Happy 72: Always in My Arms

They own a gift shop on route 53 in Norwell, just before the Hingham boarder. It's an old house, almost as old as the country, built back when the road was referred to as the Queen Anne's Highway. Back then it was an inn, helping countless weary travelers get a hot meal and some decent sleep on their long travels to somewhere. Obviously it had a stable. Naturally it housed the horses back in the day, though now it just stores all the Halloween supplies and the barn cats. You've got to have barn cats. They keep the rodents away and besides, every neighborhood ends up with its share of cats that prefer to be wild, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't like a dry place to sleep every now and then and a reliable source of food. The shop keeper and her husband always provided that happily. 

Well one day, they went out to bring their tithe to the gods of pest control and the woman heard a sad little sound. She looked in the bushes and saw a tiny kitten, probably no more than a month old. She picked her up and you could say this is when the little guy's life really began, in her arms. Who knows what happened to the mother, there are so many dangers in the wilds of Massachusetts, especially the sort that abut four lanes of constant vehicular traffic, that you can take your pick. At the end of the day, the kitten still needed a home, a mommy and the shop keeper and her husband were more than willing to fill that role.

They did all the things one does for a baby of any species. They patiently taught him how to eat and gradually introduced him to big cat food. They helped him with the litter box and they taught him about love. He grew up to be a beautiful gray tabby, strong, healthy and happy. He didn't live in the barn but in their home. Fearing coyotes and what not, but wanting him to feel free and part of nature. They made a fenced in room off the house that he and the other cats (surely you didn't think they just had the one!) could use for a breath of fresh air.

So happy and loved was this cat that he lived for twenty five years, longest I've ever heard for kitty, and when his time came, he was on his adopted mommy's lap. He looked up at her, gave the feline equivalent of a smile, and passed on. So he started his life in the shopkeeper's arms and that's how he ended, loved and with family. 

Orator: The husband of a gift shop owner

Author: Marjorie Skiba 

Illustrator: Marjorie Skiba

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