Jenifer Beaudean

Seeker of Simplicity and Executive Coach

Furry Grey Cat

Southeast Lighthouse on Block Island

And… we’re back.

After a four-week hiatus, there’s lots to talk about and stories to tell. Because… who doesn’t go to Block Island in the frigid temps, with the wind whipping off the ocean and where the only thing open in town is the grocery store?

But let’s back up…

MyUPSGuy had worked an insane number of holiday hours in December for the company in brown, and was ready for a serious break by New Year’s.

Block Island, just off the cost of Rhode Island

So off we went to Point Judith, where the ferry departs for Block Island, an island of roughly 10 square miles, located 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island. During the summer months, Block Island is known for its many outdoor activities and as a lovely, idyllic getaway. You can rent bicycles or mopeds, walk along the beach, and take advantage of the town’s shops and restaurants. It’s a lovely place and MyUPSGuy and I were married there, on the porch of a big house overlooking the ocean, in 2014. So it was nice to return once again. We particularly love the “off season,” when things are quiet and somewhat deserted… and my guy and I essentially spent 48 hours reading magazines, watching TV, snacking, drinking a little wine, and chatting about our hopes for 2018 (which may include an Airstream trailer – stay tuned). Overall? Lovely.

We walked up the hill from the ferry and were nicely settled in a cozy Inn on the island. New Year’s Eve was brutally cold, so after dinner we retired to the TV in our room to watch the ball drop. We toasted 2018, and I promptly conked out.

And then… around 2 a.m.

There it was.

A little meow.

Then, there it was again.

“Meow.”

I jumped out of bed.

“What are you doing?” I whispered through the door that led outside.

“Meow,” came the reply.

The temperature was zero degrees outside, the wind was whipping, and I felt that no domestic creature could survive the night. I opened the door and a grey cat trotted into the room, and hopped up on the bed. This was clearly someone’s housecat – fluffy, well-kept and just a little fat.

“What’s up?” murmured my husband.

“Uh… Nothing,” I fibbed, and “Furry Grey Cat” settled in on the end of the bed.

A few hours later, the sun was rising, Furry Grey Cat was yawning and stretching, and it was time for breakfast. We opened the door and our friend knew what to do. The cat went out into the cold sunshine, and we moved on to omelets and coffee. We learned later that Furry Grey Cat bunked the following night with another couple at the Inn. So it appears that I was not alone in thinking the cat needed shelter.

We returned home but Furry Grey Cat stayed on my mind and has been on my mind since that New Year’s Eve on Block Island. Something about it…

As I wrote this column for the blog this week, I shared it with my friend Alison. At the time I sent it to her, this column… the one you are currently reading… had a different ending… something about rules and whether they should be broken, blah, blah, blah, because I let the cat sleep on our bed at a strictly pet-free B&B. I thought I had my content nailed for the week.

And then the phone rang.

It was Alison.

“I don’t get the ending,” she said, giving me honest feedback, “I don’t understand why this story is important. What’s this really about, with the cat?”

And then it dawned on me.

The story is really about Finn. Our cat. Our beloved, rescued, black Halloween cat who we have been worried about ever since we moved in to the “little house.” Finn occasionally tries to make a dash for the great outdoors. At our former residence, the condominium, he’d slipped out before. He’d made it home unharmed.

But as I’ve shared before, the little house and our new location are more remote. Finn would have hardly a prayer. With the coyotes and creatures about, he’d be easy pickins’ for a predator.

Finnegin O’Doole, or “Finn” the cat, taken at the little house, fall 2017

And that’s what the story is about.

I gave shelter to Furry Grey Cat, because I think deep down, I hope and pray that on similar night someone would be good enough to take in our Finn. Warm and cared for, and just a little fat, he brings joy to us just as I’m sure Furry Grey Cat does to someone else. And more than that, in these times of tumult and as fellow creatures on this earth, there seems to be a need more than ever to be there for each other… provide each other help and kindness.

On that note…

Finn would like to add his paw print and “Meow.”

2 Replies to “Furry Grey Cat”

  1. Heart-warming story. I happen to really, really, really want a cat, a grey cat, in particular, and always have. Because of multiple allergies in our home, the only cat we have is a feral cat we feed who won’t let us come near him and doesn’t want anything to do with the lovely (and expensive) cat house we bought. Wish I could journey to Block Island and rescue your little grey cat, if he is indeed homeless but friendly out of necessity. Darn allergies! I would be a cat lady otherwise. I hope Finnegin O’Doole knows how lucky he is!

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