packages and critters
You’d think walking a couple of blocks to the post office to collect a package would be a simple and carefree task. It was not. I set off this morning first thing and was walking along cataloging all the things I needed to get done today, tomorrow, this week. I have quite a checklist in the hopper and not nearly enough hours available to complete them. I was about a block and a half from home when a skittering movement behind me caused me to turn my head and take a look — yo, the little black outside cat was following along behind me!
I couldn’t get her to go back on her own, she was intent on following me. The only thing for it was to go back myself. She followed me along happily then. So back I went and up to the apartment to get her some food. She wasn’t hungry — I’d already put out breakfast for her and the 6 other neighbourhood kitties (some of them owned but cats can never turn down free food) that come and hang out when I do my gardening. What she wanted was attention and petting but the fresh kibbles provided enough of a distraction that I was able to set off again without a little black shadow.
The good thing about collecting packages on a Sunday morning is that the line is very short. The second good thing at the Rav Kook branch, no matter the day, is the grandmotherly post-mistress. There are two of them, actually, but in the three years I’ve been living here, when my turn came it has always been with the same woman. Always. She has a very stern outlook, in general. She sometimes looks tired, she always looks over-worked, her manner is curt and efficient and occasionally caustic but for some reason I seem to have a good effect on her. As usual, I bounced up to the counter in happy anticipation of getting my package and, as usual, she looked up like she’d been sucking on a persimmon with a “Yes?” and then, as I passed over my postal notice she saw me and seemed to get a bit of a sugar infusion. “How’s it going? (me: Baruch haShem). Your Ema has sent you something special? (Me: Yes, I think so! She sent it two months ago and it finally arrived). Well, it will be just a few more seconds, let me find it.” Then there was the package, more chit chat, she waived away my need to sign as she’d take care of it, and I was off.
I’d no sooner left the post office than just ahead was a screech of tires, people yelling and stopping to look. A white-faced driver was out assuring himself and anyone who would listen that “it just ran right out in front of me.” IT was a puppy aged about 7-8 months and he was badly injured, though still alive. He was bleeding out of the mouth and that was not a good sign.
The guy who’d hit the little animal was more than willing to take him to the vet and when we got there he emptied out his wallet, though the 70 sheks he had on him was a drop in the bucket. I had him take us the few blocks to Shelly rather than to Ronen because every second mattered. She took him into surgery immediately. I sat and paced for almost three hours, telling the folks that arrived for scheduled appointments that there was an emergency and they should reschedule, until the secondary surgeon she’d called in arrived. Then I went in with him. No one said anything when I did and I made myself small and as useful as I could, bringing gauze and new sterilized implement packs as needed.
There were ruptures to the liver, spleen and bile duct. Nine hours of surgery later, he is holding on. The vet has contacted the owners from the information on his tags but was only able to leave a message. In the meantime, I’ve paid 2,047 sheks for his surgery (minus the 70 sheks the guy who hit him left). I was really surprised to see my package on one of the waiting room chairs. I’d dropped it in the street when I went to check on and gather up the puppy. I’m home and haven’t opened it yet. I’m going to wait until tomorrow. My skirt and shirt are toast. There is no way to get the bloodstains out of them. If the owners don’t respond, I might have a dog. If he makes it the next 48 hours.