The Paperback Edition…
I put the forms down and knelt in front of the carrier and peered inside.
I couldn’t see very much…a small black shape…that wasn’t moving. I bravely and…of course…foolishly…stuck my forefinger into one of the narrow openings. Hoping to appear friendly, I wiggled it a bit.
I was also hoping that whatever animal was in the carrier… was not rabid.
One little lick on my finger. The tongue was small and rough, so I guessed it might be a cat…having been licked by a cat before.
It was probably not a lizard. I was pretty sure it was not a lizard…but then…I have never been licked by a lizard before…
I got up from kneeling, picked up my papers and sat back down on the bench. I had to finish the application but now my reporter instincts were starting to kick in. Who? What? Where? When?
I put my application down on the other side of me and looked around the carrier for a lock or a catch. There was one in the front but I didn’t want to completely open the carrier.
Images of children screaming in terror and parents loudly swearing…at me… floated briefly before me as I envisioned an “unknown” animal running wildly around the room.
No. That would not be good…not good at all.
But there was a zipper on the top and I unzipped it just a tiny bit…only a couple of inches.
Quicker than a wink, a small, black cat’s head poked out and meowed.
It looked right at me and smiled. I swear to God. Honest. It looked just like a smile.
I smiled back and patted the head with my finger. This was just a teeny kitten!
“Are you dying?” I whispered to the kitten.
“You better not be because I am not up to dying animals right now. I am done with dying.”
I looked intently at two, little yellow eyes. They looked right back at me.
“What do you think?”
“I think you look pretty good!” I said in a very cheerful voice.
I had absolutely no idea at all.