In the Beginning (4 Years Ago)…
May 2, 2010 by TracyLStrauss
Hannah, age 3 (2006)
I was a single, thirty-two year old college writing professor battling post-traumatic stress disorder, standing inside “Saint Meows,” a cat shelter in North Cambridge, Massachusetts, peering at a huddled runny-nosed sabo-tabby, when a flash of light ricocheted off the shiny metal bars of the animal cages, catching my eye: I looked up to see a tall dark-haired woman in the entranceway– with one arm she held the door open; with the other, she dropped a small plastic animal carrier to the floor. She exited quickly, then reappeared with a disheveled scratching post, which she flung from her grasp as if it were deadweight. She barked, “Is that it then?” to no one in particular; she did not wait for an answer but turned her back, and, with a brusque hand, slammed the door behind her. There was a moment of silence, the air filled with some kind of shell-shock, which was broken, finally, by a loud, long meow that leapt up from the floor. I recognized the sound, a voice crying, I’ve been hurt, love has died, hope is gone, I’m so afraid.
Her tail tip was broken, her crème-calico coat smelled of garbage, and her ears were plugged with dirt. She flinched whenever a hand went near her. She would not eat with her back to anyone, if she ate at all. Her name was Hannah, and when I rescued her I had no idea that she would, in turn, also rescue me.
© Tracy L. Strauss, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.