A pentad of failures

Five times in the last five days have I wished to bludgeon myself with a plastic spoon for not having my camera with me.  Five times!

And you wonder why I strongly believe having my camera with me at all times is of the utmost importance. . .

First: I awoke before five one morning and stepped out to the patio.  In the distance, I could hear a kitten crying.  And crying.  Unable to ignore the poor distressed thing, I quickly donned shorts and a tee shirt before heading out into the darkness.

I let myself be guided by the sound of the plaintive cries.  All too soon I realized the smallest ball of fur had climbed a large tree only to realize it didn’t know how to get down.

Luckily, several other people already had found the cat and were focusing an intent rescue mission on helping it back to the ground.

When I turned to leave, who came running to see me?


I’d not seen him in quite some time and feared for his well-being.  I stooped down and petted him gleefully as he rubbed against me and purred with contentment.

He seemed in fine health.  Someone’s been taking care of him.

When I finally walked away as he went to investigate the commotion in the dense woodlands where the kitten was stranded, I chastised myself for not having my camera with me so I could snap a photo or two of him.

Second: I drove to Starbucks for my usual morning fix of caffeine and company.  Dawn barely had reached the sky overhead with dim light as I stepped out of the car.

I turned and looked toward the southeast where the sun would be rising.  What met my eyes was the most vivid, stunning sunrise ever imagined.

Clouds stretched as far as my eyes could see, a dim azure to the west that slowly, over the course of the sky, changed hues to a brilliant, deep, unimaginable shade of violet to the east, dark clouds kissed gently by a sun struggling to climb above the horizon.  Where its light filtered in beneath the clouds, hints of gold and red danced like magical beings.

I could scarcely believe my eyes, what with such beauty right there for anyone to enjoy, right there where—Well, damn it!—right there where I could capture the event in but a few simple photos. . .if I had my camera.

Third: Rick and I enjoyed a Sunday lunch sitting on the patio of a local favorite.  Some clouds and some blue sky offered excellent weather, so we sat on his front patio a while afterward sipping Perriers as Wylie skipped about in dappled sunshine.

Eventually the time came for some Frisbee fun.

Only then did I realize what a magnificent scene rested before my eyes.

Sunlight danced through the clouds only to find itself dancing through oak leaves both falling from and clinging to still dressed branches.  Mounds of them rested atop the ground in a blanket the likes of which sings of autumnal grace.

And amongst them pranced this terribly happy dog who wanted to run and play.  Each time he nestled down awaiting the next throw, he half disappeared in a bed of fallen foliage.

Anyone would be proud of such splendor on display for all the world to see, beauty drafted upon the landscape by nature itself.

“I could kick myself for not having my camera with me,” I said, the ‘anger at self’ rather evident in my voice.

“They’ve only started to shed their leaves, and Wylie’s not going anywhere.  I’m sure there will be other times,” Rick replied.

Nevertheless. . .

Fourth: Larenti lay at my feet soaking up attention as though it were a necessity without which she could not live.  I barely noticed anything other than her incessant purring and pawing. . .and the smile so evident on her face.

Peripherally, as though a specter passed between reality and unreality, a wisp of something as gray as smoke pranced through the patio fence and walked directly to the bowl of cat food.

Psiwa glanced at me for a moment before lowering his head to the bowl.  The munching sound of consumption filled the air.

He learned some time ago how to enter and exit the patio through the hole in the fence I created.  I’ve seen him coming and going, usually when I’m indisposed or unable to take photos other than through a window.

Yet there he sat quietly enjoying a bite to eat as I stood barely more than an arm’s length away from him.

Several times he glanced at me, his exquisite green eyes a near match to his flawless gray coat, and each time he did so I mentally screamed at myself for not having my camera with me.

Fifth: Later that same day, Larenti wandered off on an excursion.  I stood on the patio soaking up the unusual autumn warmth when once again Psiwa crept silently through the fence for a bite to eat.  This time, however, was different.

I stood a breath away from the food bowl.  He had to walk within a hair of me to get to it.  But he didn’t.

Instead, he walked toward me.

I watched him, speaking softly with hellos and how-are-yous.

Hesitantly, sweetly, and with a great deal of curiosity, he came to me, a bit reluctant to be touched, yet nonetheless wanting of my attention.

And I felt consumed by those magical eyes. . .

Without my camera, though.

2 thoughts on “A pentad of failures”

  1. Jason, these cats are just so gorgeous that it is really hard to believe that people would abandon them. Larenti’s coat is a mess so it is pretty obvious. Then again, Psiwa is so well-groomed in his pictures. I haven’t been following all your stories long enough to know, but I was wondering if you had any luck getting others to adopt any of the cats you encounter?

    After all, you cannot adopt them all. When I think of it, I do worry a bit that you might try, though. Please don’t overextend yourself.

  2. Unfortunately, Larenti’s fur tends to knot rather easily. It’s curly, for one, and it’s medium length as well, so you can imagine the ease with which it turns into a messy catastrophe. Right now–I think because she lies on her back so much–there are a multitude of small knots forming along her entire spine. That’ll be a mess to get out. And she sleeps in the grass and on the ground cover and any other place she pleases; she picks up a lot of debris along the way.

    Psiwa, on the other hand, is an immaculate groomer who obviously stays out of the messy spots, or else spends a great deal of time keeping his coat neat and tidy.

    As for others adopting them, it’s hit and miss. Clance has been adopted by some folks just a short walk from where I live. He’s still an outside cat–which I’m not fond of–but he’s in fantastic health and condition. The couple taking care of him obviously tend to him with great affection and attention.

    The same is true of Chira. He disappeared for a while but, when I finally saw him again, he was wearing a collar and was in splendid condition. Only then did it occur to me that his disappearance was due to his having been adopted and looked after by someone.

    But there are so many.

    Take Vazra. He was obviously abandoned not long before I rescued him. He needs to be brushed regularly; when he’s not, he turns into a terrible collection of painful and hair-stripping knots. Look here for some examples. I wince in pain just seeing those again.

    And he was quite affectionate, talkative, and attention-starved when we first met. Given his overall condition and dental problems, I think he was kicked to the curb simply because he required more time and money than someone cared to give. Once his teeth were addressed and he was brought inside, he thrived–with the other four cats–and one year later received glowing remarks from the same vet who thought him near death when I first took him in.

    No, I can’t adopt them all. Hell, I can ill afford to feed the lot I’ve been feeding. . .in addition to the five I already have, three of whom have serious health issues. Nevertheless, I’m a softy at heart who can’t stand to see any creature suffer. Hence, I do what I can.

    Larenti will be the last one I rescue for now. That’s all I can do, all I can afford. My heart tells me to do more; reality tells me to stay my hand until circumstances allow otherwise. Since we can’t be homeless for want of caring for the less fortunate, I have to focus on ensuring our survival so there’s a home later for others to come to.

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