Volume 2 Book 10 Part 4 of "Living In The Bonus Round"
The Online Diary of Steve Schalchlin

The smallest survivor.

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[ Book 9 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Vol 3 Book 1 ]

May 12-17, 2002.
The Little Survivor.
Just before I got to Rochester I received a lovely email from a man named Darrell Lance from a church here called Lake Ave. Baptist Church. He explained that he hadn't seen TLS but that he had been told about it and wanted to specifically invite me to come and visit.

So, on the first Sunday morning I was here, Lesli and I boarded ghetto mobile -- it's the same rusty brown car I had my traffic accident in -- and immediately headed in the wrong direction. Where we're staying is north of the city but my brain thinks we're south so I have to think backwards to find anything.

I turned us north when we should have gone south. Then we found a kitten. No, wait. The kitten came first. Let me start over. See, there are feral cats around here. I've seen them maybe once or twice slithering around the garage.

But early last week, Lesli was woken up by this tiny little cry. She got up and found a fragile black kitten of skin and bones at our back door with a big wound in her tail.

She curled right into my arms. This was a NOT a wild stray. I guessed about six months old. Definitely weaned. But her little nails were still soft. She was light as a feather. The problem is that in "cast housing" you cannot have pets because too many people come and go, many of them allergic to animals (and this impedes their ability to sing). I knew the rules but there was just no way we could let this kitten starve. We named her Lucy, after Lucille Ball, another true survivor.

Okay, then came the morning we tried to go to church but couldn't find it. So we went back to the house to print out a Yahoo map and there was Lucy again. She tried to follow us across the street into our car and when we took off, she was standing in the middle of the road.

Just as we were leaving we looked back and saw a car hit her. Or nearly hit her. She was up and running off just at "impact."

I said, "I think it just missed her. She was not limping." (I remember having seen a car hit a cat before and it wasn't pretty.)

We raced back to the house, ran around the yard yelling, "LUCY! LUCY!" But she was hiding. There was no way we'd find her. We got to church an hour late, right in the middle of the sermon but all I could think about was Lucy off somewhere maybe in pain.

Lesli & Steve Go to Church:
Lake Ave. Baptist is an American Baptist church. They pride themselves on taking a strong "open and affirming" stand on GLBT persons. We saw in the morning bulletin a class labeled "Gay and Lesbian Liberation Theology." Wanted to go but we both had to be back at the theatre early, so I introduced myself to the choir director and we took off. (We did go the following week and really enjoyed meeting the others in this study group).

But, at home, neither Lesli nor I could talk about Lucy. She wasn't there when we got back. Didn't turn up that night either.

The horror of seeing her in the street watching us drive away just as another car was hitting her from behind was too horrible to contemplate. Finally, I said to Lesli, as we were sitting and watching TV:


Finally, early the next morning, Lesli knocked on my door and there, curled up in her arms... "Lucy came back."

Could you throw this out into the street?

Every day we'd feed her a little but couldn't really let her inside and every night, Lucy would be right back there on the porch mewling and crying. She had really bad dandruff, the wound on her tail still had blood and she was skin and bones. But now the weather was turning cold and rainy. When she ate, she gulped the food down like it was her first real meal.

In this pic you can see how small she is plus
that gap in her tail is where she was wounded.

What could we do? We knew the rules: no cats in the house. But it was Lucy! We loved her!

She fits neatly into my hand when I walk.
She'll curl up and go with me all over the house.

We decided to Chris and beg for mercy. Lesli went to him and explained our dilemma, how this sweet little survivor had found us, and could she please have a reprieve with us until we found her a home. And Chris said YES! (But just until we find her a home and we have to do it soon).

So now our mission is set. Find a family for Lucy. She has survived a mauling, cold rain, a car nearly killing her and god knows what else, but what she loves best is curling up in your lap and sleeping.

Here are a few shots from the hugline last Friday night. From the TLS list, Jay Brancato drove up with his friend Adam. Sue (who lives here) brought her son. She took these pics:

Sue and Jay from the TLS list!

Steve gets a hug.

Sue's son Spence, a 14 year old aspiring composer.

Steve talking to Peter, the pastor of Lake Ave. Baptist who came last Saturday night and spoke about the play in the pulpit the next morning.

[ Diary Index ]
[ Book 9 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Vol 3 Book 1 ]

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© 2002 by Steve Schalchlin.
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