In Oregon where I live, we get a lot of it. Natives say that’s why we have the beautiful, lush forests to enjoy and acres of wetlands teeming with plant life to explore.
On one particular weekend recently, the rain came down in torrents. Puddles filled everywhere. Our backyard couldn’t be traversed. The grass acted as a sponge to hold the water on the surface of the soil. I puttered indoors all morning, not anxious to venture out in the downpour more than I absolutely had to. I cleaned, vacuumed, and read.
In the afternoon, though, my family bundled up to attend the annual Christmas parade. We go every year. This year would be no different. The parade’s theme reflected the area we lived in, every float a replica of a riverboat. As we stood under our umbrellas, watching the plastic wrapped floats pass by, I thought only here would people stand in the rain to watch a procession of boats. When Noah’s ark appeared toward the end, I had to chuckle. Perhaps there was a modicum of warning in the historical boat’s appearance.
Returning home I was glad for a garage to pull into. The car, though, dripped from its exposure, the moisture making the floor wet. With so much water in the air outside, the garage didn’t dry. One could feel the dampness hovering over everything. I made the mistake of opening a side door to the house, one that led to a small garden area. My kitten popped through the door, soaking wet and paws covered with enough dirt to cover his already black fur.
I uttered a cry. Startled, the animal hurried away from me, each paw leaving its imprint on my newly polished hardwood floors. I gave chase—a mistake—and the kitten ran faster. He didn’t disappear until he’d spanned the full length of the hall and found safety under our bed.
I grabbed the mop and shook it at him as though he’d understand what he had done. He waited under the bed, green eyes peering out at me as I cleaned up the mess. When I’d done all I could, I put the mop away and stretched my back. The kitten, though, continued to eye me suspiciously from his hideaway. I could hear him purr. The cat would take his time forgiving me, his trust in someone who always cared for him shattered. As soon as he grew hungry, though, I knew he’d be back. And with the rain would come another trail of paw prints.