Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Thoughts

When I was a little girl I loved playing with the cats at my grandparents farm.  I enjoyed rubbing their bellies and listening to their gentle, rhythmic purring.  I would pick them up and wrap them around my neck and carry them into the house, where grandma didn't want them!  By the end of our play time I would have an itchy, red rash around my neck and my eyes would be bloodshot and watering.  Grandma would say, "Cindy!  Stay away from those damn cats!  You are allergic to them."  I would tell her, "No I'm not, Grandma--I'm allergic to the chickens."  I hated the chickens--always clucking loudly and fluttering violently around in the chicken coop.  And they would chase me all the way to the farm house--I'd be out of breath and crying, terrified to death!  I couldn't understand how I could be allergic to something that brought me so much joy.

At Christmas we were often the first house to have lights on on our block.  I remember when I was in grade three my two sisters and I were up even before the crack of dawn and ready to open our stockings.  We waited patiently for mom and dad to get up.  When their bedroom door finally opened, out strolled a little black kitten with a tiny diamond of white on her chest, looking like she owned the place.  I said, "Is that for me???"  And mom and dad said she was.  I was so excited!  I never dreamed I would ever have a kitten with my allergies!  It was my most memorable Christmas ever!

Thankfully, over time I seemed to develop a tolerance to my kitty.  I didn't rash up and my eyes no longer watered.  "Taina" was the most wonderful pet.  She would sleep with us under the covers and make you so warm you'd have to throw off the blankets--my own personal heating pad.  There is nothing quite like the unconditional love of a pet.  Through my temperamental teenage years she would lick away my tears.  And when I was fifteen and (although unknown at the time) I had a cyst on my ovary, she knew I was sick and would sleep on the side with the pain.  She lived many, many years.  I was married with one child before she passed away.  Taina was such a blessing to our family and my life.

Now that I'm a parent I chuckle to myself and sometimes wonder what on earth my parents were thinking??!  What if it hadn't turned out so well?  What if I developed asthma and became really sick?  Regardless, I am so grateful they took the chance.  Mom often says it was the best $10.00 she ever spent when they picked Taina up from the SPCA.  This act of love for me gave me many, many moments of unbridled happiness and entertainment which I will forever cherish.  Thanks Mom and Dad for making my Christmas dreams come true!

Merry Christmas everyone!