Monday, October 10, 2011


Today I dug a hole. I don't use a shovel very often. Not to say that I don't work hard. I do. Or, at least, I feel like I do. But I don't often build, move earth or otherwise have reason to wield large tools regularly. That fact became clear the moment I lifted the handle. The old, sun-bleached wood mocked me like an old horse mocks a new rider. "You don't really know how to use me do you?" it seemed to say. I thought instantly of the last time I had used a shovel. Early in the spring I got a wild hare and decided to dig up a portion of my front lawn (the only part of my lawn not drenched in plant-killing shade) and the shovel mocked me then, too. All day long it laughed at my tender palms as I painstakingly ripped out sod to replace with herbs, tomatoes and few flowers. Somehow, though, today's hole seemed harder to dig. I could blame it on the ivy or the tree roots I chose to dig around, but I know that isn't it. The fact is, the hole I dug today although only about 3 feet deep and 1 foot wide had to hold a portion of my daughter's heart, one of immeasurable depth.
Today Willow, Lily's new kitten, her birthday kitten, the kitten we got 3 days ago, died. She just laid down and didn't get up. I tried feeding her with a dropper. We tried cuddling her. She would not get up. And then, a couple hours later, she was gone.
So, I dug a hole. We picked flowers. She drew pictures. We both cried. And I filled the hole.
Lily is still empty. Two years is a long time to wait for only two days with a kitty. I have a feeling she will be walking to the back of the yard and sitting near that filled hole several times in the next week. Slowly the hole in her heart will heal. Kids are strong, and she is strong. I know that as a mother, this is only the beginning of watching my daughter's heart break. She will be hurt many times and every time I will dig a hole. Every time I will try to something to help her heal. Something tells me that the kind of digging mothers do don't build up calluses. I bet it hurts just as bad each time. The holes, I expect, get bigger with age.
Poor Lily.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Our new kitty did not run away.

When thinking of getting Lily a kitten for her birthday I was on the fence. I knew that the main reason I wanted to was for a big 'Ta Da!' moment at the party. I thought it was likely I would regret the decision a week or so later.

I was wrong.

I regretted it 5 minutes later.

The 'run away' lesson was mostly a joke between Chris and I so we could have an 'out' from the cat.

But, we really aren't that mean. And I really don't regret the cat. . .too much. Of course I am typing this at 3:00 am because I have a kitty who wants to sleep on my throat.

Lily is over the moon and that makes it worth it. Am I feeling the need to compensate all the attention Noli demands of me by getting my 5 year old a kitten? Yeah. But if you listened to her talk about our cat that died everyday for the past 2 years. . .you might break down too. It was pretty cute to watch Lily color her new kitty paper with little Willow sleeping on a pillow next to her.

Caring for a Cat

Kitty Party 2011 was a huge success. I will post details about the party later. Maybe. For now, we are working on teaching Lily the rules of caring for her birthday present. . .an 8 week old kitten. The top five rules we have given her:

5. Don't squeeze too hard.

4. Empty the litter box only when Noli is asleep. Noli must never know of this pile of sand.

3. No screaming.

2. Kitties sleep a lot so they need not be carried, coddled, cushioned, caressed or dressed 24 hours a day.

And the number one rule we introduced to Lily today:

1. Kitties sometimes run away.