How many of us has either uttered and/or responded to the question: “Mom, PLEASE can we keep her?” For me, I asked the question when I was 16 and my first love, Dave, drove his little red beaten down car into our driveway, told me to close my eyes, and opened the driver’s door to reveal a little ball of butterscotch-colored fluff of a kitten sitting there staring at me. “It’s for you,” he said. Now, what girl wouldn’t LOVE that, like a scene right out of a movie! Then, reality set in when I realized I would have to ask my mother, who was not an animal fan, for permission to keep her. So, I collected my giddy self and walked into the house, holding the cute little bundle who I was sure would melt her heart enough to produce a “yes” answer to that very question...."Mom, can I keep her?" Well, luckily, my mom liked Dave and must have also thought “Butterscotch “ was cute. The hoped for response was quick to come…”Yes”!!
Fast forward “several” years and I am now at that same place as my mother…having to ANSWER the question, instead of asking it. My daughters were volunterring at the local human society in Canton, where they attend college, and fell in love with one of its residents. After receiving several photos of this little kitten via cell phone, the question finally came….”Mom, can we keep her? She is so cute?” Well, my mind raced back to the very scene described above….how my mom answered me when I asked, how I advocate for “paying it forward”, how glad I was that my girls have a heart for the homeless…….So the answer came, “Yes, we can.”
This little tiny ball of fur with the white eyeliner came to our house nameless when the girls brought her home during their Thanksgiving break. We struggled to think of a name we all could agree on….”Cosette” or “Penelope” or simply “Kitty” were all tossed around until we finally all agreed on “Sophie” (short for Sophia, of course).
She was a tiny little thing, not even weighing one pound.
Yes, she was cute. But, we also had the struggle of our other cat, Bella, adjusting to her, not to mention litter boxes, food, etc. Of course, once we were all set up, the girls went BACK to school and I was left with figuring out how this was all going to work. Soon after, Bella developed a nasty case of stress induced diarrhea. I questioned my decision to allow Sophie to come into our house, which had a pretty good routine going BEFORE she came along. Thankfully, after a few vet visits, we got things all straightened around and we all were able to adjust. From day one, little Sophie was always at my feet, keeping me company where ever I went, running to the door when I came home from work.
She helped me with the dishes, sat on my lap while I was the computer, and took naps with me, her loud little purr motor revving along everytime she saw me. Could this little trouble maker be making her way into my heart? Well, the answer to that is the same one that my mother gave me and the same one I gave to my children…. YES.
I know now that Sophie was meant to come into my home. At a time when I was facing an empty nest, this little kitten has provided me with companionship and joy; something that I had not expected. Even today, when I was home sick from work, she lay at my feet, under the covers with her two little paws encompassing my stinky feet in a furry embrace.
Always keep an open heart, you just never know who will slink into it on four little black paws.
Thank you Mom, for saying “yes” and also to Victoria and Meghan, for the gift of Sophie.