God must have had fun creating animals. I can just imagine the angels laughing as he made them, and congratulating him, “Good one God! That one is hilarious!” I think of that as my calico cat, Bonnie, wakes me up in the morning. She jumps on the bed, brings her nose within inches of my face and then yells her meow like a prima donna’s statement, “I am here; attend to me now.”
When Dave and I married, I already owned three cats (all three were in some way inherited from my younger brother). Dave is allergic to cats. Our verbal prenup had the stipulation that I could keep the cats, but once they were gone, they were gone. No replacements. One cat mysteriously disappeared early on in our marriage while I was on vacation. She apparently went out the door and never returned. She started out life feral, so I imagine she returned to the woods. The other two lived well into their twenties.
Then came Bonnie and Clyde. Dave and I have two versions of the story of how they came to live with us. Here is mine, which I stand by as true and factual. I was working as a floor nurse at a nursing home. One of my coworkers rescued a litter of abandoned kittens. They needed special attention and she brought them to work along with her dog, and they stayed in the closet of our break room and the dog nursed them. The truth is often “stranger than fiction!” As they grew a little older, the residents of the nursing home became their babysitters. They loved it! Then it was time to find permanent homes, and thus started the “kitten campaign.”
Every day of my work week my coworker/kitten rescuer asked me the same question. “Do you want to take home a kitten?” By this time our home cat population had decreased to one, Boo, my old, crotchety, pure white and deaf male. My answer remained the same. “No.” My coworker knew the story. No more cats. Yet she continued to ask. Then the nursing home residents became involved. One animal lover followed my med cart, in her wheelchair, with two kittens on her lap. “They are so cute. They need a home. Don’t you want to adopt them? Look at them! How can you resist them?” The residents had ulterior motives. They knew if a staff member adopted the kittens they would likely continue to bring them in for visits. I stood my ground. “No!” I promised Dave, and a deal was a deal.
The onslaught continued. Every day, “do you want a kitten?” Every day: a parade of residents and kittens following my med cart. Finally I was fed up. I needed to nip the campaign in the bud, so I called Dave. “Dave will put an end to this.” I thought. My coworker asked her usual kitten question, and instead of answering I handed her the phone. “Here, talk to my husband.” She did. For quite a while. “What on earth can they be talking about?” I thought. Then she handed me the phone. She was smiling. I put the phone to my ear and could hardly believe what I was hearing. “Well if you really want one you can have one.” It was Dave’s voice, but I was incredulous.
This is where Dave’s version of the events differs. He maintains that I called on purpose because it was a few days before our anniversary. I disagree. Either way, once he said yes the wheels started turning in my little head. One kitten would be lonely. It needed a companion. I didn’t think Boo would fit the bill. So adopting one kitten turned into bringing home two, a calico female and her daredevil, puffy grey and white, brother: Bonnie and Clyde. Another time I’ll write about their reception into our home. For now I will just say they gave Boo and our dog, Angel, a run for their money.
“God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:25