Jerome G. Talent knew what he wanted out of life: a good job, a decent place to live, and someone to share his life with.
Two out of three wasn’t bad.
Jerome had a job at the local shipping store, and he got a lot of satisfaction out of crating and taping and shipping out other peoples’ goods. It was true that customers could be trying, and it was his least favorite part of the job, but you do what you can.
He lived in a third floor walk-up near the university, where students came and went on the cycle of semesters, while he stayed in his one-room apartment with partial view of the mountains. Still, it did fine for him.
Someone to share his life with was a puzzle. He tried hanging out at the local pizza-and-pub place, but it was a student place, and he wasn’t a student. He joined the YMCA for awhile and built up his swimming to several laps a day, but it’s hard to meet a life partner when you’re swimming solo in the pool.
One day he took a Sunday shift at work for a co-worker who was sick. He didn’t usually work Sundays – he had enough seniority to get the day off – but it was raining and he didn’t have anything else scheduled. So he went in to work at noon to open up. With luck it would be a quiet day and he wouldn’t see many customers. After all, UPS didn’t go out on Sundays, nor US mail either.
Serendipity is not something to be underestimated. On his break, he stopped in next door to the the pet food store. He wasn’t sure why he went in, something about the window display – multi-level cat trees and feathered cat playthings and a round ball-chaser toy. He didn’t quite realize that Sunday was pet adoption day at the store.
Jerome came home that day with a black-and-white kitten. She was all black with white paws. Her name was Mittens.