My sister says I’m a cat whisperer. She calls it cat voodoo. When I was little, I took great pride in this. Now that I’m older, I take…less…pride in it. Because I understand the implications, here, and it gets less cute the older I get. I don’t want to be the crazy cat lady. Not when I’m older, but especially not when I’m 26 years old. But it’s not really my fault. Cats like me and I find myself thrown into the path of an unusual number of them. And I’m not a callous person, so what am I supposed to do? As much as I’m loathe to examine this side of me, I’ve counted and come to the conclusion that I’ve brought 7 stray cats home in my lifetime. SEVEN. That’s not necessarily crazy cat lady territory, but it’s definitely not normal lady status, either. I try not to think about it too much.

Last Thursday night, I had just determined to skip my workout (again) when I lazily reached for my phone. I found this waiting for me, along with a few missed calls and one rushed voicemail from Leisel:

On her way out of our complex, Leisel found the above little-bit hanging precariously. It ran up the tree just out of reach when Leisel approached. Since she was running late for an event, she made several calls and texts to me. Obviously, I would take care of it. It was nearly 45 minutes before I checked my phone, but it only took me moments to throw on my coat and run outside. Holding up the picture as my guide, I soon found the tree. There, on a branch just out of my reach, I saw the smallest kitten in the world hunkered down and shivering. Reaching up on my tippy toes and stretching as far as I could, the kitten was still several inches out of my grasp. At this point it was growing dark and a cold drizzle was beginning to fall.

There was absolutely no chance I was leaving the kitten behind, so I got serious: I turned around, clasped my hands together, and gave my best damsel-in-distress look to a guy that happened to be driving by. I could say I’m not proud of it, but in fact, I am; a pout and few bats of my eyelashes proved to be amazingly efficient. My unknown hero swerved his car into the nearest parking spot and hopped out to investigate. He laughed at the cliche of having to help rescue my kitten out of a tree, but the swagger that suddenly slid into his step makes me think he enjoyed playing the role of the white knight (hey, that makes two of us). I gave him my widest smile, shook his hand, and then happily walked home with the kitten tucked under the lapel of my trench coat.

Leisel was excited to meet our rescued guest (George and Mia, it probably goes without saying, are less than thrilled). We agreed that Leisel would be the one to lay claim to the the kitten if we decided we just couldn’t part with her (and we probably won’t be able to part with her).

I’m very pleased with the arrangement–this means I technically wasn’t the one to bring another lost lamb into the fold. One less notch on my crazy cat lady post and all that. Leisel, on the other hand, accepts her new role with enthusiasm.

Kitty’s new name is Ethel and she fits right in.