Paige loves cats. She always ALWAYS has. We all know this.
She was pregnant with a litter of imaginary kittens for just about seven of the nine months I was pregnant with Nate. Keep in mind that she was only 20 months old when Nate was BORN. After seven months of imaginary pregnancy she came to me and said, "Momma, these kitties need to come out!" And so, Lollypop, Lollypop, Lollypop, Lollypop, and Suzie Snowflake were born.
We had that litter of imaginary cats living with us for a very long time. As a matter of fact, we still have an occasional mention of those cats.
Now that she's older, she's moved on to reading books about cats. She has lots. She stays up at night looking at cat pictures and memorizing the names of the breeds of a bunch of cats that are on a cat placemat that's hanging on her bedroom wall (thanks, Grammie!). She brings her books to me and tells me which cat she wants and why.
Until recent months, I've been able to brush off any cat-buying requests by explaining that I'm allergic. It worked just fine. I don't know what changed, but for several months she has been ignoring my allergies and really pushing the cat thing. She's Paige, so she asks in a super sweet hard-to-resist way. Please, Momma, Please can I get a kitty? Momma, I would really love it if I had a kitty like THIS one (pointing at page 92 of her cat encyclopedia).
We bought Sam Johnson and he seemed to help make her happy. She carried him all around. She slept with him. She played with him. She loved him.
Now, she just really really really (I can't say it enough) wanted a cat. A real live cat.
The other day I asked her why she couldn't just be happy with Sam Johnson. She said that he is not REAL. He is a stuffy and that's simply not the same thing.
I asked her what she would do with a real cat that she can't do with Sam Johnson. She said, "If I had a real cat I would take care of it, I would love it, and I would name it Bob."
On many occasions I have taken her to Petsmart to look at the kittens there. They are in cages and can not come out. She doesn't care. She will just kneel there in front of the cages and purr at them. She talks to them. She sings to them. She learns their names and their ages and talks about how happy she would be to have one. She was always willing to stay there as long as I was willing to wait. It was sweet ... and sad at the same time. Each time we left there talking about the cats and about how much she really wants one.
One day, my friend told me about how she is taking her daughter to volunteer at the Humane Society. She said that it's a good way for her daughter to play with dogs and take care of them without actually having to buy one. I thought it was a good idea.
On Friday, I took Paige to the Michigan Humane Society. I thought that it would be a fun way for her to actually hold a cat (instead of staring at them through the cages at the store). I also thought that I might ask about how we could volunteer to help out.
You can see where this story is going, right? You know how this story ends. It ends with a very happy girl. It ends as the best day of her life. It ends with Mommy and Paige sitting on the floor of a small room watching two small kittens romp around. It ends with me looking at my girl's happy face and me hearing these words come out of my mouth, "So, Paigie, how would you feel about taking BOTH of these kittens home with us?" It ends with us BOTH being shocked at my suggestion. And, then, it ends with my girl looking happier than I have ever seen her. Then ... she buried her face in my belly and looked up at me to say, "I have never been so happy before that I had tears! I'm crying tears of joy, Momma."
As we waited for the final paperwork to be completed and for the nice lady to bring us our kittens, Paige looked at me several times and said, "This is not a dream, right? I'm not dreaming this. This is REAL."
And now ... we have two kittens.
Two adorable little kittens.
Oh, happy day.