Friday, September 8, 2017

A memory from the Humane Society

I ran my fingers through my mess of hair for the 100th time. It was a blazing hot Saturday that seemed to last forever. Sighing, I heaved a 50 pound bag of dog feed onto my shoulder. Helping out at the Humane Society was a great pass time, but when it was a 109 degrees outside, there were other activities, such as, being indoors, that would be more enjoyable.
“Anna can you fill up the water bowls in the cat kennels please?” Emerson said from the top of the ladder she was balancing on.
“Emerson you really shouldn’t be up there,” I said remembering the time she clumsily face planted while walking down the stairs.
“It’s fine I’ll be careful,” Emerson said reaching up to the gutter to remove another bundle of pine needles. Sighing because it would be impossible to get her down, I handed off my weight to another volunteer and ran over to hold the shaking ladder.  After her bag was full of junk fished from the gutter, Emerson slowly came down the ladder focusing on each individual rung. Finally she leapt onto the dusty ground.
“Very good” I complimented her as I patted her slick, bald head.
“I was very careful this time” she said with a broad smile that seemed to reach from ear to ear. She was always so perky and smiley, and had been for as long as I’d known her. I can’t imagine a better person to grow up with other than Emerson. She’s so lively and beautiful that the second she walks into a room everyone there seems to smile. She just beamed happiness. When I moved into the house next to Emerson’s I was five. On the first day of kindergarten, her bright eyes immediately reached out to me. We’ve been glued to the hip since. Well, almost glued. Last winter she was diagnosed with leukemia, and I haven’t been able to spend much time with her. Volunteering here with her was one of my only chances to visit her outside of the cold, painful hospital. Ah stop stop I scolded myself. Don’t think those depressing thoughts.

“Anna let's go water the cats together,” Emerson bent down to grab the dog feed bag but I swept down and threw it over my left shoulder before she had the chance to. She smiled lightly at me and grabbed my right hand, pulling me into the sweet, air conditioned Humane Society building. From the front doors we take a left then a right, leading us into the cat kennels. Our day of volunteering was drawing to an end, and I couldn’t help but tear up.

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