I worked from home today before V. picked me up in her car for a trip down to the animal shelter–she’s getting a cat! I knew I’d want a way home by myself so she could head straight home to play with the new kitten, so I tossed Brompty in the back of her car for the ride downtown. The place was crowded with folks looking to adopt a dog or cat during the fee-free period, and we were there for a couple of hours before I had to take Brompty out of the car, unfold her, and hop on to head home. But first, a quick zip up the Gwynns Falls Trail. I didn’t make it far before taking a seat on a bench to talk to my sister on the phone. I heard a rustling behind me and looked back to see if there was a rat I need to avoid, but it was just a friendly tabby cat, come out to say hi. He tried to rub all up against me, but I wasn’t really up for it, not wanting to bring home any diseases to my two sweet kitties at home. I got up to walk away, but he just followed Brompty and me, la dee dah. And then another cat came out from the trees, and another and another and another. There was the little gray kitten, the tabbies, the tuxedo, the black cat, the orange cat, the light light orange cat–so many cats! I stopped and waited as they gathered around like I was some kind of pied piper of cats–where are we all going!–and then when the thirteenth emerged, I got just creeped out enough to get off the phone and get on my bike to get away. I’m most definitely a cat person, and when I look at this picture, I see all things wondrous and beautiful on the planet, but in the moment it was creepy. By the time I got back to this spot most of the kitties had deserted, though I’m not sure where to, because for some reason the trees and growth on the right side of the trail in this picture had been cut down and greatly thinned, taking away the habitat of these cats–though some might argue that’s a good thing. I wondered, though, where the people who lived there had gone. People had set up nice homes for themselves back in those trees, but they were no more. Some might argue that’s a good thing, but I’m not so sure, about either.