She knew that this kitten was meant to be hers.
- Posted on Nov 13, 2018
It started with a meow.
On a hot Saturday in Brooklyn, I was about to begin my afternoon run when I heard it: “Meow.” A slim black-and-white cat was staring up at me from the sidewalk. I feed the cats in my neighborhood. This one was shy, always hanging back and waiting for me to leave before eating. Today she seemed different, insistent about something.
“What is it?” I asked. “Are you hungry?”
Suddenly she darted down the driveway, stopping next to my car. She meowed again. That’s when I noticed a black lump on the ground. It looked like one of the shingles that sometimes blew off the roof in a storm.
“Meow!” It wasn’t a shingle. It was a kitten! His fur was a dusty black with several patches missing. Both his eyes were closed, crusted over with some kind of nasty gunk.
Good thing I had my running shoes on. I ran inside to fetch a dish towel from the kitchen, scooped up the weak little guy and left him bundled in a shoebox on the floor of my bathroom. Then I ran to the pet store for kitten formula and a bottle. I spent the rest of the day with the kitten in my lap, feeding and cleaning him up. He looked even worse up close. The gunk sealing his eyes shut was greenish—probably infected. I used cotton balls dipped in warm water to wipe the layers away. When he was finally able to crack open one watery eye, he fixed me with what I know was a grateful gaze. Me? I fell in love.
The next day, the vet confirmed that the kitten was only about four weeks old and his eyes were definitely infected. Soon, with the help of an antibiotic and regular feedings, he started to look like a real cat. I didn’t name him at first, thinking I probably wouldn’t keep him. I was a recent college grad, living in my grandfather’s house with my cousin and juggling freelance writing jobs. Who knows where I’d be living in a few months or if I could even afford to take care of this cat?
Yet I didn’t know if I could bear to give him away. We had a connection. “He and I are from the same neighborhood!” I told my friends, only partly joking. “From the same block, even!” I grew up in the house across the street from my grandfather’s. The kitten and I had both started our lives in Brooklyn, on Desmond Court. Desmond…
I don’t think Desmond—Des, for short—thought he wasn’t mine, even for a minute. Over the past year, he’s grown into a friendly, talkative cat, one that even self-professed dog people have been won over by.
And the cat that brought me to him? I haven’t seen her around much since. I’ve often wondered if Des was her kitten or if she just sensed he needed help and knew who to call. All I know is, I was the one who was called. There was definitely a reason for that. Des and I were meant to be.
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