The Strays 

Natasha loved taking long walks down the street. She had walked that street ever since a young girl and not much had changed. Her life too stayed much the same revolving around the neighborhood she lived in never really venturing out too far. 

Her world like everybody else’s was hit by the pandemic. When restrictions were slightly eased, she got back to walking. Her life felt a little sane that she could go out and find some release during her hectic day. She noticed a tall, middle-aged woman come religiously on one stretch of the pavement to feed stray cats. Natasha was touched by what she saw and walked on. She was moved by the lady’s kindness that despite terrifying times she still cared so much for the strays.

Natasha never really came out of isolation after the pandemic. She found solace in her own company and regularly took walks. One day she noticed one of the stray cats looking intently down the road. She was waiting for the kind lady with the food. The cat wore a sad and deep expression and longingly waited for her to arrive.

Natasha was always very private and walked on but wondered if something went wrong with the kind lady. Why hadn’t she come yet? All sorts of questions filled her mind. On her way back she noticed the cat still sitting there and it was now getting dark. Natasha went home that day thinking the lady must have been busy that evening because she had never missed a day to come feed her cats.

The next day after clearing up some of her work Natasha head out as usual for her daily walk, she noticed the cats playing and both the cats and she were hopeful that the lady would return. Natasha walked for longer that day and waited much after twilight. Her heart went out for that one stray with emerald green eyes sitting, waiting patiently for her friend. She never came.

Natasha had no way of knowing what happened to the kind lady for whom the cats were everything. She had been there for them through the pandemic into normal times. She must have found a sense of purpose or plainly be having a kind heart that she found it necessary to feed them.

Natasha was troubled she did not want to take the kind lady’s place. That was an act of kindness something, Natasha felt dear to that person she never really knew. She felt it would be a kind of betrayal. But Natasha’s heart went out to that one stray cat that did not only wait for food but her friend and looked so worried when she did not arrive.

So, the next day Natasha bought some cat food to take to feed the cats. They looked at her reluctantly at first and then nibbled at the food. The stray with the emerald green eyes ate a little but then again took position at her spot and waited. Natasha too waited with the cat for the kind lady to return but she never did. The cats scurried away later.

Natasha made it a point to go out every day after that and continue the kindness the lady offered the cats. The cats began to love her. She never forgot the first day she had seen the kind lady looking lonely, feeding the stray cats and often wondered what happened to her.

They were Natasha and her, two lonesome souls walking along life’s path whose lives intertwined and were bound with a few hungry, stray cats.

The Strays

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