Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Catching Up with the Whole Family

It's been more than a week since I saw Napoleon and his parents, Caleb and Randi. And Monday I saw all three of them, walking up Michigan Avenue. They were pushing their belongings --  two big roller bags and a cat carrier -- in a tall cart. Napoleon was in the carrier, looking every ounce the irritated teenager that he now is. At 9 months old, he's all attitude and energy and he clearly resented being in the carrier.

The snow has made it hard for them to panhandle. The areas where they usually park themselves are now either wet or covered in dirty snow. The damp has made it hard for them to sleep in their tent, so wherever they're sleeping -- I wasn't clear where -- is costing them money. But while it's not ideal, it's not as bad as it would have been a few months ago because ...

They're both working! Caleb drives a forklift four hours/night, four nights/week at a grocery warehouse. Randi "helps out" (answers phones, sweeps up, makes appointments) at a salon during the day. (They can't work at the same time because someone has to stay with Napoleon.) She says the women she works with at the salon aren't as welcoming and supportive as she hoped they would be, but at least she's warm and dry at work.

Hopefully, in two weeks, they will have the cash they need to pay two months' rent in advance on a room in a big house in Boystown. They will have a furnished bedroom and access to the kitchen and bathroom anytime they want. I worry about how Napoleon will make the transition. While being homeless is rough on humans, it's really a pretty spectacular life for a cat. He's literally never alone, one or both of his parents is always with him, lavishing attention on him. He's outdoors almost all the time -- though they report he likes sleeping in beds, burrowing under the covers by Caleb's feet -- and enjoys watching birds and shoelaces and leaves and paper that float by. I'm afraid that the boredom and confusion that will come from being left alone all day will result in destructive behavior on his part.

But won't that be a nice problem to have, after a year of not having a bed to call their own?

1 comment:

  1. I truly hope things continue to turn around for them!