It's dark out. Kids are arriving slowly to school in clumps, bundled against the cold to the point that they can't even see. We can't turn the lights on in the school because they are saving energy (and yet the heat is on so high that I am sweating inside my coat). People look like shadows.
I am holding a shaking, dirty, hungry, terrified gray kitten in my hands. He threw himself toward me in the road on the way to school, crying loudly chest-deep in a puddle and climbing up my leg to escape an oncoming dog. I carried him two blocks to school and couldn't explain in Spanish why I needed to bring a kitten inside. He is meowing insistently.
People care about cats here, but they have a different mentality. A lost kitten is an everyay occurance. Even one small enough to fit in my hand.
They all think I am crazy. Also I am covered in cat pee.
After fifteen minutes the kitten is finally sleepy, and purring in my hands. The Inspector of the school brings me a box and we leave him in a closet, alone...and I can hear him crying out during the day. At lunch I beg the women in the kitchen for a cup of lentils to feed the kitten with. He eats hungrily and then stumbles off into the recesses of the closet.
EXTREMELY HAPPY UPDATE
I went back to school and found the kitten in the closet, meowing in the window. We put him in a box, and I remembered that I had found the only veterinary clinic in town the other day on a walk. I walked the ten blocks with the little kitten, excited that he hadn't been stolen. I looked down at him and it came to me.
"Your name is Moses." I found him in the puddle, alone and scared, about to be eaten by a dog...and now he has another chance. I left him with the veternarian, who had a puppy and three kittens already. Moses ran around demanding food because he was starving after his ordeal. They gave me the number for the clinic and told me it was ok to leave him there.
"He was very lucky..." said the man at the clinic.
I am finding that despite all the changes I have gone through to become an adult and how much my world view has changed over the years, some core aspects of myself remain the same. I was always the kid who cried about her balloon that flew away or wept over a lost rock. Helping a kitten is not an option for me. I had to do it.
To be able to actually accomplish something that seemed impossible this morning feels absolutely amazing. So happy I was persistent and swam against the tide!!