Twenty years ago, Jody and I bought a Bowflex – a strength training machine that’s very cool. We used it for awhile and then discovered the social pleasures of a gym. So it came to be that we had a dust-gathering sculpture in the basement. Four years ago, I moved to Belmont and brought the beast with me. It had long ago ceased to be alive in my soul.
I love working out at GoodLife Fitness – both my trainer Tony and the elliptical are good friends. But that shut down weeks ago and I started sneaking glances at Mr. Bowflex.
Today I was down there, getting reacquainted and relearning all sorts of exercises. There was a healthy glow, inside and out. And then …
Hmm. Did I hear that right? I turned toward the sound and there sitting in the window well was a cat. A lovely speckled brown soul with eyes that were entering mine. Our contact lingered, with a touch of sadness in both directions.
Through the glass was another being, one who no doubt couldn’t climb the smooth sides to safety. And the leap would have been three feet. Memories flashed to Jody’s and my home in Union and how I’d rescued a raccoon from a similar window well by propping a board down there. Eventually the masked one had climbed out.
Now I live in a detached condo with no outside maintenance responsibilities. And hence no boards. I searched the garage for a solution and found a big square of stiff cardboard that would fit in the hole. I went outside, shared a few moments with the captive and plunked the square down there, at a good climbing angle.
Ten minutes later, the kitty hadn’t stirred and I realized that the cardboard didn’t provide much grip for escaping. So back to the garage, where a fabric hammock was my next solution. Far better gripping there, and it was longer. I wedged one end in a corner, while the other poked above the lip of the well. Yes … that’ll work. Any self-respecting cat should have no problem scurrying out of the hole.
Ten minutes later, my friend was curled up under the rolled hammock, with nary the twitch of a muscle. (Sigh)
Bruce, you have to go down there and pull him out. Sadly, my next thought was not of kindness and heroism, but of getting bitten by a dog in Cincinnati, Ohio. Okay, but you still have to do it. You couldn’t live with yourself if you let another being die in a hole. So true. Be just a wee bit heroic, dear one.
I obsessed about being bitten and how to protect myself from that. I put on heavy clothes and a heavy coat and thought of my hands. In the spirit of supreme protection, I pulled on a pair of gardening gloves that had some rubber coating on the palms, supposedly to prevent the ravages of thorns. Good, but I want more. So I put on my winter mittens over that. Surely no feline teeth could puncture me through such sturdy layers. (I made a note not to tell anyone about those fashion choices but clearly I’ve forgotten that advice.)
Girding my loins, I removed the mass of hammock and contemplated replacing it with … me! Kitty was making that soft eye contact again. My heart melted and my skin contracted. One swift movement, Bruce – down, grab, throw!
And so I did. Kitty tried to escape my clutch but I was supremely fast. I grabbed her around the midsection with the offending teeth going in the opposite direction. I swung around and launched her over the grass. She landed on her feet and raced around the corner of the building. The deed was done.
I am kind
I am scared
Both mostly … I am kind
Fare thee well, little one