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The First of the Third Ones

Sheldon - a.k.a "Sweete"

The last kitten

Jennifer Vanderau
Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter

We were tossed over a fence. My siblings and me.

It was so scary. One minute someone was holding us and the next we were in the air.

We didnít know what to do. We didnít know why the person didnít want us. Weíre young and we think weíre pretty cute and now, weíre just scared.

My big brother kind of took charge while the rest of us hid. We didnít know what else to do. The longer we were out there, the hungrier we got.

But, we trusted our brother. He could help us. We knew it.

He returned with a person. For a minute, I thought it was just someone else who wouldnít want us, but she had a real sweet voice and a super soft touch and a feeling kind of came over me that we were supposed to meet this person.

Turned out it was two people Ė a husband and a wife Ė and life with them was so very different from what weíve known. They had this tack room in their barn and they gave us cardboard boxes that they turned into a cat condo for us.

It was amazing.

We had food, water, a place to sleep, and people that we knew from their voices and their kindness would help us.

Once we got settled, the man and lady talked about adoption.

My big brother was the adventurous type. He obviously didnít worry about walking up to people Ė thankfully he had found the lady in her garden, thatís how we got saved. So when someone came to look at us and maybe take one of us home, my big brother stepped right up.

It wasnít long before he went off to start his new life.

My siblings and I were a little nervous after that. Our big brother was always the one who took care of us and made sure we were okay. The man and lady were really awesome, but we were still kind of scared.

My sister was the only girl in our group, so I really wanted to watch out for her and my other brother was the littlest of us all. I had to make sure he got enough to eat and didnít get forgotten.

When someone else came to look at us, we could all tell she had a big, big heart. She loved runts and wanted a little girl.

It was tough to say goodbye to my siblings, but I knew from looking in that ladyís eyes my little brother and sister would be loved forever.

That night, in the tack room, all by myself in the kitty condo, I couldnít help it. I cried. I was never really good in the dark and night time is always the scariest and my siblings used to keep me warm and now they had started their lives somewhere else and I probably wouldnít see them again and it hurt.

The lady must have heard me crying. I felt a little bit bad for making her come out to the barn, but somehow, I knew she understood.

Then, the most amazing thing happened. She scooped me up, took me inside the house with her and we snuggled down on a soft, warm bed together.

Itís funny. I know I might be too young to get the concept of meant to be Ė I mean, hey, I havenít had tons of time on this planet Ė but in that moment, I realized even though my siblings had been adopted, I actually wasnít alone.

Here was a human who actually cared. Not one who would dump me over a fence, walk away and never look back.

This nice lady and her husband would make sure I was okay, no matter what happened.

For the first time in my life, it felt like the tightness in my chest gave way to something warm and wonderful.

I know the man and woman would adopt me out to another family. I know that they would always be looking for a place for me, but I also know that I was supposed to meet them. They were supposed to help me on this journey Ė to where I donít know Ė but in that instant, on that pillow I realized how truly special these people are.

Special people who helped animals and didnít just discard them.

I started to purr. And the lady smiled. And I knew, even without my siblings, even without a place in the world, I had a spot in someoneís heart in that moment.

And that was everything.

~

Epilog

In spite of this article that we ran in the paper, we never got a call offering Sweetie his own home, so he became our ninth, yes ninth cat.  He was just too sweet a cat to dump in the shelter.  He is sitting on my lap as I type this note, purring away.  He may have been the last kitten, but in the end, he turned out to be the luckiest kitten!

Our plan was to make him our second barn cat, so we changed his name to Sheldon Cooper - the arch enemy of Will Wheaton on the Big Bang Show - whom our barn cat is named after. Unfortunately for Will - or fortunately, Sheldon didn't care much about being being an outside cat. After 'escaping' into the house for the 20th time, we gave up and let him become a inside cat, where he is today. But as the say, every door closed opens a another door, in this case, Sheldon becoming an indoor cat opened the door for "Q"!


Sweetie, who now goes by the name Sheldon Cooper, playing with his new best friend Will Wheton

~

This is a tale told from the point of view of a kitten who was recently rescued by two amazing people. Great animal-lovers. Truly some of the best Iíve ever had the fortune of meeting.

Heís still looking for his place in the world, but because of them, he has a chance to find it.

Adoption is difficult. Itís so incredibly easy to get attached to the souls for whom we fight.

As I type these words I have two older cats under my desk right now who I would love to take home, but I know Iím at my limit.

Sometimes we arenít meant to share our lives with four-legged friends. Weíre only meant to help them along on their journey.

It can be both amazing and bittersweet.

So as you have a free moment today, take time to think about the man and the woman who have the strength to help many, many of our four-legged friends and that adorable little kitten still looking for his place in the world.

And know that your kind, positive thoughts will be become a part of this story and be a blessing to all involved.

Read other stories by Michael Hillman