In a posting last June, I described my relationship to a cat who, when we first met, gifted me with her name. She was Dulcy, the sweet one. After her death, she purred the story of our life together in a book channeled through me.
A later December posting detailed how I came to have 670 trade paperback copies of that book—A Cat’s Life: Dulcy’s Story. At that time, readers could purchase it through PayPal. Now Amazon sells it, as well as the e-book edition. All this gladdens me.
Why recall this to you today? Because next Tuesday, a second book Dulcy created will become available. It is entitled Twelve Habits of Highly Successful Cats and Their Humans by Dulcy and Dee Ready. In my next posting, I'll explain how this companion book came to be. Today, I’d like to share with you the story of how I realized that I needed Dulcy in my life.
I’ve already related the story of my return to Dayton in 1971 upon the completion of grad school. I could find no work because of having an FBI file. However, a warehouse manager hired me. Unfortunately, the warehouse sat outside the city limits, and without a car, I had no way to get there. Luckily for me, a fellow employee offered to pick me up at the home of a mutual friend. I’d ride my bike there each weekday morning and hitch a ride.
One November afternoon, I pedaled happily away from the friend's house, turned left, and traveled a few blocks down a neighborhood street. All was as usual until I heard a car approaching behind me. Slowly, ever so slowly and deliberately, the car edged me closer and closer to the curbing. I kept pedaling, staring ahead, not wanting to look to the left side for fear of eye contact.
Long moments passed. Pedaling became difficult in the narrow passage between the side of the car and the curb. Unexpectedly, a hand reached out the car window to grab and twist my wrist. It shoved me sideways so that the bike and I tumbled to the ground. My body fell awkwardly, my feet still held captive by the pedal guard.
As the car sped away, I could see the heads of two men.
I lay shaking on the grassy verge for a few moments, fearful that they’d come back. Glancing at my aching wrist, I realized that the intrusive hand had twisted off my watch. I’d treasured it for seventeen years because my aunt had given it to me when I graduated from high school. It was now gone, but were the two men?
Clumsily, I mounted the bike and pedaled furiously toward home. On the way, I sang “I Whistle a Happy Tune” as loudly as I could.
Then, as I’d feared, the car drew alongside me again. The two young men inside greeted me cheerily.
Ignoring them, I concentrated on pedaling. Finally, perhaps annoyed with my off-key singing, they sped away. I was relieved because I'd feared they’d follow me to where I lived.
A few days later, the warehouse manager fired me and I got a job teaching at a dropout center. Then in March 1972, a friend, worried because I had no one to go home to for comfort, encouraged me to pick out a kitten from the litter in her upstairs closet. Thus, Dulcy came into my life.
For the next seventeen and a half years, she became my ally. Not only was she the sweet one. She was solicitous about my welfare, always greeting me with a purr and a rub of my ankles. She became, I say this with deep gratitude, my companion.