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  • Writer's pictureGina Micek

Long and the no of it, a kitten named Ash

You don’t get to be my age without having been told no a few times and then chosen to do it (whatever it is) anyway. I am taking my cat to California on Monday. So in service of this, I started reading articles on what to expect when I show up at the airport.

The first one I read, mentioned not to bring your cat at all and leave them at home. I recalled all the cats I saw on planes in the last couple years and figured maybe I could ignore that advice. Ash and I have become bonded since she arrived in June.

The night I found Ash was a run-of-the-mill evening. I ate dinner. Watched some TV. Decided it was finally time to go to bed about 10:30 pm. The weather was still a little chilly so there was no need for AC or a fan. My window was open. As I started to get ready for bed, I heard an insistent mewling from outside.

I checked out my window to figure out where this cry may be coming from. Looking down in the Irish on Grand parking lot, a Mom and Pop store which houses a collection of Irish goods and hosts Irish dance lessons, I could see two tiny ears in the light pooled around the shed below.

Thinking this was unusual, I decided to put a hoodie and some shoes on and head out to investigate. As I circled the parking lot, I could hear the insistent cry. I saw her in the light. Alone. I wasn’t sure if she would try to run away as I approached so I spoke to her. When I arrived to her location, I bent down and picked her up and she kept crying. I noticed some blood and an injury on her neck.

I thought maybe her mother and possibly siblings may be close by. Taking a quick assessment of the area, I could see no sign of either mother or siblings. I had no idea how she might have gotten to this lonely spot this late at night all on her own.

What I knew then, was that she would need to come home with me so we could assess the damage. She was so tiny and frail. When we got back to my apartment, I tried to get her to drink water, but she did not. I had no food appropriate for cats.

I had to trust that if she lived through the night, I might be able to get her seen by a vet. I had no idea that I would keep her.

As I write, Ash, now 3 months is curled up next to me on the couch. I named her Aisling, an Irish name meaning imagination, in honor of her beginnings. She is also grey and black so her nickname, Ash is appropriate.

After all this, I wasn’t leaving my young kitten familiar to some house-sitter who showed up once a day to feed her. Also, even if they stayed in my apartment, Ash is a lot to handle. Between regular biting, she likes to escape down the hall for several rounds of the building on a regular basis. Big responsibility to take on.

While I maybe *should* keep her at home, I won’t be keeping her at home. Same with another trip I have planned in October. We’re buddies. Talk to me in October about whether my idea was a good one.

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