Once upon a time there was a big, old, very sleepy kitty named Beany. Everyone told me since I was really little that I should leave him alone because he doesn’t really like kids.
They said that if I got too close or bothered him at all, he’d for sure scratch me, and if I scared him he just might bite…hard.
They said, believe it because he’s scratched lots of kids that didn’t.
Oh, they believe now.
But I’m not scared because Beany the cat is my friend. I like to sit by him and pet him and rub his back and hold his hands. I like to say, “Heeeere kitty-kitty-kitty,” like Grammie does so he’ll come sit by me. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I even give him a kiss on top of the head–and he lets me.
Maybe he scratches everyone else in the whole world—but he doesn’t scratch me.
My momma said that she could stick this little fluffy baby under the Christmas tree and I’d be content forever–or at least while she got some of her work done. The lights and tinsel and shiny glass ornaments still have the same effect on me these days. I could sit in a dim room, lit only by the tree and be happy for a long, long time.
Last year, while trying to recreate some of the past Christmas magic, I realized that we were missing tinsel. Even in a black and white photo–you can see how sparkly and magic it is–and I wanted to give my kids a bit of…ancient culture. Anyway, I went to several places and no luck. No tinsel to be found…anywhere. One clerk even told me that it was banned because cats eat it and die. Wow–that was a bit dramatic. At any rate, I quit looking for that nasty cat slaying tinsel from that second on.
Until…after…Christmas, when–without looking–I found a whole cart full at Rite Aid for ten cents a piece. It was meant to be.
I’d like to introduce you to our dearest and most beloved kitty from my childhood. Laurie and I brought her home in the wagon one day. A neighbor lady from down the block saw us playing with the kitten in her yard and came out and said, “You can’t have that kitty, but…” handing us a different kitten, “you can have THIS one,” you know, like we’d won the grand prize or something. We felt pretty dang lucky–winning the kitty lottery like that, so naturally we took her and ran all the way home.
Now Laurie was a little older than me and much smarter–at the time–so she briefed me on the plan. See, Daddy didn’t particularly like cats. He liked dogs…big dogs…that don’t really get along with cats. But mama–she liked cats, so it would be important to get to mama first, waaaay before daddy caught on. Because if we sold mama on something, then it would be so. She could talk daddy into anything. ANYthing. Trust me on this.
So, I stayed out on the side of the house while Laurie went in to see if the coast was clear. It was. No daddy in sight. We brought the kitty in and she purred right up to mama and that was that. We gave her some warm milk and fixed her a snuggley box bed with an old towel for a blanket. By the time daddy came home that little cat was curled up fast asleep in mama’s lap and we’d already named her Beasty.