Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Napoleon, on the other hand, was gloriously happy. Wide-eyed and lively. Flipping back and forth on the sidewalk, trying to climb into my purse.
He's such a goodwill ambassador! Tourists love him. An Asian woman and her son, speaking in very broken English, came over with their doggie bag from a pizza place very popular with out-of-towners. (I guess they didn't like deep dish.) The mom handed Caleb the pizza and wished him well and her son shyly, gently bonded with Napoleon. It was so sweet.
A rather affluent couple -- obviously cat fans -- had questions for Caleb about Napoleon. I was happy to act as his character reference, talking about how "chill" Napoleon is, and how he's really never had a bad day in his furry little life. I also said that Caleb was one of the best-read people I've ever met, and indicated the books I brought him. Then I moved along. Caleb seemed to be enjoying the positive attention from a new source and I hope it lifted his spirits. (And I sensed the couple might drop a $20 into his cup.)
Dewey. The spine was still perfect, the dust cover pristine. When I reached for it, one of my fellow volunteers was gleeful. "Oh, good! I put it out on top, hoping someone would take it!" I told her it was going to someone who was both a book lover and a cat lover. Since I'd volunteered to work the sale, I got this lovely copy for free.
I wrapped it in some dog-and-cat wrapping paper I received as part of a fundraising effort from the ASPCA. I attached a rather silly "get well" card I got in a packet of greeting cards from the HSUS. (A cat with a thermometer in its mouth: "You're sick? That's a cat-astrophe!") I slipped a $5 into the card and presented it to Caleb for his wife.
So in all, it cost me $5. But giving Caleb that gift to take to the cancer center made me so happy. Randi once told me she appreciated that I treated her like a woman, not a homeless woman. I bet the other patients have cards and little gifts near their beds. Now she does, too. Just like any other woman would.
Knowing this little family has taught me a lot about life. I just wish I could foresee a happy ending for them. I have read the statistics on pancreatic cancer survival rates. They are not good. So I shall pray for their peace and comfort.