Just as the words “make a wish” come out of my mouth, Lila* walks into the living room with the cutest kitten I’ve ever seen cradled in her arms. And I’ve seen a kitten or two in my days.
“Oh my goodness! Speaking of kittens, look Mom,” I say.
“Here’s a real live one,” Shirley joins in.
“Would you like to hold the kitten Patti?” Lila offers.
“Oh, look at the kitten, I don’t think it should come,” Mom sounds worried. She’s not afraid of the kitten, she’s afraid of hurting her.
“It’s okay mom,” I reassure her as Lila puts “Tache” on Mom’s lap. “It’s fine.”
“Is she fine?” Mom asks.
“Yes,” I reassure her. That does the trick. Mom opens her heart.
“Oh, isn’t she lovely?” Her voice softens and she starts to pet Tache.
“She’s got a mustache under her nose,” Lila says.
A few seconds later, Mom lifts Tache up from her lap and lays her ever so gently on her chest. She continues to stroke her. I melt into a puddle of gratitude.
“Oh she’s a good baby. She’s an awful good baby that baby. She’s a good baby to Granny. Oh she’s a nice baby,” Mom coos to the kitten. The little black-and-white ball of delight is uncharacteristically docile. Other than her motor, which is purring loudly enough for all of us to hear, she’s as quiet and she is adorable.
“She’s so good,” I remark to Lila. “She’s so patient.”
“Yes, I’m surprised,” Lila says. “I’ve just brought her here in the car, and I had her in a laundry basket. She was rolling around and playing and swatting at my arm and I thought ‘oh maybe this isn’t the right time to come to visit.’ I’ve never seen her sit so still like this.”
“Oh she’s a lovely baby,” Mom whispers over and over as the two of them snuggle.
“I think she likes you,” Lila smiles at Mom.
“Oh yeah,” Mom says. “She likes Patty.” Lila, Shirley and I grin. Mom puts the kitten back in her lap. It’s too precious a moment not to capture; I flout the rules and take a picture.
“Yeah, she’s very fond of Patti,” Mom says. “Look at her in her soul. She’s a nice baby.”
Look at her in her soul? OMG. One little kitten = fifteen minutes of immeasurable love and joy that will resonate forever. Thank you Lila. Thank you Tache. Thank you universe.
*Lila is not her real name.
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