Saturday, September 15, 2012

On September 14 2012, I still had a chill in my bones from being caught in the rain Thursday night. On the day of the cat, open your senses for more summer goodness. Seven more days await your bliss.


I was trying to bike out to an art exhibition in the woods of Fruitport, Michigan. Measured on a map, the cycle from Muskegon to this woods on Norris Creek made a daunting trip of ten miles. The Google map didn't clearly mark the Musketawa Trail, but I had followed its outline on the satellite view. I was admittedly excited to have a need to use that trail for the first time. I had known about it for more than four years. I set off from Estes and Sherman around 5:15 PM, and by the time I had reached Broadway and Getty, the sprinkling had begun. I could have wussed out and taken Getty home, a ride of two miles south. I decided to push onward. By the time I had passed Cowboy Jim's and reached Cricket's Pub, my clothing had a dampness from rain drops. I wasn't wet, and I wasn't dry and I was going to be drenched if I continued further east. Cricket's Pub had an overhang in front, and the men who had arrived by Harley sat on long benches under that overhang and smoked. I parked and locked my bike under the far end of that overhang, and I went in to sit out the rain. I was to discover that the rain couldn't be waited out. The rain lasted until morning. I had to bicycle home when the radar on Weather Underground showed a small break in the region cloud.
I have no idea how much money a bar tender makes in a beer and shot bar with a grill, catering to the sports crowd and the biker trade. The woman who waited upon me had fine, black hair of shoulder length, if it had not been tied up in a pony tail. She was wearing a purple hoodie with a scene from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" on its front. I felt an attraction to her as she had an attractive face; yet, her eyes had slight bruising of black around them. Not from a black eye punch to both, but from being hit with a few nights of incomplete sleep. She was tall and slender, and I saw that her father had not had the means to afford braces. The bar had run out of chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, cheese balls, fried pickles, and more, and she apologized as she pointed out the lacks on the laminated menu. The owners were stocking up at the Walmart close by on Sherman and US-31. I order the buffalo wings, trying not to bitterly think of the gourmet dinner party I was missing seven rainy miles east.
She was managing an party of fifteen people, two tables of players on the free pool tables. A few women racked up imaginary currency on the Nudgemasters. I asked her if she was looking forward to Halloween. She brightened and declared, "Halloween is its own lifestyle!" She must be one of those enthusiasts who decorates for Halloween with the same energy that our grandmothers decorated for Christmas. Muskegon has more Halloween stores than Christmas stores.
I chased my buffalo wings with a Bud Light Lime, which had a nice after finish of lime, which I hope was a natural flavoring. I took to sitting under the eaves with a few men in their leathers, smoking cigarettes. I wanted to ask for one, my first in weeks, but I remembered the medical screening scheduled by human resources next week. Last year, I got a snarky note in the mail that had declared a discovery of nicotine related chemicals in my blood stream. HR still gave me the lower, non-smoker rate and I stopped buying packs of cigarettes at the gas station. I had hoped to avoid the snarky, computer generated note this year, so I didn't ask. I worried about second-hand smoke, but how does one turn to the man in leathers sitting next to one and ask him to blow his smoke into the rain to his right, not to his left?
That stretch of Broadway has blighted, with closed businesses and abandoned houses standing on lots returning to the wild, allowing small trees, shrubs and prairie plants to grow. Across the street, I noticed a cat, prowling through the wet grass, a black cat with white furry feet and an escutcheon of white. It had a still tail, and it slowly stalked toward a patch of small trees. I was amazed at how slowly it moved, and I got a little bored watching its progress. The next time I came out to check on the rain, the rain hadn't slowed. I couldn't see the cat. The third time I came out to check on the rain, the rain had lessened, and I noticed the cat returning through the meadow at a bit of a gallop, its tail wiggling and curling and uncurling. That happy cat must have had a successful hunt and could turn its attention to fun.
The rain had lessened enough for me to proceed without too much drenching. It wasn't going to lessen any more than that, so I began my way home.
Photography Credit
A montage of cat pictures using images from Wikimedia creators

7 January 2012
1. Top left: File: Sheba1.JPG by Dovenetel
2. Top middle:File: Cat November 2010-1a.jpg by Alvesgaspar
3. Top right:File: Tesla the cat 2.jpg by Ragesoss
4. Bottom left:File: Cat August 2010-3.jpg by Alvesgaspar
5. Bottom right:File: Black kitten July August 2009-1.jpg by Alvesgaspar

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