So I was trying to show my roommate El Cocco, (he’s upstanding), a trivial bit of humorous nonsense from the internets of Professor Madness’s computer (snopes.com, search for ‘brian peppers’) when I suddenly stopped mid-sentence, something I do NOT do for I love the sound of my round pear-shaped tones, and i exited into the street. Nobody knew why, and for that matter, neither did I. I would about half a block due south, when suddenly the hitherto imperceptible sound of mewling reached my ears and both informed and infirmed me to my purpose. It had been raining in Pittsburgh, and I had no idea what I was in store for, other than that there was a kitten of some sort in some trouble. Though I mentally prepared myself for the worst, near-drowned, entrapped, half-dead, or perhaps newborn, I just HAD to find out where that noise was coming from. Luckily, as I am by no means trained in any veterinary medicine, the cat was unharmed. Slightly damp, emaciated, but otherwise healthy. A three-or-four year old pure white longhair, tail rigid in the air, it took several minutes to acclimate to my presence. Soon, however, it approached me, as I stooped down, hand upturned invitingly, making little purr-purr noises (the both of us). I allowed it to sniff my hand, and the sudden desperation in its eyes, as well at the intonation and volume of its further cries, led me to the instinctive conclusion that it was hungry. Call it common sense, collective unconscious, or damn empathy, but I think that no matter what species, what country, what language, we all understand ‘hungry.’ So I ran back to the house in the opposite direction, barely startling the creature, and after a few frantic moments of search, during which my confused roommates continually asked “what are you doing? what in God’s name are you doing?” I could not find any tuna, or meats, and so settled on the dryfood i stock for my own cat, which, due to budgeting, is perhaps not as top quality as I would like. However, I eat Ramen, which barely classifies as food at all. So, in cupped hands, I returned to the wee one, and though I know I shouldn’t foster either the need for domesticated scavenging, nor the destruction of its instinctive distrust in humans, I set a meager pile before it, hoping that it wouldn’t come back up as malnourished vomit in the next few seconds. It didn’t, and I didn’t linger much longer, but patted my new friend on the head and gave some well wishes, returned to the house. My roommate tried to berate me, accusing me of wanting to bring *another* cat into the house (though I never claimed to want two), and that harboring strays can’t be good for the neighborhood, that they’ll only want to come back, etc. etc. I replied that if the cat wanted to come back for more, I would certainly oblige, that I wasn’t about to let it into the house for other logistical reasons, and that if THEY were the ones to even BUY the catfood, then they would have a right to complain, otherwise, shut the fuck up. They agreed. And I have a new friend. In fact, and this is probably just my own arrogant machismo imagination, but I fancied that all the cats and dogs in the neighborhood intimated the gesture, and were giving me their nods of approval. I felt good, and that was its own reward, knowing that I’m not a douchebag ALL the time.
Yes, I’m bragging, but not for internet approval so much as to affirm this memory in a much more reliable and untainted by THC source (open-source, in fact), so that years later, when I foresee myself as an utter and complete corporate asshole, I can look back on this and learn something, something to teach my children well.