In the parching heat of mid-day, CoDee drifted off to sleep. He woke with a start. At the gates to his yard, something was happening. There was a clatter, then a sound he could not quite understand. It sounded as if something was in pain.
CoDee got angry when people used his yard to dump creatures that had died. It hurt his heart to deal with the poor things. CoDee got up to investigate. In the middle of a pile of rubbish, which someone dumped at the entrance to the yard, was something with orange and black spotted fur. A dog?
Walking to the edge of the heap of trash, he lifted the scraps of metal and plastic away from the form carefully. He uncovered it and found a very large cat. It was so pretty. CoDee reached out a hand to stroke the fur with his fingers.
CoDee crooned to the body lying there in the dirt. A long tail flipped up to curl once around his wrist. CoDee thought he heard something.
The young man reached down and eased the animal into his arms. Trying to be careful, CoDee picked the cat up. He had never heard a cat talk before, but if it were asking for help, CoDee would give it.
He thought it was making small sounds but was not sure how he heard the animal. Not that he cared. He wished to help the poor thing.
“Sorry. Take home.”
The tail again curled around his wrist. CoDee had to duck to enter his cave. He was taller now than when he first dug it out of the bank at the back edge of the yard. CoDee was careful not to bump into anything as he walked to his bed. He placed the creature on the nest of bedding that lay on the floor.
CoDee poured water into an old cracked cup he had found, then walked over to the pallet. “How drink, cat?”
CoDee was not sure how to give the water to the creature. A picture of a tube to suck the water up flashed into his head. CoDee knew he must have something that would work.
He rummaged around in one of his bins, the one where he kept odd bits. There he found a small piece of tubing. Putting the tube in the water, he held the cup close to the cat’s mouth so it could drink.
Evening was coming to the desert. With evening, the cold would also come. CoDee pulled the covers over the cat, then tucked them around the thin body.
“I go. Back later, maybe have food.”
It was as if he felt the nod rather than saw it. CoDee knew the creature understood. He put the covering over the entrance to the cave, hanging it on the pegs he had driven into the wall before leaving.