Sunday, June 11, 2006


Yes, readers, this animal rescue attempt is currently underway.
Allow me to give you the details.
Earlier this afternoon, circa 1:45, I was returning home from having spent the night in NYC. Walking towards the entrance of my apartment building, I noticed that my mother and brother were standing towards the back of the parking lot; they motioned for me to join them when they saw me.

"Hey guys, what's going on?" I asked, concerned.

My brother brought a finger to his lips, asking me to keep it down. "Look over my shoulder," he instructed.

A few yards away, sitting next to the tall fence by where the lot abutted the sidewalk, was the tiniest greaseball of a kitten. It was busily eating cat food that my mother had brought downstairs.

I barely had a chance to say "Ohhh," when both my mother and brother launched into the story. My brother was heading out to dinner the previous night with his friend K, when they heard the cries of the kitten. Upon further investigation, they located the kitten but, in spite of their best efforts, couldn't grab it. K wanted to take the kitten home. My brother was apparently trying to get in touch with me all the while but, alas, my phone had been switched to silent mode. Now, K wished to continue her pursuit of the kitten but my brother insisted that they go to the restaurant (I'm still upset about this). They did, however, leave food for the kitten before heading out.

Anyway, by the time I came upon the kitten, my brother had already called K who was heading over with her kids and a kitty carrier to sweep it away to a happier life with two feline siblings. The three of us watched as the kitten devoured the cat food and scurried under a blue Toyota.

"Wait, where's it going?" I asked, alarmed.

"Oh, don't worry, that car is the kitten's hiding place. It was running under it all night."

Not convinced, I handed my bag to my mother, dropped to the ground and peered under the car. The kitten wasn't there.

"It's not there," I called out.

"What do you mean it's not there? We just saw it go under!" my mom exclaimed.

"It's not under this car," I repeated.

"How about under the next car over?" my brother asked.

I spent a good five minutes flat on my belly, peering under the rows of cars on either side of the blue car. The kitten was nowhere to be found.

K drove in with kids in tow as soon as I got up off the ground. The three of them were crestfallen when we broke the news to them but recovered quickly, as they were determined to help us find the stray. The six of us swarmed the east side of the parking lot, the side that according to my brother and K, the kitten was partial to. The bright, beating sun and the whipping wind both alternated the roles of friend and foe as we walked stealthily, squatting down to look under cars. As street lights and flags on poles danced and squeaked in the wind, every sound we heard seemed to mimic a kitten's cry. We ran from one end of the lot to the other in pursuit of phantom cats. When K started to meow like a kitten, trying to draw our little stray from its hiding place, I pushed her aside, lay on the ground by the blue Toyota and started to meow like a mother cat. Wouldn't a kitten be more drawn to the cries of its mother? We called the head of security in our building so that he could locate the owners of the two cars we suspected the kitten could be hiding in--the blue Toyota and a brown van. The owner of the van was kind enough to come downstairs, pop the hood and honk the horn a couple of times. There didn't seem to be a kitten hiding in the car to scare out in the first place. Because the owner of the Toyota wasn't home, we decided to shake the car a little, causing the alarm to go off. Again, the kitten didn't seem to be in that car.

So, the seven of us (head of security included) sat on a curb, trying to come up with our next move. It was 3:00, well over an hour since I'd returned from the city and my stomach had long been protesting its emptiness (I, SabilaK, breakfast's #1 fan, hadn't eaten that most scrumptious first meal of the day). Keeping my eyes at ground level, I willed the cat to materialize so that I could finally go home and eat. But, still, it remained hidden.

To be continued...


Sasha said...

you never cease to amuse me.


Sasha said...

p.s. I'll be in NYC June 13-16 for the South Asian Journalist Association conference...