23 Jun “I have a small herd of Autistic cats that roam around the place and can experience being a family”, the homeless guy says.
“Yeah”, I reply as I inspect my left boot, “that´s nice… so how about a little more shoeshine?”
The homeless man pauses; he thinks I´m homeless–this is great!
He dabs the washcloth and wipes the side of the leather moccasin.
“And”, he says as he scuffs the top of the shoe, “you know, I just think that it matters that they have a space where they feel safe. It is secure–so the kittens can´t go out and neighbor cats can´t come in. And, you know, it takes a lot of work–at times, I´m behind on my responsibilities. I don´t ask anything of them. Occasionally, Shelley, that´s the mom cat, will bring home a bird. I think it´s awkward–I´m not really sure what to do. She will hiss and hit her kittens–try to keep it all for herself. And, you know, I´m like–so are you going to share? What are you thinking? What am I supposed to do? And, I mean–obviously–I don´t want the bird for me, but still, like, she never offers–I mean consideration, please! And, like, I end up having to clean up the mess–and so what´s that about? And, like sometimes, I try to resuce the bird and release it from the house–it´s sad. So like that doesn´t always work–normally, there´s nothing I can do. And, so you just wonder like what´s the point? But, I have a blog and I write about it–the observations on a micro level and how to transmute the behavior into something palatable for general entertainment, and also to show new ideas. You know, I tell people that the cat writes the blog–it´s not ENTIRELY inaccurate. But, come on–that would be absurd. No opposable thumbs.
The homeless man pauses.
Continuing, “so like, I like the cat–it started with one Autistic cat–they multiply. It´s like when you are printing off a flyer from the digitalcomputer–at first, with the new toner, the quality is immaculant–but in time, you notice that not everything shows up, and there´s missing spots where the toner didn´t plot correctly. So like you pause or turn off the the printer and you replace the toner cartridge–things go back to how they were when you first started printing for the first time. So what I´m saying is that maybe it´s time to change the cartridge with the Autistic cats–it started off well but now it´s copies of copies, and the toner is low. But also, there´s not a lot of resources to get new toner–so maybe the smart move is to conserve what you have and consider if it needs to be printed. I mean the paper isn´t free EITHER–so like do you really need to keep making copies–
Like do we need to keep printing Autistic cats?
That´s not a moral or ethic quandry, it´s about a place of resources and scarcity–and duplication. Perhaps, there is a way that we can stop handing out flyers, for example, to everyone, and instead put them in a place where people will see. Like a little poster on a light pole at the street corner near a bus stop–like maybe there´s a way to have the same impact but in a more mature and responsible way.
Do we need to keep making Autistic cats–or should we just tell people about them and what is going on? Perhaps, it will have the same impact–what resources do we have? What do we want to do? Decisions.
The homeless man pauses; he daps a little more shoeshine on the washcloth.
“So”, he continues, “as I was saying… I have an Autistic cat–now I have Autisitc cats–now I have a small herd of, I suspect, Autistic cats. So like I was saying–that´s what I do. I observe and comment publically in a way–that I hope–will help others. Not just people raising Autistic cats--but, in general.”
The homeless man takes a breath; spits on the top of the shoe; shines a little more.
“That looks good”, he says as he sets the washcloth down.
I look down; that´s fantastic!
“Ok”, I say as I set my foot on the ground and pick my other foot up; I set in on the shoeshine platform, “now the other one.”
The homeless man pauses; he picks up the washcloth; he daps the shoeshine; he starts wiping the top.
“And”, he says as he wipes the side of my shoe, “my cat´s name is Shelley. She´s Austic, I think. It´s a lot of work. I don´t think she makes good life choices.”
The homeless man pauses; he turns his head to the small bakery on the other side of the street; he pauses, again; he turns back to my shoe; he daps a little more shoeshine on the washcloth; he wipes the other side of my shoe.
“But”, he says as he sighs, “we´ll talk about that another time.”