30 DAYS OF FREE – NEW ORLEANS: Day Twenty Eight

Activity: Free Kitten!

Difficulty Rating: Cuteness vs Commitment

New Orleans has a plague. A plague of furry, adorable kitties. The infestation is a weird intersection between cute and spooky but it really helped me get into the mood for my first Halloween. The cats haunt every block from the lake to the river, eyeballing you as you walk by or crossing the street under the a foggy lamp a few meters in front of you. Their eyes say “here be dragons!” but the fur says “I’m just a widdle bucket of love!”

There was a little black cat who used to live on our front porch and American Husband loved playing with him, feeding him and perching him on high shelves. But the lady next door moved house and cat-napped him when she left and American Husband had been vainly trying to coax another kitty into his confidence. There are many local strays on our block but I suspect they stay alive by being wary of humans. So American Husband had been crouching and mewing on the porch and receiving nothing but odd looks from the neighbours.

On the other side of town, one of my pals fell into a kitty fortune. Her workmate had rescued a litter of fresh kittens from the back of an abandoned car and was shopping around for owners. My pal had taken the last two from the litter because her kind heart couldn’t leave just one behind, but she soon discovered that two kittens are crazier than the sum of their parts and needed to rehome one. Thus we ended up with Oddfellow; a tiny grey tabby with a personality that ranges between snuggly dependence, ominous judgement, and the kind of voice-hearing, fanatical combat that must’ve affected Joan of arc. He and American Husband take turns biting each other and resting on my tummy. It’s true love.

Apparently, New Orleans is aware of its cat infestation problem so they make it very easy to adopt a stray. They provide cheap spaying and vet care, especially spaying. Oh, how they love to spay! Normally when you adopt a pet they make you pay for it so you value the animal and don’t just use it to make hairy broth, but this is a town where I could recruit an army of cats by walking down the street with a pool skimmer and a can of tuna. So feel like the city is saying “just take the sweet thing so it doesn’t sit in the abandoned house next door staring out of the dark and whispering the names of my fallen enemies.”

Here’s a photo of the true love between man and beast.

What is a tail? Where does it dwell? What does it want?

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