This morning, the first thing on the agenda is to take Mace to the vet for his first set of shots. Mace is one of three now half-grown kittens who adopted us when we moved here.
We didn’t start off being cat people. John never had a cat growing up. In fact, he SAID he didn’t like cats. Certainly, he was allergic to them (dogs, too). My family had one cat when I was growing up–only because my little sister begged. Celeste was a part of the family for 17 years, but we felt like she was an exception. She was not like the other cats.
We never made a decision to own a cat, either. Cat ownership was thrust upon us when Rosemary appeared on our deck, homeless and expecting kittens, when Teddy was a baby. She stayed 15 years. Mima urged us to keep her. Children should have pets, she said. She’d pay for all of it, she said. She did, and we did. Rosemary was a sweet, undemanding, affectionate cat. For a time, we had a companion for her, another stray–a fat furry black and white creature named Tosco–but they never got along well and when he wandered off one day and did not return no one missed him much.
Rosemary disappeared one day shortly before we moved to the house that burned down. She’d been gone for a few days before, but this time she didn’t come back. I still miss her.
Lorelei and William decided they each wanted a kitten of their own. I did not consent to this. John and Emily between them brought home two kittens from Emily’s roommate’s cat. Both were supposed to be girls; both turned out to be boys. Carrying on a theme, we named them Pepper and Parsley.
Watching those two grow up was a joy. They had so much fun playing together. We had five acres of woods behind the house and it was a wonderful playground for them. Wildlife abounded, and Parsley was a merciless hunter, killing something just about every day.
Those cats were spoiled rotten. They ruled the house. Rosemary was rarely inside. Those two had windows open so they could come and go as they pleased. They slept right in the bed with us. I posted so many pictures of them on Facebook I embarrassed myself.
After the fire, we never saw Pepper and Parsley again. Pepper hadn’t been seen that day. Parsley was in the house when the boys left at 4 p.m. By ten, the house was in flames. There was a window open for Parsley, of course. We hope the fire scared them, that they ran into the woods, that when they came back to a foul-smelling blackened shell and we weren’t there, they found someone else to love them and take care of them. That’s what we hope.
Lorelei and William didn’t care about the house. They didn’t care about their toys. All the cried about was their kittens.
So it seemed like God had a hand in sending those three little kittens to our porch only a few days after we moved in: Cicely for Lorelei, Mace for William, and Mr. Kimutis (after his religion teacher) for Jake. They will never replace Pepper and Parsley, but they are sweet and loving and have helped us heal.