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On April 22nd Eric & I woke up in our car and drove to Alabama. I’d never been to Alabama before. Did you know that their license plates actually say “Sweet home Alabama” on them? Also, we drove past the Talladega Superspeedway and saw the Nascar track, counted over 20 armadillo roadkill (I don’t think I even knew that armadillo lived in this country…) and drove past and then backtracked to a Confederate military cemetery. Anyone who knows me knows that I love cemeteries. I was amazed to see Confederate flags at the graves. This country is so huge!!! I can’t get over the TONS of different kinds of people and landscapes and cultures! The South seriously does not seem like the same country as the North-East. We also say a coyote while we were at the cemetery. Coyote!!

Our Pocket Vinyl show that day was in the afternoon, at a record store in Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Oz Music. They called us their “Record Store Day Encore.” Before playing we of course poked around their record collection and were completely amazing to find that not only did they have a bunch of left over RSD releases, but a ton of copies of the releases we’d been searching for and hadn’t been able to find!! The big one was the Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeros 7″. We grabbed that along with a few other gems. We love record stores so much. Support your local record store!!

We played our set starting at 3:00 in the afternoon, and granted, it was about as busy as any record store might be in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday. But a small amount of people did stick around and listened and watched the set, and we had a nice time talking with them for an hour or so afterwards. They even bought the painting (which is always a good thing).

In the late afternoon we hit the road again, driving towards Memphis. As it was getting dark along the highway we pulled into the Mississippi welcome center rest stop, only to discover that it was under renovations and therefore, closed. The wifi was still working though, so Eric and I sat on the sidewalk with our backs against the locked building to check some e-mails.

As we sat we heard a soft little mew and looked up to see a beautiful young soft grey cat trot straight towards us. She was all over us in an instant, purring and meowing and pushing her soft little face against our’s. There were no houses around and we were right by the highway, and we wondered how such a sweet and affectionate cat would end up at the Mississippi welcome center. The most heartbreaking thing: she was very pregnant. Because of the state we’d just entered I named her “Mrs Sippi” or “Missi” for short. This past fall my mom’s cat Misty, who looked a lot like Missi, got out of her crate at the train station and frightened at the train and all the people, she ran away and couldn’t be found before my parents had to get on the train. I couldn’t help wondering if the same kind of thing had happened to this little kitten, traveling with her family that stopped at this rest area, and getting loose ran because she was scared. It hurt my heart.

Eric was the voice of reason, reminding me that there was no way we could take in this adorably affectionate stray cat, since we would still be living out of our car for the next month. I wanted to rescue her so bad though… I circled the welcome center building with Missi following and mewing along the way, until I spotted a young security inside. Eric tapped on the window and he came out to see what was up. He was our age, and really nice (such a polite Southern accent) and said that there were a couple cats that hung around the welcome center, but that this was the only one who’d be friendly with him. We were both so concerned, but he assured us that he’d watch over her, maybe help her find a home. As we were walking away he called Missi into the center. She looked at him, then over at us like she was going to follow us. But finally she cautiously stepped into the welcome center and the security guard shut the door. I hope so much that she is being well taken care of, and that she’ll be having her healthy babies very soon. sigh. I miss having a cat.

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