"She fell into a tub of butter."
I never thought I’d have a kitty ever again as long as Alan was drawing breath on this earth. There is an off color joke in our house that I will be late to Alan's funeral one day because I had to stop at the shelter and adopt a few cats. It's been an unspoken rule that there would never be another cat in our house. Marshmallow and Fluffy lived to the ripe old age of 18 years. They were to be his first and last cats. He loved them as much as I did, but he was done with cats. Yet here I find myself with an unexpected mitzvah. And while she didn't fall from the sky, she may as well have.This little kitten has us BOTH very smitten so we’ve decided to make her a Rosenberg.
Choosing a name for someone is a sacred responsibility. It sets a tone for a life and I have been secretly percolating on names ever since I saw those two little eyeballs peeping up at me through the engine of Eliza’s car yesterday. Every time Alan said, “Don’t even think about it,” all I did was think about it. And while I was busy trying to find her a new home, I was busier trying to be okay with the idea of giving her up. When I called fire and rescue I told them “she” was stuck in the engine. I just knew “she” was a “she”. And when they pulled her out I knew that she found us, not the other way around. The Universe had spoken and while I heard the call loud and clear, Alan was apparently hard of hearing or had a heart of stone.
My friend Stacy calls me her “yellow friend”. I love the color of the sun, of lemon drops, of daffodils of cake batter and sunshine. Yellow is a happy color. It's bright and shiny. When I was a little girl, I used to pick buttercups and hold them under my chin. It would make my whole face turn yellow. People said that is how you knew if you liked butter. I want this kitty to feel yellow and to glow with happiness. And to that end, I have chosen a name that is fitting.
Last night our neighbors came over to meet our little “guest”. They are the reason we will never move. Years ago, they discovered a newborn kitten in their yard and took it in. I would walk across the street and bottle feed him, so having them come over to check out our “visitor” felt like a full circle moment. They named their kitty, Karma and he's still a presence in our lives. As we reminisced yesterday, Gary said he thought our little kitten had "fallen into a tub of butter", which is an old expression for having hit the lottery. And I have to agree.
All day yesterday, I lived this scenario through Alan’s eyes. He is pragmatic and guarded when making big life decisions. I thought about all the reasons keeping her would be work, would make a mess and would create challenge. But when Alan and the boys pulled out of the driveway to head to Miami, I spent a few hours with her on my own and the world turned upside down. This little baby girl crawled out of that engine and straight into my heart. She is tiny and fierce. She survived riding around town in a car engine not once but twice in two different cars and when she’d had enough, she started wailing for help in the form a "mew" that didn’t stop until 2 firetrucks and 6 firefighters pulled her out. She came looking for us and wasn't taking no for an answer.This is clearly, my kind of cat.
By the time Alan got back from Miami yesterday, I am pretty sure he knew… it was over. Though I didn’t beg or cry or even guilt him in any way, those few hours alone were an incubator for a magic that was undeniable. I could even see him coming around #keepkitty. This 1.9 pound fur ball has distinctive markings. She is sweet and cuddly. When I took her for a healthy kitten check yesterday (still half hoping we’d keep her), every person at the vet wanted to take her home. She was clean, no fleas, and in perfect health. There’s just no explanation. She has a dark capital M marking right on her forehead. So I kept telling everyone yesterday that whoever gets to keep her, has to start her name with “Miss”. We'll use that for formal occasions or when printing announcements.
I honestly never even considered the possibility that Alan would give in to my elaborate fantasy. I continued to look for open hearts and homes that might provide her a safe haven. At one point yesterday afternoon, I posted on Facebook, asking if anyone was interested in adopting her; with the caveat that they had to be worthy of her. At that point, she’d already earned her place in our heart. But a place in our home was not even close to a sure thing. That has changed. I hope she serves as a reminder that sometimes in life we have to speak loud enough to be heard and keep asking for what we need and want, no matter how difficult our circumstances.
Cupcake is very interested but not all that impressed yet. They are doing the dance of getting to know one another. It's actually not all that different than the one we humans do. I take comfort in knowing that soon enough they will be the best of friends. There’s some faith that goes into these transitions and I’m letting them find their way. She loves to crawl into small places and hide. We learned that the hard way. It's a good thing her pink collar has a bell on it so that while she finds her way, we can find her.
This kitty has brought peace into my heart that I didn’t know I was looking for. I know we needed her as much as she needed us. Perhaps our empty nest had room for one more. It is with a renewed sense of joy that I introduce you to our newest addition, Buttercup. May she grace our lives for years to come. Thank you all of making this decision so much fun. You know I love to say it, but it really does take a village. Your enthusiasm fueled my kitten quest and reaffirmed my belief in the genuine connection social media can bring when used for good. You made me think it could happen and so it did. I am eternally grateful for the goodness of friendship and to that end, I too have fallen into a tub of butter.