• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 08


Memory is like a ball of twine the cat unravels around the house.  The tiny black cat followed me and my dog around the piecemeal housing development across from the county fair.  The cat lived at Andrew’s house, a home he shared in the summer with the dancers who worked over in Mashpee at the motel and strip joint.  We think the cat belonged to the girls who roller bladed in short shorts up and down the flatness of Twin Hill Road, next to the power lines.  The neighbors watched but were tolerated the comings and goings of used cars, loud visitors, and even the fake wishing well in the front yard.

The day I began to worry was when he was on their roof, having exited the sky light.  Then the tiny thing, maybe three pounds began to follow me home.  I didn’t let him in the house but put food out on the back deck and whistled so that he would learn to come.  One day he did not return for the food, and that is when I knew my heart had already formalized the adoption without telling me.  I looked all around the neighborhood and found him in the well of a basement window in a pile of leaves.  He seemed sick, so I brought him in and fed him. What is it like to earn trust?  It melted me as he tucked himself on my chest under my chin and went to sleep.  The next day I put him in a carrier and took him to the vet.  The vet came to talk to me after the examination and blood work.  The cat was perhaps a year old, and he was very small because he had feline leukemia.  The vet offered that many people learning this will simply euthanize the cat as the leukemia is highly contagious and the cat must live quarantined.  I never returned to that vet again.  

Kokimo came home to live with me and the rescued terrier.  Fortunately, I also had been rescued belatedly in life and knew that living with love matters.  He lived another three years.



Memory is full of stories, knotted one to the other, as we would tie scraps of twine until it formed ball.  In the end I will walk my string ball of stories down to the blueberry waves and wait while they deepen to pitch before I hurl them into the sea where they will unravel until the end of time.