I was walking alone because John went to the school attached to our church to read to the students. It was Pajama Day, so perhaps he took the role of bed-time story-teller.
I first connected with Little Cat at the top of our street. As John drove out, he opened his window and commented that our theory wasn’t correct. It was not our duo conversation that drew the cat to come to us. I tried one-handed photos of it, but I wasn’t quick enough to get good ones. You can see the first step onto the road, a side shot, the view of the top of the head, and my hand scratching the neck.
Neighbor Joyce stopped to thank me for my text about local black ice. The temperature was right at the freezing point. She said she just saw a coyote crossing the road near the big bend. She grew up in this area of Western North Carolina and is familiar with the wild animals here. I’ve never seen one in the wild.
I should have noticed Marla in her neon-bright green jacket, but my brain was idling far away. She was glad to know Joyce had seen a coyote in broad daylight. She never lets dog Albert run free, but would be aware of the danger it could pose. We had a lovely chat about teaching when I told her John had gone to the church elementary school to read. She found out she was quite a disciplinarian when she dealt with larky teens. She prefers the middle-school ages. I’m allergic to all children in a school setting.
I commiserated with neighbor Dawn about the cold weather. She was on her way to her volunteer job where she is very faithful, despite working in a cavernous, frigid building. Their house pipes froze in the last cold spell. Did any burst? No, the pump froze, so after they thawed the pipes under the fake stone cover, the water flowed again. It was the night she forgot to leave faucets dripping that it happened. They had no water for the half hour it took to thaw the pump. Note to self: keep the faucets dripping when the temps are in the teens.
Little Cat rejoined me for the walk back to my street. There were stops for petting, but mostly he/she listened to all the sounds in the area. She stopped in the middle of the street before we got to my house. Perhaps that was outside her comfort zone. My comfort zone was inside, where John had left the coffeepot on for me.