So, we have been living apart from Olive for a while.
Late in May, before moving from Brooklyn, Jake and I biked the three-legged cat and all of her paraphernalia a few neighborhoods west, from Crown Heights to Roy’s apartment Downtown. She was to be Uncle Roy’s ward for the summer, and the two sad girls proceeded to watch pigeons from the window and eat things that should not be eaten (garbage, shoelaces, etc.).
At the beginning of August, Roy moved into Dan, Ryan and David’s Harlem apartment and Olive came along (stopping at a bar along the way). However, there was another girl in town, the long-toothed Dalia, and she was not-so-pleased to have O-dawg as a roommate.
In any case, as summer waned, I planned my trip to New York to fetch the three-legged/four-toothed beast. And so, this past Sunday afternoon, “Mommy” and “Mommy’s Friend, Steve” took the subway up to Harlem to have Olive bid farewell to her Two Dads.
(Let’s not forget this earlier image of Olive’s Two Dads– from October, 2012. I wonder sometimes if she is confused regarding the numerous male role models in her life.)
Olive was cautiously optimistic about this move and struggled only mildly as we stuffed her into her fashionable carrying case. Though loving of her gentleman roommates, she had been worried about her feline co-habitant’s superior strength/limbs/tooth count.
And so Steve and I rode the subway and walked the blocks and locked Olive in the car, parked in Crown Heights, cracked the windows.
We made coffee and goodbyed and kissed our beloved ones and then literally drove off into the sunset; my much-anticipated cat roadtrip had begun.
Steve accompanied Olive and I as far as Easton, and for this first leg of the drive he served as navigator, photographer, bartender (WATERCOFFEEWATERCOFFEEwhyisthejarsticky?), and cat wrangler. He was more suited to some of these duties than others, but his care for Little Steve, as she has been called, was without parallel. And we laughed and laughed.
Within blocks of first departing from Sarah’s, Olive fell into a crevice formed by our pile of backpacks, trapped. However, for most of the drive she was Doing It Right and rested comfortably and with intrigue on the middle console between the front seats.
Olive and I bid farewell to Steve in eastern Pennsylvania and continued on our journey late into the night, stretching across that familiar part of America, the night black but the ridges blacker, gas stations highway oases, great swaths of glowing red, the occasional set of taillights. The windows were open and we were on our way home.
Just after 1:00 am I pulled silver-car into Rothrock‘s back lot– we are living here, again– and Olive went wild after so many hours of peace, throwing herself against the windows, struggling to be freed. I guess she likes Huntingdon too.
In the back bedroom Jake was sleeping. He heard Olive come thumping down the hallway, groaned.
Summer was over.
It would be impossible to have finagled Olive’s Summer Vacation without the help of so many– thank you, sincerely: for housing her, for feeding her, for wrapping your couches in plastic wrap, for taking her to the vet when she stopped pooping and starting puking, for washing the pee off of her when she hid under the bathtub, for adding a broken cat and a tall man to an already-full household, for carrying her litterbox an hour south on the subway, for letting her bite you while navigating through city traffic, for entertaining my persistent need to “check on her”, for laughing as I said, with big eyes and great sincerity ISN’T SHE AMAZING, for talking to us on the drive home, on the roads and into the night that is great and swallows everything.
Without you all, I would be adrift.