Dave's a big guy, looks like a biker but wears a Superman hat. He provides security at Tim's shop on Free Comic Book Day. Wednesday I told him about my experience in The Screaming Tunnel of Thorold, Ontario. People find Dave intimidating, but he said plainly he wouldn't even consider entering the tunnel.
You never know with people. Or animals.
We adopted the stray a little over a week ago. My wife named her Artemis. She's made real progress: now willing to be picked up, briefly, and aware of what a litter box is. But she sleeps a good deal, even by feline standards. The tests revealed a possible explanation: our new cat has feline leukemia. I received the message by phone.
I had cycled up to campus late morning, in search of a rare book that I could only find listed in the education library and at a Roman Catholic-affiliated college. The public library systems didn't have it, and, like all out-of-print specialty books, the Amazon and Ebay copies are overpriced. Even in the age of the World Wide Web, not everything is available digitally, or in the detail one might want. The handful of sites that addressed this case gave cursory information followed by something along the lines of see this book from 1977. Going to these libraries seemed my only option. Why I went to the Faculty of Ed I don't know; the RC college library is closer.
The Ed Library is a concrete creation heavily influenced by the School of George Jetson. The book proved not to be on the shelf, nor on any shelf nearby. I returned to the front desk. The librarian, a women with an eastern European accent, asked me to hold the desk while she went and looked. Evidently, they don't get much business in summer. My wife phoned with the news about the cat's tests at that point, but the call kept breaking up thanks, I expect, to the library's bomb-shelter construction. I got the gist and said I'd phone back when I was off-shift.
The librarian returned. She couldn't find the book either. Records indicate it has never been circulated. Our eyes clearly reveal it is not in the stacks. She apologized and designated it "Missing" on the computer. I guess I'll check out the Catholics next week.
I walked out of the building and into a miniature carnival. People handed me free candy. Some Asian girls in summer clothes chased each other around the lawn with squirt guns. An Arabic-looking guy was sitting in a dunk tank. Some kind of summer language program, as it turned out, was celebrating the end of the course.
I ate some jelly beans and biked across campus and then along the river. By a Tolkienesque weeping willow I rested and phoned home. We talked for a bit about our tiny friend. She could live awhile. There's even something called a transient infection, but we don't want to get our hopes up.
I texted Singularity Girl, who had stopped by and met the cat Thursday, saying that I had sad cat news and asked when I could call. She phoned back right away. Inadvertently, I had typed sad car news. "I thought your car broke down," she said, "and you needed someone to pick you up. I'm so sorry about Artemis."
Nature, like an overly-ambitious writer, provided an overwrought metaphor. After the call ended, a butterfly landed on my arm. I tried to take a picture but it flew away.