Delicate wisps of white pointing up to the sky. Reflection of sunlight on the tips of red fur. His curiosity fills me with wonder. The innocence of a new life. Thus, a new chapter to our story.
No sooner had the four baby robins left their nest, another life came along in their absence. If you missed our post about the robin’s nest, you can read it here.
Can you believe it? Just two weeks after the baby birds hatched out of their blue eggs, they jumped the nest! We waited for the official jumping day, only to find one of them flying randomly in another part of our garden. Quickly, we ran back to look at the nest for the rest of the babies and, sadly for us, it was completely empty. Sigh.
Now our new companion, hardly resembling a bird,
sleeps peacefully as I type.
Years ago when I was a single parent, a girlfriend called me up to give me a recommendation. “Go to the local pet store,” she said, “and get the children a kitten.” Initially, I thought she was crazy for suggesting something that required more caretaking on my part. She went on to say, “It will be good for everyone, especially the children.”
One Exceptional Cat
And, so the story goes, Scooter became our hero. His picture graced the front page of the local newspaper his first year of life. He won first place in Cat 4-H for his age group. Mind you, he was the only entry in his age group, but we were still proud of him.
Scooter was our faithful companion through all of the challenges of single parenting. He was a pillar of support during an extremely tough time. How could you not smile at his half-white moustache displayed on his black fluffy face?
As a result, listening to my girlfriend’s advice and getting Scooter was one of the best investments I made early on as a single parent.
Sadly, Scooter passed away this past fall. A piece of our single parenting story went with him. He represented a passage of time spent together for so many years and now, we had to say goodbye to our faithful best friend.
A New Chapter
Time passes. Currently, we have been waiting since December to get a new member for our family. At last, the day arrived this past weekend. A basket was filled with a baby blanket, reminding me of the robin’s nest. Soon, a little bundle of love would be lying in it.
With great anticipation, we drove to the retired New England dairy farm.
We were graciously greeted by his loving owner.
We were all quite surprised how little he was at eight weeks old.
She gently placed him in our hands after kissing him goodbye.
Wide saucer eyes staring up at us, we wrapped our arms around him and took him to his new home.
Oh, he was so shy and meek, as he cautiously looked at his new surroundings. Little did he know he would soon be introduced to two other mature cats and an energetic Golden Retriever. After two days of deliberation, negotiation, and compromise, he was given his official name:
Now, the welcome home day is something of the past.
Mallee’s shyness has been replaced with boldness.
His quietness consists of tiny “meows.”
The perceived meekness was an inaccurate portrayal of his true character.
A more appropriate word would be mischievous.
Lastly, we discovered he could run faster than any of us.
How Do Single Parents Do It?
On reflection, I am unsure how I ever managed a rambunctious kitten when I was a single parent. Furthermore, it is such a mystery how we accomplished the workload on our own for so long. We had no practical steps to follow or a logical explanation what to do. It was purely survival. What I do know, with complete conviction, is that our life relied on faith.
Faith is like a feather blowing gently in the wind, beckoning one to gently jump on and fly. How can one step on and really expect the feather to hold a burdensome weight, yet somehow it does. Faith not only carried me, it helped me soar through the sky. And, because of faith, I am here writing to you today.
For today and subsequent days, Mister O’Mallee has big cat shoes to fill following Scooter’s legacy. His growing little paws will carry us through a pandemic and the days thereafter. He will be devoted to us just like his predecessor. Hats off to you, Mallee, for bringing smiles and laughter to our day.
In loving memory of our beloved Scooter,
“Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day. “
Photography Credits Photo by David Vig on Unsplash – Tree in sunlight Photo by Karolis Vaičiulis on Unsplash – Buckets on fence Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash – Hat in field Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash - Sunflower in sunlight Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash - Basket with blanket Photos by Wellness For The Single Parent – O’Mallee