Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Story of Harper

I remember being very small and asking to be told the story of me. Really, any story about my entrance into the world would have sufficed, but I usually got the entire story, from the idea of me to the arrival of me and beyond. I think my mother enjoyed telling the story as much as I enjoyed hearing it. The older I get, the more I realize that every child loves to hear the story of themselves and every child has a story. In each of those stories, the baby starts out wonderful and adorable. Even the bad ones. Which brings me to my point. I often wonder when I am in the grocery store and I come across a child throwing a fit, or when I am on an airplane and a child is kicking the back of my seat, how that child's "story of me" begins. Further, I am reminded of the fact that there really are children that only a mother could love. I should know, I have one.

I don't have actual children, but as I've mentioned before, I have adopted two small furry four-legged children. And one of them is my problem child.

So from time to time, on the semi-rare occassion that Harper is behaving in a way that is becoming, I tell her the Story of Harper.

Harper and I found each other in the summer of 2005. I had taken Salinger to the vet for a checkup and took a moment to look at the cats available for adoption in the front solarium of the office. Tucked in a corner of one of the large metal cages was the tiniest kitten I'd ever seen without its mother. I couldn't get over how cute the cat was and had to hold her. The vet tech laughed at my oohing and aahing over the five week old, too small for her age kitten. She agreed to let me hold the kitten, but issued me a warning that she was "hell on paws". The tech reached in and gently picked up the cat, which was smaller than her hand. In less than a second, the precious little kitten had turned into a screaming banshee. Feeling badly that the vet tech had gone to the trouble to take the vicious monster out of the cage, I went forward with my decision to hold her. As soon as I had her in my arms, she quieted and curled up in the nook of my elbow. Everyone in the office was shocked and the vet insisted that "the cute little monster" come to live at our house. Long story short, she still lives at our house. And she's still bad. When Harper is displeased, everyone knows it. She is loud and she bites. Thank goodness she has no claws, or I might not have a face anymore. But the times when she is sweet make the not-so-sweet moments bearable and when she's not-so-sweet, I think, "She's bad, but at least she matches the furniture."

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