I am alone in my wanderings for a long time, but it hadn’t always been so. I have vague memories–little scraps of images–from the past: the tumble and tussle of warm fur, the shimmer of sun on my brother’s back, the freckle on my sister’s snout. We grew up and dispersed, given away from a box in a grocery store parking lot to anyone who would take us. We were held up and cooed over, and carried off under various people’s arms.
The person who took me changed his mind, tied me up in the back yard for months–with intermittent water and food–and then finally took me on a car ride and left me on the side of the road. I’ve been fending for myself since then. Sometimes I’m thirsty, sometimes I’m cold, often I am hungry.
This morning, a man saw me, stooped down and called to me. I approached him warily and then darted away. I have trouble trusting people. I just spotted him again. He is carrying a bowl that smells heavenly.
He sits quietly beside the bowl and I approach, then back away, then approach again. With one last sideways glance at the man, I lean toward the bowl and begin to eat. The man reaches out his hand and strokes my fur, first tentatively, then steadily. His voice is kind. When he slips a lead around my neck, he bends down to my level and says, “Come with me; we will find you a home” I go with him, to the first warmth and comfort I’ve known in a long time.