It’s been 2 weeks since we welcomed our sweet babies, our new kittens, into our home. It couldn’t have come at a better time. My 15 year old son, Caleb, took one look at one (supposedly the more outgoing of the two) rolling around and said that kitten reminds him of a cannoli because of the contrast of the solid white on his tummy against the grayish stripes on the rest of his body. And just like that, my son proclaimed with a grin that he should be named Cannoli.
I laughed because he is usually thinking food, but I kind of liked the name. So then my children and I agreed that their names should have a theme and since Cannoli is an Italian dessert, we’d find a French dessert name for the other. After a quick google search, we landed on Beignet, which was PERFECT because my husband, Bryan, has made beignets (our first time ever having this dessert) twice to help Caleb earn extra credit in his French class. So there you have it, our kittens are named Cannoli and Beignet. As it turns out Beignet is the more outgoing of the two and Cannoli is more chill. Cannoli is also completely litter trained unlike his brother.
In June, my coworker was going around telling folks about a litter of kittens that her mom’s cat had and they needed a home. I jumped in right away and not only said that I wanted one, but I was thinking about two. The look on her face was of surprise and sheer delight. I had never been so sure of anything in a long time. I had thought about maybe two in the past so they wouldn’t get lonely while the family was away at school and work. You see, my children and I created a 2016 vision board in January and a picture of a cat is on there. Yup, I told Bryan that this was the year, so he’d better get his mind right. I’ve missed having cats. In the 19 years of living in Texas, I haven’t had one, except for the neighborhood cat that we feed sporadically.
The kittens are a complete joy to everyone, including Bryan. We are in complete awe of them (ok…maybe Bryan isn’t in complete awe, but they make him smile a lot, especially when they fall asleep on his lap). I know families who’ve gotten pets when their children are much younger than mine, but Caleb used to be allergic to both cats and dogs, so that was the main reason we didn’t have pets. When he was tested a few years ago, we found out that he was no longer allergic to cats. He is still allergic to dogs.
Now my children are ages 15 and 10 (11 next month), which is old enough to really appreciate and help take care of them. It’s been a joy to see how loving my children are to them. This really was the perfect time to receive them into our home because we’re getting them litter trained while we’re still on summer schedule and have more time to play and enjoy them before the school year hustle/bustle starts. Plus, with Bryan’s surgery in May, and disappointment with not making it to Florida for my cousin’s wedding that same month (see my first post), we needed a burst of joy.
I see why some animals make great therapy pets. Pets don’t judge you. They just want to be loved and cared for. This whole experience makes me think about how you have to open yourself up to receive joy. I wrote a previous post in response to the daily word prompt about being open. I’m convinced that being open is a conscious decision that you have to make. I could be bitter about a lot of things, but it’s my decision on how negative experiences affect me. I know it’s easier said than done, but it takes work, and for some, fight. If negative internal dialogue is an issue, then you need to be deliberate about keeping your internal dialogue positive and in check.
I could type more, but I want to end noting that there is a lot of misfortune, hate and injustice in the world, but seize opportunities to receive and express joy. Be grateful. Make room for the sweet stuff.