This is my ancient cat, Albert. He is a scaredy cat (of people) so he lives in the backyard and greets me at the door every morning. Truthfully, he just wants his stinky salmon breakfast.. His age is getting to him and he has changed. I know this because he won’t eat unless I give him a few pats to wash the salmon down with.
When I was assured that Albert’s physique is winter bound, I took off into the doleful morning and ran on damp pavement. I enjoyed the few maple leaves lingering on branches and in ditches. The futile street lamps shone like a twinkle lights in a Christmas window. It would be a short run but aren’t they all shorter than I want?
I watched and listened to cars passing by on the road ahead, perpendicular to the one I was following. It’s the road that shepherds me to the final turn for home. Each set of tires made the destinctive sound of rubber breaking away from water…
…until they get to the stop sign at the turn. I can’t see the sign but I hear the silence then they pull away again.
A Jeep comes into my view. I can tell that it’s speed is much faster than the other cars. The switzelswitzelswirzel turns into a screech when the break lights come on. Screech. Screeeech. It’s out of my view but I hear once more SCREEEECH. Then…
Either the Jeep stopped in time for the stop sign or there wasn’t anything in the intersection for the Jeep to crash into but it had to have been close judging by intensity of the screech of the tires struggling to hold onto the pavement.
I come to realize that the stop sign, my home turn, is only about a minute from where I’m currently running. Had I been one minute earlier… Had Albert not begged me for some petting… I might have been crossing in front of that speeding Jeep when it struggled to stop at the intersection.
Tomorrow, I think I’ll spend two minutes thanking Albert.