Next there’s Joe and Helen. I adopted a kitten from them last September. He’s gray with white toes and white triangles on his nose and chest. His name is Smokey and he has the softest fur I’ve ever felt on a cat. Fortunately, he loves to be held because he’s irresistible. Our ten year old cat, Wiley has taken him under his wing. More on that later.
I like Joe and Helen. They’re good people. They have some strange family dynamics going on, though. Joe sometimes comes in by himself to get cigarettes and always has alcohol on his breath. In fact, he does when he’s with Helen too. They have two kids, or that’s how many I’ve met. Their daughter is 18. I looked very closely at her license the first time she bought cigarettes. Didn’t want to sell to a minor. She once came in to buy a pregnancy test, then returned it because it didn’t give results early enough. She said she’d kind of know by then anyway. Of course it was only $4.00. She said that was her bus money. Did Joe and Helen know she was out?
I saw Helen at the 6 pack shop down the street one night after I closed up. She was with a guy and seemed a little awkward. She introduced him and told him I had adopted one of the kittens. We talked very briefly and I continued on to find a microbrew I hadn’t tried.
They also have a son who looks to be about 11. He’s independent as I guess he has to be, and talks with a slight speech impediment. He seems the most well adjusted of them all.
The Joe and Helen family are moving this month. When they told me a couple of months ago, I asked if they’d still be in the area. Helen said no, and added almost wistfully, “somewhere far away…. hopefully.” Perhaps they’re looking for a fresh start. I wish them the very best. I don’t judge people. I just observe. I had a stint of drinking heavily a couple of years ago myself, so I know it’s a difficult thing to deal with.