Storm Blind

A Walking Metaphor

Story and Photos by Khaliela Wright

Some things take you by surprise, but it seems as if every month in 2020 was like that. Even so, I would not have put a blind, genderless cat on the same list as a global pandemic, earthquakes, tornados, racial justice unrest, firestorms, and murder hornets. And yet, here I was.

I found Storm in a ditch on Saturday, September 13. It was the day the smoke rolled into northern Idaho, erasing the sunrise and casting a cloudy pallor across the landscape. While winding my way through the haze during my morning walk in Potlatch, I saw a bit of gray, the same color as the gravel, the same color as the smoke.

My first thought was not, “Oh, look, a kitten.” It was, “What the hell kind of rodent is that?”

Initially, I presumed the creature was dead. Reaching into the ditch, I extracted a bur-covered bit of fur, ears matted to its head, eyelids swollen to the size of marbles. Then it mewled.

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