When Money Floats

Every now and then, karma blows favorably in my direction. Once when I was swimming in the ocean, I spied money glistening in the sun, bobbing towards me. Twenty bucks landed in the palm of my hand. Yeah, that’s how it happened. Doubtful anyone would attempt to reclaim the cash, I accepted it as a gift. My lucky day. I was a kid, and I thought I had won the lottery.

It’s not everyday someone gives you twenty bucks. How do you think that would go over if someone decided to slap a twenty in your hand? First, you would probably hesitate, consider it, especially if you happen to really need it, but then you would probably outright reject it. No, I can’t. Even though twenty bucks doesn’t get too much these days, it still might seem a generous amount to receive and not pay back. If you do need it, you may not want to seem like a charity case. Of course, everything changes if your life depends on it. I’m not making light of that.

But what about a five spot? The other night, I noticed a five dollar bill on the grocery store floor. Hmm. Oh, money! I paused, and then picked it up. I couldn’t really ignore it. What if the guy who just passed me dropped it?

So, did he? I asked him.

“Did you drop five bucks?” I immediately tuned in to his tranquil, blue eyes.

With a smile, he laughed. “No. It wasn’t me.”

I was a bit disappointed, because the mystery of what to do with the five bucks was still in my domain. I almost wanted to just give him the money.

“What do you think I should do with it?” I asked him.

“You could return it to customer service,” he nodded in the general direction. “Or…you could keep it,” he whispered.

“I didn’t ask for options,” I mumbled and laughed, and walked toward the direction he indicated. Then I stopped in my tracks and analyzed the situation.

I could buy the gelato that was $4.99 that I passed on. Was this a sign? The Mediterranean Mint was calling my name. It could be extra gas money. I could give it to the store employee who once confided in me that she was hungry, and was even denied Rotisserie chicken, that on account of law, was thrown away on the premises even though it could have been good eats, for her specifically. Would she be offended if I offered it to her?

What if someone is wandering around in the store and is really missing the five bucks? What if his/her dinner depended upon it? I could wander the aisles looking for a person rummaging through his/her pockets. If I don’t find this person, I’m sure I could simply give the money to someone who needs it more than me. The free, lost money needs a home.

Or…I could turn it in at customer service.

My Libra mind disintegrates when faced with endless possibilities. Later at the register, blue eyes looked in my direction. “What did you do?” he asked.

So, what did I do? How do you think this played out? Want to take a guess? Do you think I have regrets?

Did I turn the money in to customer service? Did I track down the hungry employee? Buy gelato?

What would you do? Have you ever happened upon some mystery money?

photo credit: owlpacino via photopin cc

Fat Kitty City: A Special Place

I visited an enchanting place today. It’s called Fat Kitty City and it’s the only cat sanctuary in all of Northern California. My family and I took our kitty Spud to the sanctuary to get neutered.

Spud looked a little worried, but I know he’s in good hands. We met Spud at the local pet store where Fat Kitty City brings cats for adoption.

Little Spud; also known as Spuds, Spuddy, Spudley, Spudinsky, Spudman or just Tater. His secret name must be Butterscotch although he would never tell.

Their sanctuary is magical, nestled in the hills, down a windy narrow lane, about two miles from the main road. Cats roam freely here inside a spacious gated property. There are about 180 cats, with approximately 25 feral cats who wander outside the gate. The feral cats, of course, know it is their home and probably would not survive anywhere else.

Ed and Cindy, a husband and wife team, live in a house adjacent to the property. Together, along with many volunteers, they care for the cats and kittens and provide medical services, food, shelter, and a place for these cats to call home. While many of the cats seemed happy and adjusted, I’m sure they would love to have a forever home. Some are permanent residents due to their physical needs and conditions. Ed and Cindy know all their cats by name, with the exception of eight of the feral cats.

A success story that’s hard to ignore

Winner, miracle cat, won my heart.

Meet Winner. He pulled at my heartstrings. A woman phoned into the sanctuary one day to report about an abused, tortured cat. Someone had poured gasoline on him. When he arrived, his ear was hanging off and bloodied, and they thought he might lose his eye. He also had bloody cuts on his back. He was in such bad shape, the sanctuary could not yet release a photo of him on their website.

I met him three weeks after the sanctuary rescued him from his ordeal. I seriously bonded with him in a matter of minutes, petting his chin, followed by his purr and a throaty, cracking meow.  He was still recovering then, with a bloody ear and scabs on his back. With a lot of TLC and medical assistance, Winner pulled through. His progress was nothing short of a miracle. I find it amazing that Winner still trusts humans at all.

I considered adopting him, although I’m not sure how he would fare living with my two young boys. He seemed a little jittery around them. But, indeed, he is a Winner.

Kitties of all kinds

Ed likes to joke that they have all kinds, both the pretty and the ugly. Yes, some have nicked ears or are missing eyes or tails. Most cats here are older, but sometimes there are kittens.

Bosco, the elder, is 97 in human years.

The oldest cat living on the property is Bosco. He is over twenty years old, although they are not entirely certain. He eats just wet food now since he has no teeth.

Ginger narrowly escaped death.

Meet Ginger who was gloriously saved. She had only 15 minutes to live before she would have been put to death. The sanctuary came to her rescue when she was nine months old. I learned that the cats at shelters around here only have about two days to land a home. They give cats with special circumstances more time. Ginger is almost two years old.

When you arrive at the sanctuary, cats greet you slowly and warmly. You pet one, and then a few more. Within a few minutes, they surround you, following you around on the grounds. I understand that when they feed them at dusk, all the sleepy ones wake up, and more than one hundred cats are at your feet. That would be something to behold. I may have to return for that. You leave feeling as though you have made a few friends.

Please visit their website at fatkittycity.org for more information.