I was seven years old. My father had been injured and his fiance (know as SHE or HER) was helping to care for him. I was on summer break and spent most of my time next door playing with the neighbors children. Their cat had had kittens weeks ago and they were ready to go to different homes. Us kids were the only ones there playing with the kittens, their mother was in the back of the house. I was told by the older girl that if I just took it home, there was no way my dad could say no. I snuck one of them under my sweater and rushed out the front door. Their mother didn't know.
I took him home to beg and plead for us to keep him.
Things had been changing at home and I was no longer sure about the things I was sure about before. SHE was fixing to be my new mother and it was looming in the air like a storm waiting to happen and even dad wasn't the same reliable person I had known him to be. I just couldn't tell what the answer was going to be. Before SHE came, I knew my dad would say yes but now...I didn't know. He always had to talk things over with HER first and SHE was a complete mystery too me.
I crept up the stairs with this little orange fur ball tucked under my sweater. I could hear them in dad's room and I ever so gently knocked on the door. Dad gave me the okay to come in. SHE was standing there by the window, dad was sitting on the edge of the bed eating a sandwich for lunch.
I stood there like a Cheshire cat, grinning that mischievous grin. I didn't get to say anything, the cat did it for me. A big meow came from my body, dad's eyes got big and a frown crossed his forehead. My big grin melted away and disappeared, I was suddenly a nervous "you've been caught" deer in the headlights, pale faced, scared like "you've done something bad" little kid. Dad asked in a booming voice "What have you got?" I was looking at the floor cause I could feel the tears were fixing to come, I gently pulled the little kitten out from my under my sweater and handed it to my dad. Dad held him for less than a minute and while holding him, he let his other hand holding his sandwich drift too close. The little kitten took a bite out of his peanut butter sandwich! Dad softened and laughed. SHE told me to go down stairs and wait for the decision.
It felt like an eternity! I was already having problems with HER and my little head was filling up with all of the ways SHE wasn't going to let me have it. She was making my dad a mean person and I just knew it! Dad was a fun dad, but lately when he and I were having fun, it would suddenly stop when SHE came in the room. Soo, I just knew SHE was going to say no.
I don't know what was said between them or how long it actually took, but I was finally called up to dads room for the big decision.
They said YES! I couldn't believe it! BUT I had to get my friends mom's permission first.
I left my new kitten there and rushed over to my friends to tell the news and for their mother to give permission. I was scared to go up to her, even though all three of her kids were right there behind me. I had to interrupt her working in the garden, yes I was scared. (Back in those days or I should say my world, children didn't interrupt the adults without large amounts of caution. You waited for them to acknowledge your presence, only then did you talk.) She did bellow for a moment, till she saw it was me who had come to talk to her.
Of course she said yes!
Jeremiah was his name and we had that cat for five years till we moved to Texas. He was supposed to have come down later after we got established in a place, but he ran away from the folks looking after him.
He was a great comfort to me in my times of adjusting to life with a new mother. If it hadn't been for him, I would have really been a basket case!! LOL!