Under the heavy curtain of the sky, two girls joyfully bound unto the empty park. The bright green of chlorophyll dominates the scene, and is draped by gray veils of rain. As they play wetly amid bright plastic and iron rails, we remain dry under a shelter’s roof and watch the lightning play over their heads.
A Cadillac pulls into the parking lot and waits for several long moments. The door opens and an umbrella appears, escorting a woman of advanced years towards us until she is also safely dry under the shelter. She carries a heavy plastic bag. She murmurs to us. My hand points to my ear and I shake my head: the universal gesture for deafness. Ahh, she nods. She understands. This town is accommodating.
She sets to work efficiently. First, a tin of water at the head of the shelter, just out of the rain. Six paper plates heaped high with dry cat food are distributed equidistantly around the shelter’s perimeter. Lumps of canned cat food are then deposited onto these piles. She coos, beckons.
From the rain-jeweled jade of summer foliage emerge, with wary tread, her wards. Parchment yellow eyes in midnight black. A calico dream. The overly cautious cream puff with a pinched face. They emerge from beneath dripping leaves to wait in the rain, the heavy droplets effortlessly leaping off their coats. Finally they dare, and come out of the rain. They feast with darting glances and nervous twitches.
I smile at them, then at her as she, umbrella abob, leaves the way she came.