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Ok, I know they said Christmas, but they also said holidays. And to me, that could be any special day. For this one, it was my fouth birthday.
My family didn't have a lot of money when I was little, but I never knew. And when I was about to turn four, I told my parents I wanted a white cat I could name "Pearl." They delivered. I still remember my mom calling me into the kitchen and seeing the purple box with a pink bow on top sitting on the table. I lifted the lid and a little kitten looked up at me. She was white with a dark grey spot on the top of her head and had green eyes. And I did name her "Pearl." She lived indoors with us until I was 13 when my mom remarried and my new step-dad wouldn't allow the cat in the house. (Never mind he had an indoor dog.) So for the next five years Pearl lived outside and in the garage. When I was 19 I moved into a house where I could have pets (Thanks Grandpa!) so Pearl came to live with me. By now she was 15 years old and all the time outside had taken a toll on the poor girl. She spent her days laying on "her" chair in the living room and finally became a lap cat, although I would have to pick her and place her on my lap. She only lived with me for six months then. She could no longer groom herself and when I watched her lose her balance when she was sitting still I knew she was really suffering. I didn't have the heart to do it, so my mom brought her to the vet to be put down. I still regret this (seven years later) having now done more research on aging cats and now thinking I could have helped her live a while longer, without suffering. But I am at least glad she lived her last months in a nice warm home.
Just a couple of years ago, my mom told me the reason she and my dad gave me Pearl was because they didn't have any money to buy me anything and the kitten was free. (The vet bills were an afterthought.) But I pointed out to her that anything they bought me when I was that young would have long been discarded by the time I went off to college. But my "free cat" was still with me.
It is truly the thought that counts. Sorry. I'm crying now. :-)
Last Edited on: 12/3/08 7:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 1