Kitten Rescue and the Actor

A long, long time ago (before my kid was born) in a galaxy far, far away (over the hill, where the weather is cooler and the people think they are, too) I was on my way home with a trunk full of groceries when I happened to notice a plastic bin full of kittens outside of the local abortion clinic. Above them was a sign that said, “Free Kittens.” (There is no such thing as a free kitten, by the way, even if you don’t give someone cash for the privilege of taking one into your home.) I argued with myself that I shouldn’t stop since I had perishable food in my trunk, but then the sappy half of me thought I would be remiss in the whole “stopping to smell the flowers” philosophy of life if I didn’t stop to have a look at the cute little critters. They were cute, and too young for adoption, because they hadn’t reached full cute kitten stage and were still half-rodent looking. They were covered in fleas. They looked hungry. They screamed at me. Two abortion clinic lady employees came out to tell me that they were feral, lived in the abortion clinic courtyard (courtyards are important at abortion clinics, I would imagine) but their mother had stopped coming around. I told them they needed to wash them and take them to a vet to get necessary shots and find out when they would be old enough for Feline HIV tests and all that jazz, and they said, “No, no, we aren’t going to do that, but we were willing to put them all in a bin and wait for some sap to come by and take on the responsibility himself.” I’m paraphrasing, but that’s basically what they said. I then made some joke about the irony of saving kittens at an abortion clinic, and they looked at me like I was from another planet. Long story short, I rescued a bunch of alley kittens and got them all adopted on my own (because nobody in Los Angeles does this anymore, there are so many cats it’s either independent rescues like mine or euthanasia.)

That was a long time ago, when I had extra money to spend on exorbitant vet bills for strange kittens because I had no child and I had no mortgage and I had a somewhat more lucrative career. Now it’s seven or eight years later, and I’ve settled into a nice selfish, contained existence where my responsibilities are simple, albeit often difficult. I do everything I can to a make enough money to pay my bills and feed my kid, and clean the house and take care of my cat, and do a good job of cheerleading for my elementary school teacher wife. I recently settled into my new theatrical career of auditioning almost exclusively for Disney channel shows, because I am now too old to be my own castable thing and am only apparently good for playing the dad of some tweener girl. (It is tricky because I have come up auditioning for commercials and shows where the main note is always, “Keep it small!” while Disney asks for the complete opposite.) Outside of those responsibilities, I also field jokey texts from current buddies as well as occasional texts from old college buddies that like to remind me of old times, like the one where I got drunk and went to a Jimmy Buffett show and spurned the advances of a lady little person in favor of hitting on some fourteen-year-old. (In my defense, I was only eighteen and didn’t know how young she was and who the hell brings their teenage girl to a Buffett show where there are bound to be drunk, horny white dudes everywhere? My only real regret is missing out on an actual sexual experience because of my own shallow prejudices at the time.) What I am saying is, I have actually managed to settle into a nice little routine despite my hard to predict day-to-day lifestyle.

But then fate or whatever you believe in (personally, I believe it was because of an alley cat and plain old bad luck) I discovered three kittens in the lavender bush outside my front door. If they had been in some alley somewhere, or in some field I was walking through, or at the neighbor’s house or wherever, I would have kept on walking. But they were in a bush directly next to my stupid front door. And despite being broke and not wanting to charge up more credit debt, here I go again. Because of a bunch of feral, flea-ridden cats.

There are two kinds of people in this world. There are people who couldn’t live with themselves knowing that kittens will die right outside their door. And then there are smart people.


About this entry