....encounter yesterday on my race walk. I saw a little boy reaching down to pet a big, fluffy black-and-white cat on the sidewalk, and as I neared, he was talking to it so sweetly. The boy was maybe 9 or 10, freckled face, rumpled hair, a large keychain full of keys pulling down his little shorts, one shoe untied, a basketball by his feet. I smiled and said (probably too loudly because of my headphones),"What a pretty kitty." His face crumpled and I thought he was going to cry, so I stopped (I rarely stop on a race walk, so clearly, this was serious) and he said that he doesn't know who the cat belongs to, that he and his friend had found it in the bushes in the school across the street. He looked so worried that the cat might be homeless. I know I've seen that cat many times on my walks and it's a very healthy-looking, well-fed, beautiful long-haired love, so if it is indeed feral, someone is taking great care of her/him or he/she is dining heartily from the local squirrel/bird/critter population. And the cat seemed so content with letting this little boy pet her/him that I'd be surprised if it were feral, but you never know. My mom feeds a feral cat that will wait for her but won't let her get too near. I tried to reassure the little boy by saying that I see that cat all the time. He looked up hopefully and said, "Really?" "Yes," I said. And then I smiled and said, "He or she is lucky to have such a good friend in you." The little boy's face lit up with such a joyful smile, and as he sheepishly said, "Thank you," the cat bounded away, off we all went, me to continue my race walk, the boy bouncing his ball down the sidewalk towards home, I should think, leaving me with a smile in my heart and lilt to my walk.
Here's my mom's feral cat, dubbed Moonshine by a family friend, patiently waiting for Mom to feed her/him. He/she is certainly luck to have a friend such as my mom :-) I hope your day is full of things that warm your heart.