revolutionary Road so I asked Matt if he wouldn't mind my going to watch it. I used to watch a lots of films on my own before I met Matt; often when I tell people I did and do this, they think I'm a bit weird, but I actually enjoy it. Although the film was rather dark (a la American Beauty), it was nice to watch a film in the cinema and I thought both Kate and Leo put in great performances. At one point I remembered reading an article with Kate Winslet where she says that her daughter Mia once asked her why people were always taking photos of her Uncle Leo. That made me smile. The movie was also filmed in the Connecticut suburbs, not far from our place in Clinton, and I think a house in the distance on "Revolutionary Road" could have easily been the house where my dad grew up in Stamford, CT. It was probably actually in Darien but I'll have to make sure my parents have seen the film so I can hear what they think about it.
Little did I know, but the tears I shed at the end of the film were only the tip of my evening's emotional rollercoaster! (Have I mixed more metaphors? I think so...)
As I walked home, I happened to see a cat perched on a gate to the back garden outside #29 on our road. I walked past, remembered a flyer that had come through the door on Thursday, and then walked back a few steps. Yes, I think it might be! I thought. Unlike the usual mix of curry and pizza menus, this paper read Missing Cat and had a picture of a tabby wearing a blue collar. It said the cat was "very nervous," so as I stood about 5 feet away from this cat that bore a striking resemblance to my memory of the cat on the flyer, I myself was feeling pretty nervous. I tried "talking" to it and doing that thing where you pretend you have food between your fingers, but then realised that I wasn't actually going to know what to do if it came toward me. I quickly phoned Matt to see if the leaflet was in the recycling bin, but then my heart sank as I thought that it had probably made its way out with the Friday morning recycling purge. The thought of this literally made me want to cry. But no, he found it! He texted me the number so with shaking fingers I dialled the number. My phone told me it was tired - Low Battery - and yet again I was struck with woe as I considered my phone going dead so close to speaking to the cat's owner. Fortunately there was enough juice, and a lady answered. I identified myself and a few minutes later a girl was striding across the road into the area lit by the streetlight. I pointed to the cat, and she started calling its name. "Come here, Squirrel." Squirrel seemed pleased to see her and responded with some mewing. All of a sudden, I wondered if I should still be standing there. Was my being there making Squirrel more nervous?! I stayed where I was, and then in a flash, we saw Squirrel make a move over the back of the fence. Oh no, so close, and then the cat bolted! Fortunately, Squirrel was just finding a better path to come down off the gate, and she was quickly in the arms of her owner, who reported that Squirrel had been gone for a week and that their other cat was so despondent at Squirrel's disappearance that she'd stopped eating. I had pretty much started crying at this point, so happy to see the owner reunited with her cat and relieved that Squirrel was on her way back where she belonged. Squirrel's owner was also crying a little bit but I think I was crying more, which she probably thought was pretty strange. I was overwhelmed though with a whole range of emotions - how scared Squirrel must have been, how London could all of a sudden truly feel like a place where "small town" things can happen, how wonderful the feeling of finding something lost is, and utter relief and joy that events arranged themselves for me to help a lost cat find its home.
And now, with the pride and relief that I helped Squirrel the cat get home safely, I think I'll call it a night.

1 comment:

Hollogram said...

And probably pretty emotional still from Blake and I setting a new world record for block building earlier in the day.