Cat Ladies Story – Chapter 1

Valerie was feeling frustrated. All she wanted to do was prove to her team that she could organize a fun picnic for Lyla's first day. The one thing she could not control was the weather. The rain was pouring, and it was time to leave for the picnic. She could already hear people complaining about it. The team could enjoy the picnic in a covered area, but there would be rain walking from their cars to the parking lot.

Valerie passed out umbrellas to frowning faces of teammates as they exited the office to those that needed them. She hoped they could get past the wet weather and still enjoy each other's company. Valerie wanted Lyla to have a good first impression of the others.

The caterers had the food ready to go when they arrived at the park. Valerie had spent hours picking a caterer that could handle a rainy day. As others arrived, they greeted Lyla, welcoming her to the team and while making comments about the weather. "It's raining cats and dogs." And "Valerie could not have chosen a worse day for the picnic with all this rain!". Valerie decided to ignore the comment.

The food was well prepared and lifted the spirits of the team. Good food can do that! Valerie was happy she spent hours selecting the catering company. The weather was not ideal, but the food was excellent. And people were talking to Lyla. Maybe the rain was a good thing, after all, keeping them confined to shelter. No one was wandering off to explore. With twenty other people on the team, some people were closer to each other than others. Valerie wanted to help make sure Lyla made some connections within the team.

Valerie decided to avoid icebreakers and asked Lyla to share about herself. Lyla responded "I like cats and have rescued three from my backyard. I also like to spend time with my husband, read, and go for walks". Others asked Lyla some follow-up questions. Valerie wanted to know more about how she rescued the cats. Valerie loved cats and had one of her own named Ginger.

Ginger is not a unique name for an orange tabby, but Valerie liked it. She was a gem of a cat, and Valerie knew that orange female tabby cats are uncommon. She loved spending many hours holding Ginger on her lap. Of course, Valerie wanted to learn more about Lyla's cat.

And so, Valerie and Lyla formed a friendship bonding over their shared love of cats.

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