Friday, November 12, 2010

Today at Tractor Supply

Today at Tractor Supply, towards the end of the night, a woman came rushing in to buy a bag of kitten food. Her eyes were red rimmed, like she'd been crying, hard. Turns out her sister had gotten her a new kitten. She was not sure about this. She just had her previous cat euthanized three days ago, and, as she phrased it, "I haven't finished crying myself sick about that." But the kitten was so cute that she'd found herself going along with the plan even though she really didn't want to. "I still have an unopened bag of catfood at home, and all his things..." and wouldn't you know, her eyes teared up once again. Being that I'm a sympathetic crier, well, my eyes teared right up along with her. Turns out she was feeling very guilty. Her previous cat was a stray that she'd taken in. He was a wiley, street wise cat, a hunter. But he loved her, and was, in her words, almost like a dog...he loved car rides and slept with her, curled up against the side of her face. Her big decision with him was whether to allow him outside. She'd tried to keep make an indoor cat of him, but he was miserable. So she gave in. He was an indoor/outdoor cat, and he'd gotten hit by a car. She was feeling quite guilt stricken about all of this, and the guilt made her feel even worse about this new kitten. "I don't know what to do," she said. "William liked the outdoors so much. I don't want this kitten to be outdoors." She snuffled again. "I've got kind of a philosphy about that," I said, "and it is not a popular one. I believe that animals have their own instincts and their own natures. If that cat wants to go out, I think that it should be allowed to do so. Get it vaccinated, and take care of it, but really, I don't see anything wrong with an indoor/outdoor cat." She looked at me. "I felt so badly about William. I felt like it was my fault." "No," I said. "It wasn't your fault. William was his own cat." And she cried at that, to think that it might not have been her fault after all. "You gave him a home," I said. "He was a stray cat, and you gave him a home. And now you'll be giving this kitten a good home. Maybe he'll be content to be an inside cat." And with a little start, she gasped, "Oh, he's in the car. I've got to get out there. He'll be afraid." She grabbed her cat food and headed for the door. "Come back and let me know how this story works out," I called after her. "I will," she said. "I still have to name him." I suggested that she watch him for a while, and she'd figure out his name. She thought maybe that was right. And out the door she went.

Remember the young man who bought the pumpkin pie candle? He was back in tonight. He had spent the day putting brakes on a trailer, and he was tired and dirty and about done in. He picked up a few more supplies for that, and two more vanilla pumpkin candles. It made me smile, and I wrapped them separately so that they would not get damaged by the other items in the bag.

I had three days in a row that I did not work. You know what? I missed it. I enjoy that job and the people that I meet very much.

7 comments:

Kelly said...

I think you said just the right thing to the woman about the cat. I, too, think that animals let you know one way or another where they belong. In fact, our ordeal with Suzy has had this on my mind and I've already planned an entry about that exact thing for next week.

Glad to hear your vanilla pumpkin fellow was back again. :)

Bill of Wasilla said...

Good thing that kitten found that lady, and good thing that lady found the kitten.

I truly doubt that there is another person, female or male, in this world who has shed more tears for a cat than have I. It was a cat that had been born into my hands and when it was eight, it walked out the back door on a day of heavy snow.

I had this feeling that I should put my foot in front of it and stop it, but I didn't.

There was only three ways that I could deal with the pain. I wrote and wrote and wrote about that cat - over 400 pages in a ten week time period. In that same time period, I traveled, to the high Arctic, then down to southern Across the desert, up the Rocky Mountains and then through the Pacific Northwest.

When I got home, I adopted a cat, a black cat. Not to replace the one I lost but because he was headed for Euthanasia and I could not bear it.

Now, if I could only find a publisher smart enough to take such a project on, figure out how to condense that 400 pages down into a little book with 100 pictures or so, I would have a cat book the likes of which has never before been published.

Next time you see the woman, please tell her that you want to photograph the cat so that you can post its picture, as there is a man in Alaska who wants to see it.

Grahamn Kracker said...

That's supposed to say

"then down to Southern California, across the desert

Bob Barbanes said...

I wish I had a job where I could deal with the public instead of the same ol' people all the time. I did it for a while...at a very low point in my life, I'm sorry to say, when I needed a job badly (it was a gas station). But I loved it. I just wish it paid more. I envy you.

Debby said...

I will, Bill. I will see if I can get a picture of the new kitten, and you can see if his name suits him.

Debby said...

Oh, Bob! Just take a job one or two nights a week for the fun of it. I really don't see myself quitting this job even when I have my 'real' job. I really enjoy the job, the people, and my coworker.

Debby said...

coworkers...

Gees.