He says he will go for treatment but he’s worried about trouble, she texts.
“I couldn’t figure out what he meant about trouble until he sent a picture”, says the next text.
It seems Trouble comes in the form of a small kitten.
I sit for a moment at my office cubicle contemplating. There are already three cats at home. Plus one dog, three ferrets and a hedgehog.
Affectionately I refer to them as the triple MMM zoo, because they are quite the menagerie.
It is a moment of pure impulse undoubtedly. She asks if a shelter might take a kitten for a indeterminate period of time; I say I think it’s possible but that it’s not necessary because I will take Trouble.
There’s room at the inn, I text, and my daughter is home right now on spring break from University.
Trouble can come to stay for as long as he likes, I text, fingers flying across the iPhone keyboard even faster than I can think.
I realize I have agreed to take a kitten I’ve never seen. He could be any colour, any personality and he could have myriad health problems. I have no idea but I’ve agreed to take him.
And then she texts a picture of Trouble – a small orange and white tabby curled up asleep, and the synchronicity of the of the universe strikes me.
I text the photo to my daughter and say “this is Trouble, he’s going to come live with us for a while”.
She texts back: “What do you mean – I thought we talked about getting a kitten this summer when I’m home for longer?”
I respond that I know we had but that sometimes the universe makes other arrangements. The funny part is she and I HAD talked about getting a kitten and I had expressed my preference – an orange male tabby. How unusual it was for suddenly an orange male tabby kitten to drop into our laps.
When Trouble arrived, he came in a soft sided carrier and you could hear the noise before it was even open. The noise was a loud kitten purr.
While my daughter and I quickly came to see how his name was Trouble, as he is a rambunctious kitten, we decided to rename him after one of her favorite podcasts: Nightvale.
And so Cecil Gershwin Palmer, or Cecil for short, has joined the zoo.
Cecil is a remarkable cat. Even though my other cats don’t always get along and two in particular become quite fractious with each other, Cecil has integrated completely and did so within a matter of hours.
He is friendly with all the cats.
He seems to enjoy the dog, coming nose to nose with her, her tail wagging and his little orange and white frame vibrating with purrs.
In fact it hasn’t taken long for Cecil to become a fixture in our household and in some ways a bit of an inspiration. He is the kind of cat who trots around the house purring at top volume. He’s the kind of cat who is curious about everything, pre-judges nothing and seems to love everyone.
He is the most cheerful little character I’ve ever met.
He’s been in my home for just over a month now and he greets me whenever I arrive no matter how long I’ve been gone. His rough little tongue licks my face and he purrs every single time.
My daughter went back to university after spring break but we FaceTime regularly and I text her pictures of the cats including little Cecil. And Cecil is growing both in physical form and personality.
We call him the accidental kitten. I hadn’t planned to get a kitten that day and there is a chance that one day Cecil’s owner will reclaim him. But for the period of time that he resides with us, whether for months or a lifetime, we will enjoy this cheerful little character and celebrate the accidental nature of life. That his time with us may be impermanent is a reminder to enjoy every moment of wonderful you have in life, because none of us know how long they will last. And you never know when something remarkable will simply drop into your lap, as if the universe has planned it.
And sometimes that bit of wonderful and remarkable will come in the form of a tiny orange and white accidental kitten.