I have only lived in the Tenderloin for the past eight months. Before I came to the Tenderloin, I was homeless. I can’t think of anything worse in the world than being left behind in a vacant house by a family whom I thought loved me. One day they were feeding me. The next day, they were gone. Word on the street though was that there was this lady who lived on the block who would leave out food for all the stray cats in the neighborhood. I’m not one to beg, but times were rough. I was hungry. I was lonely.
I started coming by the nice lady’s house to eat. She would be nice enough to leave her garage open so I could use the litter box and have a warm place to sleep. I have never been much of an outdoor cat so spending time in her garage was very inviting. The more time I spent in this lady’s garage, the friendlier the lady got. She would sneak me in the house from time to time and cuddle me. I really like that. I love human attention and interaction and missed having it on a regular basis dearly.
One day, the friendly lady wrapped me up in a blanket and put me in a car. I have to admit, I was terrified. I had no idea where this lady was taking me. I enjoy being inside a warm house, but I don’t like being in cars. I meowed the whole way and it seemed like an eternity to get to our destination. Our destination was San Francisco’s Tenderloin district. This is the day I met my human mom, Kathleen, and would no longer be homeless.
Here in the Tenderloin, I was introduced to my very own apartment. I had really good food that never seemed to run out. I had three big windows that faced a big backyard where I got to watch birds fly and rats run. I had a big, fluffy couch to sleep in the sun all day. I had a bunch of toys and a huge cardboard scratcher to lie on and scratch. I even had my own litter box. Most importantly, I now had a human mom to cuddle with anytime I wanted to and a home to call my own.
I know that a lot of people who live here in the Tenderloin are either lost or come to die. I know. I can hear them screaming at each other all day long as I look out my window. But I came to the Tenderloin to live. Living the good life here in the Tenderloin has made all those scary nights of living on the streets without food, water or human loving attention all seem worth it now. I am proud to call the Tenderloin my home.
You can see Kathleen featured previously on i live here: SF.