Friday, September 27, 2019

To Tiny

Neva endured a bit of heartbreak this week, thanks to a sweet little cat named Tiny.

Erin and TJ have a few cats on the farm, but they’re aloof. This one, which had come to live here only a few days before our arrival, was adorably different. Apparently she’d shown up at one of the harvest sites, riding in on a grain truck, and Erin had brought her home.

“What’s her name?” I asked, snuggling the kitten when we arrived. She had greeted us instantly. Neva was smitten. 

“She doesn’t have a name yet,” Erin said. “You guys should name her!”

“Let’s call her Tiny,” I suggested.

(A couple of months ago, Neva randomly burst out in childish anguish: “I wish I could be a mommy and drive a car! But I can’t — I’ll never grow up — I’m just a tiny girl!” It made me laugh and from then on, she’s been my “tiny girl.”)

We all loved Tiny, but Neva completely, utterly fell for this kitten. Tiny was the first thing she thought of upon waking and the last thing she mentioned before falling asleep. “What are you going to dream about tonight, Neva?” Tiny. Every day Neva would follow her, sing to her, hold her, and tell her stories. And though Tiny probably wasn’t quite as fond of Neva as Neva was of her, she really seemed to like Neva, too. 

For a week, they were inseparable. Neva became pretty much completely infatuated with Tiny. And then, suddenly, Tiny was gone. Fate, it seemed, had torn them apart. 

We’ve looked everywhere. We have no idea where she is or what she’s up to. We wish we knew. Tiny wasn’t just another cat on the farm; she was special. We don’t know if we’ll ever see her again. We hope she’ll show up again one day, but likely she’s one of those creatures who are destined for other places, and you’re just a happy stop along their way. 

Neva tried to pet the resident cat but all she got in return was a paw-ful of claws. She ran to me with tears streaming down her cheeks and sobbed into my shoulder. “I miss Tiny.”

There’s been a fair bit of pining since then. I wish I could get her a kitten for our own home, but the Wards are Dog People. I know she’ll always remember Tiny- you never forget those things that capture your heart, even for a short time. When I was eight years old, our family spent a Sunday evening with some friends of ours- they had a new little gray cat, and while all the kids played in the basement, I sat upstairs the whole evening holding her in my lap. One day I’ll have a little cat, I thought to myself. 

But we already have a pet, and he’s a good dog. Neva will realize, sooner or later, like her momma, that you don’t need a cat to be happy. Life goes on. 

I hope Tiny is okay. I hope she’s blessed with health and happiness. I hope she’s enjoying many adventures, with her unconquerable soul. And I wish there was a way to let her know how very happy she made my daughter this week. 

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