the Urban Legend we called Carport Kitty was a Seeker

?? – October 22, 2022

I am a seeker
A poor sinful creature
There is no weaker than I am
I am a seeker
And you are a teacher
You are a reacher
So reach down
Reach out and lead me
Guide me and keep me
In the shelter of your care each day
‘Cause I am a seeker
And you are a keeper
You are the leader
Won’t you show me the way

I am a vessel that’s empty and useless
I am a bad seed that fell by the way
I am a loser that wants to be a winner
You are my last hope
Don’t turn me away

Oh, you are a mountain
From which there flows a fountain
So let its water wash my sins away
‘Cause I am a seeker
And you are a keeper
You are a teacher
Won’t you teach me the way
Reach out and lead me
Guide me and keep me
In the shelter of your care each day

Pretty and I shared many tears as we stood next to Carport Kitty when her brave heart came to rest yesterday. Congestive heart failure was the culprit, but this first and last visit to a vet confirmed what we suspected when she first appeared in our carport during the fall of 2021 – frail, limping, exhausted but adamant in her refusal of our attempts to touch her – equally determined to avoid the crate we borrowed from our friend Francie to try to get her to the vet.

And yet she survived with us in her own way. Pretty began her rescue efforts with a bowl of fresh water every day; I told her I was definitely against any cat rescue since we had three dogs in the house plus my cat allergies. Anyone could see (except Pretty) that we didn’t have a place for an urban feral cat. Sigh. That’s about the time I started feeding her Meow Mix and named her Carport Kitty. Meow Mix moved on to Temptations which led to the canned food delights of Fancy Feast and Little Friskies. CPK became a celebrity to our cyberspace friends through her adventures on Cardinal Street during the changing seasons. Carport Kitty had a following. Never a loser to Pretty and me – always a winner.

Carport Kitty moved through three other neighborhood homes this summer – I thought she was following the sun to avoid the extreme heat but in retrospect I think she was following the instincts that helped her survive on the streets for who knows how many years or the circumstances that created her journey. One neighbor told us when we first asked last fall if the calico cat belonged to him that she had been roaming this neighborhood for years. He had given her and her friends food, water and shelter from the cold. The calico cat was a stray.

Over the months Carport Kitty gradually began to trust Pretty and me. I often sat on the kitchen steps outside with her at night to give her last meal of the day – usually her third! Lately she had seemed to want more than her typical head pats from me, a few meows, rubbing against my legs, longer visits than we shared in the summer heat. The black Tuxedo cat, the Bully Cat, the Yellow Cat – all her friends came around at dinner time now but were afraid to come close to her turkey and giblets because the old white woman chased them away to protect the calico cat.

Somehow in the vicissitudes of life as my daddy used to talk about, I heard Lauren Daigle sing “The Seeker” for a Dolly Parton tribute the night before we lost Carport Kitty. Dolly wrote the song for an album released in 1975 – her words haunted me during these past painful hours because I do believe Carport Kitty was a seeker who came to our home searching for keepers. She found these keepers brought much more than water, food, places for her to reign supreme in her carport kingdom. They gave her their love.

No matter what time Pretty and I drove up the driveway we both looked for the little calico cat who stood guard over our carport, waiting for us to come home. I’d like to think she might still wait for us…somewhere.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in family life, Life, Personal, photography, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to the Urban Legend we called Carport Kitty was a Seeker

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    That dear little cat has broken my heart too. I’m so sorry Sheila and Pretty. Carport Kitty loved you on her own terms; terms you accepted. She loved you all the more for respecting her boundaries. May her memory fill your hearts until you meet again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    So, so sorry about Carport Kitty…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These little creatures wiggle their way into our hearts even when it makes no sense, and they bring these intangible blessings with them, without meaning to. I’m so glad you had this wise little cat in your life, even for a short time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. cindy knoke says:

    This made me cry. I am so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A great tribute, Sheila. Oh, the way these things can tear at our souls. Warm hugs from Texas, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Heartbroken for you all. Took quite a cat to convert you Sheila. Challenging, demanding, aloof but wholly rewarding. The Seeker sought, the Keeper found. Big hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Luanne says:

    Oh, I am so sorry!!! What a sad loss, but she knew she had friends at the end, and isn’t that the best way to go? Your tribute is beautiful and makes me so teary. Hugs to you and Teresa.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We just listened to Miss Dolly Parton singing “The Seeker.” Such a beautiful tribute to Carport Kitty. It’s also a beautiful tribute to you and Pretty. We all need keepers, at every stage of life. Carport Kitty was lucky to have your love in her final year. We’re so sorry for your loss. We know it hurts.
    ~Tallulah Bee and Mommy

    Liked by 1 person

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