During an evening walk, I stopped in a cul-de-sac to stretch.
Suddenly, a young girl and her dog bounded outside and planted themselves next to me on the sidewalk, staring ahead into the street. I thought this was weird until a well-groomed dad appeared from the same driveway, wheeling a portable basketball hoop. He rolled it to the corner of the cul-de-sac and ran back into the house. I imagined he was a screenwriter in the middle of something.
The girl started dribbling, and a cat appeared out of nowhere and settled into a good viewing spot. He watched the girl and ball with great interest.
“Is that your cat?” I asked.
“No, it’s our neighbor’s. He likes to watch me practice.”
The girl’s dog got bored and went inside, but the cat stayed.
“Ever been to Jiufen?” I asked Mom.
“You should go! It has a nice view of the sea. It’s supposed to be the city that inspired Spirited Away. And they have the best gweh I’ve ever tasted - your favorite, with taro and the green one with radish or whatever the chewy stuff is.”
She looked skeptical. “How did you get there? You don’t speak the language.”
Two orange tabby brothers followed us home in December. They lived with us for five weeks, snuggling, wrestling, running around like madmen and punching each other in the face, until their owners saw our “found” signs (which had been posted in front of their house for weeks).
Chupa misses them a ton. They shredded furniture, ate my expensive paintbrushes, pawed wet paintings and shoved my brush around whenever I painted, but they were cute and soft fuzzballs.