I met a cat in Colorado. That’s not biker talk, it was a real cat, a kitten really. After a particularly long day riding through multiple temperature changes we finally arrived at our lodging for the night much later than the usual stopping time. I was too tired to go back out for dinner, instead just sat at the picnic table bordering the parking lot after grabbing a quick shower in the smoky room. As I watched the sky change colors I heard a mewing, an insistent call but couldn’t find the source. This roadside motel mostly filled with other bikers and the staff who cleaned the rooms didn’t seem like a place for pets. I trudged back up the steps and dug out the muffin I had saved from the breakfast buffet hours before and began crumbling pieces for the clearly hungry but still unseen cat.
As I littered the area with what was supposed to be my dinner, I caught glimpses of a little black kitten. His skittishness warred with his hunger, I gave him room to eat and feel safe while I yearned to pick him up and cuddle. He ate the whole muffin so I moved on to water, finding a bowl in the office. I discovered his hiding spot under a shed in the back and placed the bowl close by then went to bed.
The night brought rain, a rainbow greeted my morning along with the kitten. I found pizza crust left over from my brother’s dinner and began the crumbling again. The kitten came closer, closer still. I tried to catch up on emails and texts before it was time to begin traveling again, the kitten wanted to play. Grass, sticks, my fingers, anything that moved through the little fence were fair game. Still, I never held him, never cuddled. I left him with water and a bit more pizza.
The thing is, I haven’t stopped thinking about that kitten. For just a few hours our lives crossed, we took care of each other. I couldn’t take the kitten with me, no one there wanted to become responsible for a mostly feral cat. While I was there, though, I couldn’t ignore the need and received the reward of a kitten able to play, for that morning at least.
I met a great many people during my travels, people who will never know that their smiles and kind words fed me. They may never remember the woman on the motorcycle but I won’t soon forget. Making the time to connect, feeding pizza crusts to the hungry, these little moments are the ones that are the sweetest. Not one huge feast, many small meals that fed us all. Grace. Light. Faith in Action. I am still not hungry.