I promised to post this little slice of home life…

We went to a Christmas party last Sunday night at our local Mex-Mex, the only gringos ever invited and the only non-employees. This year we were included in the gift exchange and we got gifts for two of the women who work there, the manager and one of the waitresses. As the gifts began to be handed out I could feel the gratitude of my blessings, the good pay, my friends, my good fortune. Sweaters and after shave were handed out, as well as the 3 resin crosses and giant mag light I received from a waiter and his wife. As it seems every year, one of the guys we don’t know did not bring in a present and in past years they run across the street to Walgreens to grab something quick. He ran back in, carrying a basket with a sweater over it. He walked behind our table and placed it in front of Angela. It moved. Under the sweater came the face of a calico kitten, no more than 9 weeks old.

Angela’s face was frozen in a disbelieving smile. We have 3 male cats who consume her every free moment with their needs. This would not be an option. How can you be graceful when someone who has nothing gives you something he clearly cares about but can not afford to care for ? We waited as long as we could and excused ourselves to home, taking the cat with us.

As we didn’t know if she carried Feline Leukemia or anything else we would have to keep her separated from our cats, locked in our bedroom with food, a cat box and her fear of a new place. We planned to take her to our vet in the morning and then attempt to adopt her ASAP.

The kitten was up all night,all over us and all over the bedroom.

We went to the vet as 9 am and as we had spent lunch with her and her boyfriend yesterday, things were smooth. We began to inquire if anyone wanted a kitten there on the staff (kind of like asking people on tour if they want a copy of the artist’s CD…)

It turns out that one of the young girls was looking for one and the sales pitch began. We paid for the testing, offered to pay for her spay and as the girl began to say yes, we went to grab the essentials (box,bedding,litter, scoop,food) to seal the deal… The girl couldn’t afford to pay for all these things. The one Christmas party exchange present from a stranger ends up costing us about $300 but to get this cat a good home it was worth it.

We contacted the Vets the other day on another issue and spoke to the girl’s mother who informed us that not only had the girl fallen in love with the cat but in a way it had made a meager Christmas quite special.When you hear something like that,all the uncomfortable feelings and time and money slips away.

To remember the blessings we do have, to be able to extend it to others, to be able to extend it to other living creatures as well, is a great reminder. Sometimes you don’t get mad, you just deal with the extraordinary situations until they resolve themselves.

I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that the holiday spirit extends past the first of the year for all of you. Maybe if we do, the world can be a better place in some small way.