Which Came First, the Schnitzel or the Cat?
The Darkest Hour
Between 2:00 AM and 2:45 AM this morning, I took my reluctant seven year-0ld dog down for her walk, before retiring for the night. On any ordinary night, I might see an occasional boyfriend heading to his car to go home, a taxi dropping off a young woman returning home after a party or date, cats in various locations on top of dumpsters, under parked vehicles or curled up in the bushes. However, this morning was the coldest in many years and NOTHING was stirring. A serious snowstorm failed to arrive; instead we had strong winds, freezing temperatures and freezing rain.
The SchnitzelWith the flu that has plagued me for over a week now, I have trouble eating anything. I must eat to take medication and then it haunts me all night with demons such as acid indigestion, burping and a sulfur taste with the threat of vomiting just a hair’s breath away. Apparently and ironically enough, what my system does manage to tolerate and keep down is schnitzel (breaded chicken cutlet) that I buy at the local butcher shop. I bake it in the oven so there is no added oil and then just pour some lemon juice over it with no other condiments. While serving the oven baked schnitzel into my dish, a smaller piece fell unnoticed into the sink. When I went to wash my dishes, I saw the piece, rinsed it off and while bending to put it in my dog’s bowl, made a sudden decision to put it in a container and take it down with the uneaten green beans, for the street cats.
Where the Cats Live
I learned from years of living here that if I want the street cats to get the food, the only place to set it out for them is near the trees and bushes in the parking lot, otherwise very mean spirited and primitive neighbors will throw away the food. This means that, setting out with the container of food in a bag, a stick for balance and my dog in tow, practically being dragged every step, I turned left towards the parking lot instead of walking straight into the labyrinth that connects the entrances to my building.
Flashing Red Lights
No sooner did I turn and begin to tentatively negotiate the steps while balancing against the protrusions of the stone facade of the outer wall, did I see flashing red lights and then a Magen David Adom ambulance.
A second later, it moved forward and a second ambulance appeared. The paramedic asked me where 243 Hanofech Street was. I approached him and explained how to best access the building with a vehicle. They thanked me and went to answer the emergency call for assistance.
Not One But Two?
Although the neighborhood is regularly patrolled by police, when I first saw one ambulance, I thought it might be a routine sweep, just in case people fell or got stuck in the freezing weather. I then thought that perhaps they already picked up whomever needed assistance and were on their way out of the cul de sac of the parking lot. When they urgently asked where the address to which they were headed was, I had to wonder what terrible thing happened that two units were dispatched.
What, No GPS?
A close friend asked how it is that emergency services didn’t find the address via GPS. I can say that people consistently get confused among the buildings in this area, for various reasons. I did not question or criticize. I was glad that without any other living creature in sight, I was able to direct them and please G-d, enable help to reach he or she who was in need.
Friends have often asked why I go out when I do. In truth, I don’t know how to answer that. It depends on my dog and when she eats. Early this morning, I felt that there was a definite reason and purpose and was happy that at a time when there was no other sign of life on the street, I was able to help in some small way, even if I might never know the details of the emergency call.
I’m no hero and I don’t think I’m special but, thank G-d, I have faith and let faith guide me; things happen.
As I sat writing this entry, I heard a siren. I only hope that the good people survive this storm.
Tonight will be even colder and the snow that failed to fulfill the meteorologist’s promise is expected to show up and accumulate, so be careful and take precautions. My dog and I have already been out and are in for the night, until tomorrow.