I have a cat who never grew up. Granted, she has the stocky build of her Persian breed and weighs in at 12 lbs. every time I take her to the vet. But this cat really, never has become a cat. She has the kitten curiosity and often expresses a puzzled kitten look. She plays and sleeps and cuddles. So, you’re probably thinking, she’s a cat. But, like a kitten, she doesn’t understand about edges and often unexpectedly rolls off the bed or sofa. I’ve watched her fall up the stairs. And she still puts her feet in the food dish to eat. Occasionally I hear a “thunk” and realize she has fallen off something and landed on her side or back. She is still my baby kitty even after (almost) four years.
Kitten Kiwi came unintentionally into my life. We had lost Horatio in August 2008. I was so broken hearted there was no way I was going to adopt another cat, leaving Beautiful Maria an only cat. My husband insisted that I call Maria’s breeder and place an order for Maria’s baby brother. [The breeder is a humane breeder who raises her cats in her home, without cages]. I understood his desire for Maria to have a companion, so between tears I made the call. No male kittens available, but litters on the way. We had first choice.
Weeks turned into months as one mother lost her kittens prematurely. Another had four kittens, but none were male. As Maria’s grief became more apparent to the point of becoming neurotic, I became desperate. After a day of trying to console her, comfort her, and allow her to cling to my side as I tried to work I picked up the phone and asked, “Do you have any kittens available?” There were three; all female. “I’ll take one!”
Baby Sister came home in November; right before Thanksgiving. She was cute and curious and not at all shy. She was goofy and playful. She wanted to do everything that Maria, the big cat, did, often with hysterical results. One day as she looked at me with a puzzled look, almost asking why she couldn’t jump up on the desk like Big Sister, I laughed out loud and said “You’re such a Kiwi.” So now you know how she got her name.
Beyond that, she brought joy and healing to three shattered lives. She did not know about our loss or grief. She did not know of my recent illness. All she knew was she was in a home with two humans and a big cat who loved her. She brought laughter to my broken heart and helped me see that God’s “other plan” is just what I needed to move beyond the darkness of the previous year.
Every time I look at her I smile. I think about how I had other plans. I remember what a gift she is to me; a gift to me, my husband, and Beautiful Maria in our time of need. I am reminded of God’s grace. And despite her limitations, I do hope she stays forever young.