This is what counts as Big News in World 'O Me as my long lovely summer in San Pedro winds to an end. Thursday I was walking down Peck Ave. for about the hundredth time, this hilly street I've grown to adore, and I came upon two men putting in landscaping at the brown house where the white cat lives. This little kitty with the yellow eyes has been one of the delights of my walks -- along with the Grizzled Man, whom I'll write about later, if I see her it's an anecdote, something to tell Ted. She never lets me touch her and I'd sort of named her Pearlie.
So she wasn't there when I got to the house, which is tucked snugly into the hillside facing the harbor and always looks beautiful to me -- California arts and crafts style, with an attractive wood and cast iron fence allowing just a few peeks into the terraced yard extending down from Peck. I always wonder who lives there and if they ever see me flirt with Pearlie.
Two men, robust senior citizens, were putting in big clumps of wheaty-looking grasses, and I stopped to say how good it looked. "Native grasses?" I asked -- something one always hopes for around here, where a deep drought makes fussy annuals like pansies seem silly and ill-advised. They said they didn't really know if they were native but they liked them.
Is the little white cat too scared to come out while you're working?
Oh, you mean Michael's cat?
Yeah, I don't know him -- I just walk by all the time.
That'd be Michael's cat Snowball.
Not Snowball, the other one said, Snowflake.
Oh yeah, Snowflake. That's it. Michael's cat Snowflake.
Sigh. I love knowing she's a Snowflake, here where it never, ever snows.
The next day, Friday, she was out, stretched out elegantly on the sidewalk in the late afternoon sun when I walked by.
Snowflake, I whispered, respectfully. She got up and daintily circled me, sniffing. She still wouldn't let me touch her, but this time she didn't run away.
The soft or shrill voice within us
7 years ago