As I pulled up next to the old Kingman, Kansas train station, the one on the edge of town, not downtown, all these cats came running out to greet me. Not just a few, but around 12 at quick count.
The place looked abandoned, but I tried to figure out if I was intruding on someones private space. As I looked around, Canon AE-1 Program in hand to shoot a few pics of my truck in front of the station, it was pretty clear I was alone out there. Well, except for the cats and my cameras.
I was snapping a few when a white, Dodge Voyager minivan pulled up beside the boxcar. Well, to be clear, it was a white minivan made under one of the Chrysler brands. I THINK it was the Dodge Voyager. I waved at the driver as he pulled up, hoping to make it clear I’m not some burglar and please, don’t shoot me.
Out stepped Archie, one of the nicest people you’ll meet along your path. I introduced myself and he explained to me that he feeds the cats, as he pulled some cat food and a pitcher from the van.
“I don’t live on much,” he said, “as I’m on Social Security, but I’m here twice a day to feed my cats.”
They have names. He knows them. He cares about them. He cares for them.
It was nice to see him talk to them and see them come running up to eat. Only a couple of them allow him to hold them, and they weren’t around at the time. The rest were cute, but kept their distance.
We talked about various things in the cool morning air from cameras to junk collecting and an old hand-operated washing machine he gave his wife as a joke. But mainly we talked about the cats.
It’s nice that someone is taking care of them. Some people might disagree. They might say “they are just feral cats, so who would miss a few if they weren’t cared for, right?”
Archie would. It’s his money and his time.
And I would. They made me smile to start my day. And because of them I got to meet Archie.
It’s all connected and it all matters.