I was delivering a box of blood to Kaiser Sunnyside. There was a guy near the front doors wearing scrubs, attached to an IV on a rolling stand, smoking a cigarette. An incongruous-looking figure, this Smoking Guy. All the more so for holding a small, wet, frightened-looking tabby cat.
I put the box down to pat the cat's scraggly head. "She was hiding in the bushes over there," Smoking Guy said.
Reluctantly, I headed off to the blood bank, asking staff if they knew anything about her. "Oh yeah, she's a stray, been around a few weeks. With all the construction that's going on, we sometimes worry about her."
I'd heard enough. I had six cats. However, my ex-boyfriend, having just spent two years living with six cats, now had none. As his house was my next stop—he wanted spicy crispy eggplant from Fujin (as should we all)—I didn't think twice.
Smoking Guy was just putting her down when I got to Kaiser; instead, I gently took her. She showed no fear at all in the cab, merely sitting quietly in the front seat, probably just glad to be in a dry, warm place. Whenever I rested a hand on her, she started purring. Amazing, how calm she was. Maybe she knew what was in store for her.
I arrived at my ex's door, saying, "I bear Chinese food. And a cat." Apparently she'd been close to dying, alone in the mud, of a ruptured uterus. She is now named Trinket and is dearly, dearly loved.