I am in my clinic. It's clean and bright and quiet. R is there, working on the copier. The copier wants to copy or scan but not both. It does not want to talk to our computers. R is fixing it. He says, "I don't like working with that cat and it doesn't like me."
I look and there is a cat poop near R. Only now it's S, my beau, not R. My beau is glaring at me about the cat, as if I control the pooping. He doesn't really approve of cats. He has a dog. Cats don't obey and they think their own thoughts.
I moved the cat box so that S, my beau, could work on the house. I realize that the cat has kittens, and is way in the back of the basement. She has 7 kittens, or 9. The cat box is upstairs and I think it's too far for the cat to go and get back to the kittens.
I quietly clean up the cat poop. I say, "I'll check on the cat."
I go to the basement. It is huge, dark, and full of stuff. I have to climb over a dusty table. The cat is way at the very back, in a room with a heavy door. A cold room. I can't think when I last checked on the kittens and they need to be patted and socialized to people as they grow. I've neglected them.
I get to the heavy door. I hear the mama cat give that twitter call, and there's a cat by me, all black like her. But it isn't her, it's black and male and nearly as big as her. It is one of the kittens. They are nearly full grown. They are running around the large basement in the dark. I think, oh my, how am I going to find homes for them all?
The mama cat comes. She calls, but they are unruly and wild, teen cats. She is thin and looks worn. They are eating her alive, I think. She needs help, mostly in the form of feeding them so that she is freed up.
There are lots of tools in the basement. There is an old dusty jigsaw, 4 feet high, on the floor by the heavy door to the last room. I touch it and it turns on. I turn the switch but it won't turn off. I look for a plug, but there isn't one. I see a choke. I pull on it gently and a dipstick comes out. There is adequate oil. I put the dipstick back in and push on another knob that is choke-shaped. It is not a choke. I don't know what I'm doing so I leave it and go for help.
As I am clambering over the dusty table and eyeing all of the machinery and objects in the basement, I think, "It's amazing that my sister and I survived our childhood. It's because I was afraid and careful. We were around so much dangerous stuff, no one watching." We'd had free run of basements and anyplace, really.
I return with my father. R did not know about the basement and S had said that he disliked basements. Basements and sewers. My father was matter of fact, not afraid and clambered over the table. He said, "I am surprised that old saw is working, it hasn't been used for years." I watch as he turns it off, so that I'll know how. "It is sawing with silk," he says, bending over. "You have to use the selvage edge or else it frays. That's the strongest part."
I think, one could hem it. But I also think, that's how women deal with silk. And I don't have time to hem. So I can see the practicality of using the selvage edge.
My father is gathering something up and shows me. "See? Look at the beautiful fragments." Tiny slivers of silk, yes, beautiful.
I wake with a question. It is a saw of silk and it's sawing silk? I'm glad my father helped me, but I still need to help the mama cat.