Actually it's a cat in the subway story. A cat on the subway tracks, to be specific.
So there I am, Dupont subway station, 12.30 in the afternoon. On my way to Bloor Street to pick up some sickbed essentials (i.e. reading material, Perrier, and oranges) and be with the other humans for awhile, because it's lonely down here in the cellar with only the Brand Power lady for company.
There's workmen on both the northbound and the southbound platforms, dusting the light fixtures. I'm serious - that's what they were doing. They were wiping each light fixture down - they might have been checking each lightbulb too but I wasn't really paying attention. I was just standing there, waiting for the train, deliberating if I should go to Book City first or eat first . Here's a weird fact about me: illness causes most people to lose their appetites. Not me. For some reason, whenever I have a virus, I am constantly, ravenously hungry. In fact, I woke up at 2 o'clock this morning because I was hungry and because my throat hurt. I compromised and ate yogurt.
Anyway. So I'm standing there, planning my o-so-thrilling afternoon, and I hear this funny sound coming from somewhere on the southbound platform.
Eh? Is that a cat? Nah. It must be that infant in the sling over there - babies sound like cats sometimes, right? And cats sound like babies sometimes. Like Siamese cats - they are often mistaken for crying babies.
Mew! Mew! Mew!
One of the workmen is standing on the edge of the northbound platform, staring intently at the tracks on the southbound side, where I'm standing. "I see the cat now!" he calls across to the workers on my side.
So there is a cat on the tracks. Not in the middle of the tracks - nothing as dramatic as that. But that's definitely a cat just underneath the platform, meowing piteously.
Nobody else on either platform seems to notice the plight of this feisty, foolish feline. Either that or they're just from Toronto. The average Torontonian is so anal-retentive and repressed that they wouldn't yell if they were on fire. And if the person sitting next to them was on fire, they'd just change seats, or else complain bitterly about the smoke.
Anyway. My train entered the station, and I could not look away. Would the cat run out in front of it and get hit? Would the driver see the cat and stop? Would somebody come and rescue the poor animal? It was more excitement than I've had in three days - I thought I would swoon. Or at least puke.
I know the subway system teems with rats and mice who survive platforms full of people and trains rushing along the tracks every few minutes. Last August, a snake was found in the Spadina subway station, one stop south of Dupont. But this cat was obviously not happy about being on the tracks.
None of the above happened. The cat stayed put and train slowed down to a crawl as it approached the end of the platform where the cat was.
I reported the incident to the ticket-seller when I got off at Spadina. The exchange went something like this:
Me (speaking into the microphone in the glass of the booth):"Hi, I'd like to report a cat on the tracks at Dupont station."
TTC employee: "What?"
"There's a cat on the tracks at Dupont."
"There's a CAT on the tracks?"
"Yes, a cat." I almost meowed to get my point across but thought better of it.
"Is it ALIVE?"
"Well, it's MEOWING," I bawled back through the microphone.
"Did you see it?"
"No, it's under the platform."
"Southbound or northbound?"
"OK," he said, picking up the phone.
I hope the cat's OK. I'm in the market to adopt a cat (only 31 more days till I move into a cat-friendly apartment!), and I think I'd like that one. Do you think Subway is a good cat name?
February 28, 2005 at 04:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
I have spent pretty much the whole weekend in bed and that sounds a lot more exciting than it really is, let me tell you. And - horrors - I have nothing new to read in the house! I finished my last new book on Friday night (The Country Girls Trilogy). Everything else is reruns around here. So I've been forced to reread it and also to watch un-opened videos that were given to me years ago and that I never got around to watching. Like To Sir With Love (those cheeky English teens! Mouthing off at authority figures, talking in class - shocking!) and Krippendorf's Tribe (holy racist sexist crap Batman!) to keep from dying from boredom.
Some things I've learned from my sickbed:
My laptop doesn't like my goose-down duvet. The duvet smothers it, causing it to overheat and then crash.
On the dot of 3.30 PM, the sun actually shines through the bedroom window.
Campbell's Healthy Choice chicken noodle soup tastes too bland. It needs more salt. But then, it wouldn't be a Healthy Choice.
That Brand Power lady shilling for Schneider's Oh Naturel! meatless meat-flavoured products is scary. Like, I know she's not for real (she's not, right? Right?), that it's just a commercial (right?), but she's just so enthusiastic about brand names that she frightens me. Look, I discriminate between brands as much as the next person, but you don't see me on TV raving about Nature Clean dishwashing liquid and Pacific Foods Roasted Red Pepper soup now, do you?
When I'm sick, I get crabby and irrational.