That Orange Kitty

So, the name’s a tad obvious. But I am very bad at naming things.

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There are many strays around Sweet Briar College. This cat, who I refer to mostly as “That Orange Kitty,” is very friendly. S/he wanders about the parking lot behind the library. When I took this picture, s/he came right up to me and purred, inviting me to pet him/her. (It’s hard to tell whether this cat is a he or a she. Either he’s fixed or she’s a girl.)

My Early/Medieval Britain professor read out some statistics today: in the month of July, over 100 stray cats were rescued in our county. Less than 20 were adopted. The rest were euthanized. About 40 stray dogs were rescued. Over 50 were adopted.

I love cats more than I love history. More than I love old books and strange-scented tea bags and my laptop. It breaks my heart to have these statistics read to me. Do I know if they’re accurate? Well, those ones I just listed should be taken with a grain of salt because I have a terrible memory. (They are within 10 animals, more or less — I can promise that much.) But do I know if my professor had the right statistics? Do I know the source in her hands was accurate?

And the little voice inside me says, who cares? If even one cat died because no one adopted her, how can my heart not be broken?

My Early Britain professor, you’ll be glad to know, adopts strays who are about to be euthanized. She takes in a lot of cats. Sometimes she has them in her office with her — one day last week, she had brought a fluffy gray kitten named Godzilla into class with her.

And I think this is the sort of person I’ll be when I grow into a house and a job and a life — I’ll be that woman who takes in stray cats, or who at least leaves out food for them around my property. Perhaps I will walk into shelters and save them from the kill room. Because I love cats.

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