Patron Driven: The Harvey Spice Rack

Patron Driven: Season One Blog Series

Patron Driven is a new podcast series that tells crowd-sourced library stories where the personal and professional meet. Season one follows four library staffers whose library flooded due to Hurricane Harvey. Arriving June 22, 2020.

Anne, Allison, Jennifer, and Mikha each had a different experience with Hurricane Harvey. Mikha’s Harvey experience was certainly the most cuddly.

Her neighborhood fortunately didn’t face much flooding, but the entrance to her community did swamp. While many of her neighbors had cars or trucks high enough off the ground to brave the floodwaters, Mikha’s Toyota Matrix was definitely not up for the fight. She had to contend with being tucked behind her neighborhood’s gates until the water receded.

Three of the four foster kittens.

After days of unabating rain, the sun broke through storm clouds; her neighborhood finally got the all clear to leave their houses. Mikha decided to take her dog for a much needed walk, which was great, until she returned home. When she went to retrieve her emergency key, she realized that she had taken it inside because of the storm. She was locked out.

But it wasn’t an entirely negative affair. She said she “got to know her neighbors a bit more,” and they helped pry open her back door to get her inside. She then joined her neighborhood’s Facebook group.

She saw that someone in the group had posted about abandoned kittens left in a front planter. Mikha said that she felt powerless being stuck behind her community gates, so this was at least something she could do quite close to home. Taking in abandoned kittens was certainly a noble cause.

The Kingwood library staff gather at Mikha’s house after Harvey.

The kittens were about four weeks old, and quickly became her “little foster family.” The cuddly crew came in handy later, at a library employees meeting at her house. While planning the library’s next steps post-flood, they sat in sheet-draped furniture—Mikha confessed she was pretty new to kitten care. The crew ate breakfast tacos (thanks Jennifer!) and played with kittens while figuring out their next steps. The kittens became therapy animals for the staff who, in the midst of uncertainty and upheaval, welcomed the comfort.

But best part of the story might be the kittens’ names: Lavender, Rosemary, Dill, and Sage; “They were the Harvey Spice Rack,” Mikha explained, laughing. A wonderfully adorable and human story in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

To hear the full story, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts on June 22.

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About the author:

Sabrina Cofer is the digital media assistant at Choice. She produces the Authority File and Patron Driven podcasts.