For my mom’s birthday I really wanted to get her a kitten. In our yard sale travels a few weeks ago, she just melted at the sight of a black and white tuxedo cat sleeping in a barn. She quietly mentioned that she wanted to find another tuxedo kitten that looked like Sam, the cat she rescued from a dumpster as a teenager. She loved that cat, and when I was a teenager and my dad surprised us one night with a black and white cat in a tomato box, it was instantly named Samm (But we added an extra “m” to the end of it’s name to differentiate), in tribute to her “best cat ever.”
So I posted an ad on Craigslist. I listed a message on FreeCycle. I was specific in my request for a tuxedo cat; I was trying to magically replicate the cat my mom still talks about and misses to this day. Sifting through the many replies of “I have a cat, but it’s more like an orangey calico” or “I have a cat you can have that matches your description but he is seven years old,” I found an e-mail from a woman named Cindy, who had one little furball left of the litter, matching my exact description. I left as soon as I could to go get him.
When I arrived to the trailer to pick up the kitten, his living conditions were unfavorable to say the least. I walked in the door and in one fell swoop, the woman introduced herself and threw the kitten in my arms. I had no choice. He was mangy and covered in fleas. Purring, he looked up at me as if to say, “please take me,” and I bolted out of there, threw him in the back of the van and took him home. A mere $77.00 in flea treatments and antibiotics later, he was a fluffy, happy kitty, waiting for a new home.
But I was a little nervous about the gift. My mom had only mentioned once her newfound desire to have a kitten, so I didn’t spare on the presentation details. I tied a big red bow around his neck, placed him in a polka-dotted gift box (with drilled holes, of course!) and wrote a little poem on a gift tag to place with the bow. I parked at the end of my parent’s driveway, put the kitty in the box, and nervously carried it in the house to present to my mom.
It couldn’t have gone better. The kitten (who I had been calling “Pooper”) must have known he had to be on his best behavior for this pivotal moment. She looked at the box, teared up, read the poem and removed the lid to find a little furry munchkin staring up at her.
“Oh my goodness! He’s beauuuuuutiful! He’s my Sam! He looks like my Sam!” she exclaimed.
“What are you going to name him?” I asked, after a round of toy-on-string playing.
“Sammm,” she said, matter-of-factly. “Three m’s.”
Happy birthday, Mom!
Update: My mom just called me from the store, where she was picking up necessary kitty accessories to tell me the kitty's new name: Zenn Kitty. Zenn for short. :)