Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The life of leisure. A relaxed pace. NO worries. That's what vacation is all about.
On Wednesday, my cell phone rang. Odd because anyone who would have called me knew where I was and wouldn’t have called unless there was a problem. The number didn’t look familiar so I waited to see if the mysterious caller would leave a message. Yes. So I listened to my voice mail and found that my cousin’s wife had a cat problem and would I please call her back. I briefly considered not returning the call until I got home from vacation. But I was afraid that something bad might happen to some unknown-to-me cat out there. I called.
My cousin and his wife live out in the country less than half an hour from where I live. Wife told me that a mom calico had strayed into her yard with two kittens in tow. She has four dogs and my other cousin (who lives just across the way) has two very large dogs. Her fear was that with so many dogs, it was only a matter of time before mom cat and the kittens would be attacked. She said the cats were wild and she wasn’t able to catch them. She also said she had already called the local shelters - all full. I told her where I was and that I couldn’t do anything. I did NOT tell her that I only take in cats and kittens that cross MY path. This was close enough. I knew there was no other answer but me in this particular situation. I had dealt with ferals many times. Wife wasn’t going to catch these guys. And even if she could, we are thick into Kitten Season - there would be no place for these three to go. My last placement was Percy and Golden to the Slimmer household. I had room in the cathouse. I told her that if she could somehow keep them safe, I would get them as soon as I got home. She said she would do her best. I worried, but I tried to let it go. I really needed to enjoy the remainder of my vacation. I tucked it back, and we made our plans for dinner out.
That night we chose a Mexican buffet that we had been to the previous two years. The food at this buffet impressed us so much during our first experience that we make it a point now to go back each year. The drive to this place takes you to the end of a tourist strip lined with restaurants and hotels. It’s a bit of a drive from where we stay, but it was worth it. We pulled off of the main road and into the east side of the parking lot as we’ve done in the past. The parking lot was full, so we drove around to the west side of the building to park. We had NOT done this in the past. As we started around to the entrance, we all talked about our favorite things on the buffet. Dinner was wonderful and we left quite satisfied and too full. Back into the vehicle, and now we would go back to our little paradise for an evening walk around the property. (As fate would have it), the parking lot had become even more congested. It was beginning to look like we wouldn’t be able to pull back around to the east side of the lot and back onto the road. We glanced around for an alternate route, and sure enough, there was a narrow road on the west side of the building where we had been parked. As Husband eased onto this little passage, we all looked to see how to weave back around to the main road. We saw how to do it, and I simply glanced over to the right as we passed by an abandoned hotel. Stop! My voice was louder than I had intended. What? said my husband. Oh, stop I heard myself saying. Go back. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me but I think I just saw a cat back there. I could feel my husband bristle. My girls went silent in the back seat. We turned around and I pointed. There. Back there. Husband eased into the parking lot of the empty, run-down hotel. We just sat there. In silence. Miserably thin cats were scattering everywhere. Inside my head I was screaming - Nooooooooooo . . .