They arrived in April of 2020, three teacup-sized matching orange kittens, like mimeographed tabbies – pink noses and green eyes, scared and tiny, we fed them twice a day on Tupperware plates way, way out to the end of the property. They were hiding between the two lava rock walls built right next to each other between us and our neighbor. Every couple of weeks, we would move the food and water a little closer to the lanai door. At about six months, with the help of a Catsnip, a local pet charity, we took them in to be microchipped and vaccinated, turns out they were all boys. They are a lion’s pride now, teenagers with a knack for capturing lizards. This twisted now, where outrage addicted commentators contort reality whenever briefly trying to understand their fact challenged brethren. I cancel the television more often these days, I coddle the kittens. They are mock ferocious, feral adjacent, they frolic at my feet. Watching them play, I capsize, saying yes again to the danger of future sorrow by opening my soul to them now. They live in our backyard and sometimes in my office – they’re photobombing my Zoom Room, and all the attendees love it. Offices in stalwart buildings would never allow that.
The Gingers play in a Quarantine Quarry, jumping from rock precipices, allowing themselves to be momentarily captured for snuggles. Something carried in my arms can boost my mood so easily, but I do miss my traveling gal pals. I commemorate our travels together with digital slide shows and we are riveted by reminiscences of numerous wine tours and tastings. I mostly chardonnay these summer days, and occasionally I cabernet, tasting the years like grapes in an oak barrel. The photo has us raising our glasses, a moment frozen in time in a crowded little restaurant in Budapest. The eight of us – I can almost taste that Hungarian stew – dark cherry memories, awash in comradery. A celebration now captured in the lenses of our ever present camera phones. My girls are here and there, all over the world, they too are missing our travels together. We Zoom toast each other from sunny porches to well-lit home offices. What I count down now are the days without flights in a Quarantine Quarry where the newly domesticated kittens chase pebbles and make new memories.