The summer Anjelica turned six, she informed me she wanted a cat of her own.
“But we have Lulu, our Houston cat,” I protested.
“No, Mama. Lulu was your Houston cat before I was born. I want a cat all my own.”
I sighed. “Let’s look for cats to adopt,” I suggested.
“I drawed a picture of the cat I want,” announced Anjelica.
She handed me a drawing of a predominantly white cat with gold ears, a gold tail, and several gold spots on its body.
“Sweetheart, it will be hard to find a cat that looks exactly like the one in your lovely picture.”
“Let’s start looking, Mama!”
I felt this was a doomed search from the get go. The odds of finding a cat with such particular coloring specifications seemed like searching for a needle in a haystack.
We went to the local Pet Refuge and Animal Control. In the meantime, I queried colleagues and friends. There were a plethora of black cats, gray cats, tortoise-shell cats, and variations thereof, but no cat remotely resembled the one of Anjelica’s dreams.
Finally, one Saturday morning, we drove to the county Humane Society. Rows and rows of black, gray, black and white, gray and white, tortoise-shell, and calico cats greeted us with meows both sweet and frantic. On a ledge in a huge cat cage, was a heap of kittens, stacked on top of one another snoozing the sultry summer day away. From the bottom of the kitten pile, a gold-ringed tale lay draped over the edge of the ledge. Upon closer inspection, Anjelica noticed a white foot.
“Mama! Mama! My cat! My cat! She’s there!” Anjelica almost pulled the tall cage door open herself before the volunteer reached for it.
Gently, the volunteer moved each kitten until she reached for the gold-ringed tale, white-footed cat. She placed the kitten in Anjelica’s waiting arms. The kitten deigned to open its green eyes for a moment, then fell back asleep purring.
“See her gold spots, Mama? See her gold ears? Her white paws? She waited for me.” Anjelica paused, peering at the kittens pink triangle nose. “Her name is Sparkle.”
“Welcome to the family, Sparkle.”
Ciao for now.