First we blabbed for a bit. He told me about time spent over the summer with his out-of-town brothers. I told him about my bathroom remodel. Then, apropos to nothing, he asked me if I'd noticed an uptick in "able-bodied young people" panhandling on street corners. "If I was one of them, I'd even take a job a McDonald's."
"Sometimes they have jobs. They're just homeless," I replied. And, for the first time, I told him about Caleb, Randi and Napoleon. He was surprised that I knew so much about them. At first, it made me feel like a freak. "How often do you talk to these people?" "How much time do you spend on street corners?" He seemed worried that I was being ripped off somehow, "taken." I reassured him that they know very little about me, personally. They don't even know my last name. And I mentioned that, in terms of moola, I never spend more than $10/week. Oh yeah, and little gifts, like their Christmas bag and ...
"Oh, Gal! You did that?" he exclaimed. I had a hard time reading him. Was he shocked that I'm nice? Did he think I was wasting my resources?
It turns out he was admiring. I don't know that I deserve admiration. I have learned a lot about the world from Caleb, Randi and Napoleon. Helping them has enriched my life in so many ways. But I am glad that my tale has touched a chord in John.
"I wear size 11 shoes. Ask him if he needs my shoes." John had foot surgery back in 2016 and his shoes fit differently now. He also has sweaters and shirts he's willing to share. He was very excited about it.
And on Friday, John followed up by email. While Caleb can't wear the shoes himself, he knows someone who can. And John is eager to get the shirts and sweaters to him.
So John wants to help. He just needed to be given a way to do it.
So that little gray kitten -- now long and lanky and fully grown -- has ended up being quite the catalyst. Viva, Napoloen!