It was the week before a new school year began which meant meeting new students and their parents. I enjoy greeting the students, but meeting with all the well-meaning parents at once can be somewhat overwhelming. My eldest daughter, Leigh, was getting ready to return to college and begin her senior year there. And, last but not least, my husband had recently taken the job of a lifetime clear across the state. I reluctantly opted to remain behind so my 17 year old daughter, Rae, could finish her last two years of high school.
To help quell my fears for the impending days ahead, I decided to go take a peek in Talbots unaware that some incredibly sneaky mall designer had recently placed an SPCA mini-store right next door. Leigh had volunteered at the main SPCA location in town all summer. So of course, she wanted to go to the SPCA mini-store while I shopped in Talbots. Rae just wanted to put as much space between her friends and me as possible. So, she meandered several stores down to Claires.
After looking around Talbots unsuccessfully, I made my way over to the SPCA store. That is when the word "GULLIBLE" must have appeared on my forehead.
The time between entering and leaving the SPCA store is still mostly a blur. I vaguely remember agreeing to hold a small grey furball with a pur that sounded a little like a motorboat in overdrive. She snuggled up against my neck, and my heart melted.
In the back of my mind a voice suggested that I should consult my husband about adopting a cat. Its a good thing I never listen to that voice. Besides, why start something new this far along in the marriage. So, on an emotional whim I adopted my first cat, Gracie. (Originally her name was spelled Gray'C, but I changed it after someone thought it was pronounced GRAACK).
At the time of adoption, I became a major monetary contributor to my local SPCA. Caught up in the excitement of the moment, I felt the need to purchase anything and everything related to cats in the store - except an owner's manual. The one item I needed above all else as you will discover in future posts.
After my younger daughter recovered from the shock of my latest whirlwind decision, she helped her sister carry the contents of the SPCA store to my van. I, of course, carried Gracie, a deceivingly calm kitty. For a few shining moments, I was a "cool" mom.
What about my husband you ask. Needless to say, he was a bit surprised. But in my defense, I actually informed him of our new family member over the phone. I found out that he had purchased a new house for us across the state in a text message. But, that is a tale for another day.
My second cat, Benjamin or Bunny (The origin of the second name will be revealed in future posts.) was adopted a year later in a similar fashion. The sneaky mall designer person allowed the mini-SPCA store to move closer to the movie theater at the other end of the mall. During a rare weekend home, my husband and I unwittingly walked past it on the way to the movies. Like a giant magnet, it pulled me closer until my resistance crumbled, and I was dragged inside with my husband in tow.
Just inside the door was the most adorable kitten. He looked like he was wearing a tuxedo. His big ears and wide eyes captivated me. I knew that he was the missing member of the family. That was when my husband made his fatal mistake. He encouraged me to hold Ben. The rest is history. We became a two cat family. Thus, the concept that cats are like potato chips comes in to play. You can't possibly have just one.
And once again, I made a significant monetary contribution to the SPCA. I relieved them of numerous cat related items. If I had only known then that Ben's favorite toys would be a brown paper grocery bag and a small mylar ball.
The posts that follow will detail the many humorous adventures (funny now - not necessarily at the time they occurred) that I have had with Gracie and Ben. It is my hope that reading about them entertains you as much as it entertains me to tell them.
Next Post: The Day My Couch Gave Birth To A Kitten
Until next time, remember...
The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
- E. E. Cummings