words + photography JESSICA HANSEN

One fall Saturday morning at about 5am, I was woken up by loud meowing coming from outside the window next to our bed. I elbowed my husband; he rolled over. Took a flashlight and went to investigate. Huddled in the corner under the window box was a little white and black kitty, not a kitten but she was small.

She let me pick her up and as we headed for the back door, I noticed the hawk sitting on the fence. Sometimes I don’t like nature.

I’ll never know why I started calling her Tulip but the name stuck. She was so frightened, ducked under a corner table and there she stayed. Gave her water and tuna, woke John to tell him about our new friend, dressed, ate and drove to the market for cat supplies.

When I got home, Tulip was still under the table so I crawled under and stayed with her until she got up to sniff her food. She took her time and would occasionally retreat to the corner but after a few hours she began to investigate. I think she had been in a house before and was litter box trained.

We took it day by day, then week by week, and now a few years have passed and we belong to each other. I clean her ears, she cleans my face.


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