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A New Addition

For almost a year now, Maddie’s been
begging for a kitten. And for almost a year now, I’d said,
“Not until you’re at least six.”


As her birthday got close, Maddie’s pleas increased in both
volume and velocity until I broke down and gave her a trial run: if
she could take care of our older family cat, then we’d look
at a kitten for her. A month later, Maddie’d handled our
cat’s litter box and food and water rather well.


So guess what we did on Maddie’s birthday?

We traveled to three different shelters
looking for the right match for Maddie, and late in the afternoon
we came home with an adorable black-and-grey striped tabby that
Maddie named Lucy. Maddie is, for the most part, over the moon, but
it hasn’t been the fairy tale she imagined it would be.

First off, there was all the babyproofing to be done. For now,
Lucy’s living in Maddie’s room during the day and in
the bathroom at night – this three-month-old isn’t
ready to sleep through the night, and Maddie hates being awakened
at night. So Maddie’s breakables and chewables all had to get
put away, and the bathroom countertop stripped down as well.
We’ve gotten it done, and have adjusted to the
“new” way of life rather well.

Second, though, is the reality of a kitten versus a cat. Maddie
loves having something to snuggle, but the constant playing is not
what she had in mind, and the paw swipes and teething bites are
more frightening than fun to my girl. So she goes through times of
not wanting to go into her room, which is unfortunate, because the
poor kitten needs lots of attention.

We’re working on it, though: I’ve brought my book into
Maddie’s room and sat with her and the kitten for quite a
while, teaching Maddie how to simply exist around the cat. And once
the cat started coming to Maddie for snuggles, and Maddie began
seeing how she could have this live, purring thing completely
devoted to her, the romance set in a bit.

So now Maddie goes back and forth; sometimes she comes downstairs,
exasperated, saying, “I’m so tired of waving that toy
for her! I just want a break!” But not five minutes later,
she’ll be sneaking back up to get some snuggle time with her
kitten. I’ll come in to check on them, and they’ll both
be curled up in her bed, contented, blinking politely at me as if
to say, “Yes? Can I help you? If not, please shut the

And that’s what I want for Maddie: a place to retreat for
unconditional love and snuggles. A quiet space for warmth and
affection, for purrs and nuzzles. I can’t wait. It's gonna
be awesome.


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