holiday cheer [random acts of kindness]

This morning, as we finished unwrapping our presents from far and wide (photos tomorrow!), little miss Teazle decided to expand on her exploration of our potted plants to use them as a platform from which to spring to the top of our television set.

the TV is to the left of these shelves
Our television set was inherited from friends and weighs a ton; for three years it's been sitting precariously on a pine shelf scavenged from the junk heap. Left to its own devices, it's safe enough but with a kitten scrambling about on top it was starting to sway noticeably. And after three successive scruffings and time-outs in the bathroom, after which Teazle simply returned to pick up where she'd left off, it was clear a solution was needed that would not result in our coming home after work one day to find a squashed cat, a shattered television screen, and a giant hole in the floor.

Yesterday, on our afternoon walk, we'd happened upon a lovely little cupboard out on side of the street for pick-up. We poked and prodded it and stood around discussing what to do with it -- but could think of nothing. So we decided to leave it for someone else to take away and walked on.

Suddenly, around 10:00 this morning, we really wished we'd snagged it.

So I said, "I'll go out for my walk and see if it's still there."

"You won't be able to carry it home alone!" Hanna said.

"Oh, I'll figure something out -- if it's still there," I said. I assumed it would be gone -- stuff usually doesn't last fifteen minutes in this neighborhood.

But lo, it was there! So I started hauling it the mile or so back, about half a block at a time, carrying it awkwardly braced against alternating hips.

It was going to take awhile.

Maybe, I thought, someone driving by will stop and offer me a lift, or someone walking in the same direction will offer to help.

I likely wouldn't have accepted an offer from an unknown driver -- but an extra pair of hands would have been nice.

About halfway home, I was starting to feel ominous twinges in my back and arms. But I didn't want to abandon the cupboard to go back and get Hanna for fear it would disappear before we could return. So I kept going, one leg at a time.

I passed by a woman taking a smoking break outside her house.

"What a great find!" She said, by way of greeting.

"Yes!" I agreed. "Now it's just a matter of getting it home!"

"Do you live far from here?" She asked, "Would a dolley help?"

"Actually ... yes," I said, "a dolley would be super helpful!" Usually I demur offers of assistance, but it seemed really stupid to do so in this instance. Particularly since she'd offered it without knowing me from Eve.

So with the help of the dolley, I got the rest of the way in under ten minutes. Hanna and I put together a bag of cookies for the kind stranger and I hauled the cart back again before we set up the television on its new, more stable, cabinet.

Not that this appears to have deterred Teazle from her kitty parkour one bit!

She's determined to get across to Hanna's home altar on the far left bookshelf ...

... and she has now figured out how to watch movies from a front-row perspective!

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