Today is National Kitten Day! 🙂
You’ve all heard me go on about my love for cats, and have heard me talk about Cat and Kitten. My relationship with cats evolved from childhood into adulthood.
My mother’s cat was rescued out of a rose bush as a kitten. My mother was a dog person, so she was committed to cleaning her up, making her feel safe, giving her all she needed, but she made it clear to my father that he HAD to find her a home. He kept saying he was “looking”, but inevitably, that tiny kitten became a cat and remained the family cat until the end. She never forgot that my Mom was the one to save her, so she was truly HER cat.
She was there before I was born, and she didn’t take kindly to me trying to ride her like a miniature pony, pulling her tail, or her whiskers. She once stood up on her back paws and pushed me down on the floor (My mother was trying not to laugh, because I became hysterical.). In my young child’s eyes, she was far larger than a domestic house cat. I reacted to her gentle shove as if a dinosaur had tried eating me alive. It was that day I learned to respect cats.
Before Cat and Kitten came along, I had a very special cat in my life who will forever mean the world to me. She was 100% my baby. She taught me how to love unconditionally, be a mother, and blessed my life from the moment she chose me to be her person. She passed away with me sleeping beside her, holding one of her paws. It was one of the worst moments in a life full of “worst moments”. However, I know she had a long, amazing, predominantly healthy life with me full of love. My last words to her were that it was okay to leave because I’d be okay, but that she couldn’t hold on for me any more. I assured her we’d be reunited and told her how loved she was. It was the goodbye she deserved, for no one alive or dead had ever been so loyal, faithful, or committed to me, except maybe my mother.
When I adopted Cat ten months later, I didn’t expect to fall in love meeting this beautiful little face at the front door. I did not expect to be so charmed by this sweet, beautiful creature, but every single day she does something affectionate, kind, caring, and reminds me that she loves me. She’s truly one of the sweetest cats on the planet.
I adopted Kitten as a companion for Cat, who truly needed another cat to play with. She was lonely, and she was acting out multiple times a day, biting me, attacking me, etc. I researched her breed and found out they do well with companions, that it helps them thrive, and that their sweet nature will become aggressive if they’re not given companionship of another animal. I wasn’t enough for her, and I had always intended to get her a friend, but so many opportunities that presented themselves did not feel right to me.
Their initial meeting wasn’t a good one, but she quickly fell in love with her, often using her as her very own personal teddy bear (She’d kill me for telling this story.). Kitten is the HAPPIEST CAT I’ve ever met. She’s extremely loving and while a little rough around the edges at times, she and her sister are the reason I’m alive.
Kitten is formally named after my previously aforementioned “special cat”. I translated her name out of several different languages into English, as an homage to a cat that was one of the finest creatures I will ever know in life. Unbeknownst to me, they’re actually a lot alike. It’s not just the fact that the first cat was a Tortoiseshell and I intentionally searched for another Tortie. Kitten is by no means a “replacement cat”. Her coloring and markings are different, she’s a darker Tortie, but she looks like someone painted spots of light on different parts of her body. The first photo I saw of her looked like sunshine had been painted across her face. I knew immediately that I had to take her home. Her shelter name was a close match for my previous cat’s real name. Her foster mother and I also have the same name. We laughed about it, because it was clearly fate.
Driving home that evening with my new little friend in the backseat, I was inspired to give her a special middle name as well. Her response to all the excitement was to fall sound asleep in the cat carrier, completely oblivious to the fact that she’d found her forever home and her forever person.
This little cat with the enormous paws is my best friend (I LOVE Cat, too. However, she prefers others over me. I’m not her whole world.). I’ve lost count how many times she has taken care of me when I’m sick or come running to stay with me the second she knew I was upset about something. Her favorite place is next to me. That’s precisely where she is now. She’s all tucked in like a baby that simply wants to be close to her mother. Safety, warmth, and love are easy to provide. G-d, please don’t ever let me fail either of them.
So today, I honor Kitten (and Cat, because she’s used the word “Mutiny” in their communications, and they out-number me.). Thank you for coming into our lives and bestowing us with love and sweetness. You’re a blessing many times over.
copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.