To Aria, on her 5th birthday

To my Aria,

Four years ago this weekend, you adopted me. I thought I was going to the cat rescue to adopt a cat. And for a little while, I thought I did. Now, I realize that you picked me as much as I picked you.

The first months we were together were...interesting. I had never had a cat before, and you had never been in a loving home before. Were cats supposed to spend all day under the couch? I didn't think so, but I didn't know what else to do. So I did the only thing I could think of: I lay down on the floor, stuck my head under the couch, and began talking and petting you.

You didn't come out. Not for almost 6 months. But you did start to trust me.

Looking at you now, I would never have known you were the same kitty. You pester me incessantly, looking for tuna and treats. You keep me groomed- my hair and eyebrows have never looked better! I wake up and find you all snuggled up on my pillow, a comma-shaped sleeping cat.

People say that I've done so much for you by giving you a good home. No doubt that's true, but I have to say you've done as much for me. When I get down and start struggling, I remind myself that I will never be separated from you again. I hold you and remind myself I am loved. I look at you and see self-esteem incarnate. You eat what you want, when you want. I'm not sure you have ever berated yourself for being too lazy (nor do you know what insomnia is).

Sweet Aria, you also taught me patience. Persistence, I knew. No one would ever accuse me of not being persistent. But I was NOT patient. As I cavorted with you amongst the dust bunnies under my couch, I had to realize that you were going to come out on your time, not mine. All I could do was wait. Wait and play and love.

I know how you roll around on your back when you want to be loved. I know that if I pet you right above your tail, it will swish back and forth madly. I know you like squirrels, chipmunks, and bunnies, but that you prefer birds. I know that you are terrified of cooking spray and air freshener (you hate that hissing sound). I know you know when you are going in your carrier and have to devise a thousand ways to outsmart you- which usually fail. I know that if I kiss you on the very top of your head, I will get a hug from your ears.

I have given you, I hope, a good life and a happy home. A good deal for you. But whenever I am asked, I still say I got the better end of the bargain.

Love, Mommy

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12 comments:

mary said...

So, how are you two going to celebrate?
I happen to think that Aria's one lucky cat! /****

sparklepants said...

This is so sweet! The BFF and I are both insanely allergic (she more so than I) but we long for a cat.

Sarah said...

*sniffles*
geez, there's something in my eye

congratulations to you both. Happy "gotcha day", Aria.

xoxo

Tracey said...

Oh beautiful Aria-- Happy and Wonderful Day to you!

*pssst* you have a really incredible "mommy"!

Laura Collins said...

Beautiful!

Charlynn said...

Awwwwwww!! This was such a beautiful thing to read on a rather gloomy afternoon (we're expecting a ton of rain and snow tonight). Happy adoption day, Aria!

Fiona said...

Happy Birthday Aria from me and from Parsley, Daisy and Pansy.

Hope said...

OK..now I'm in tears. What a lovely letter. I've had the wonderful good fortune to have been able to witness the entire transformation. And that was Aria's and yours. You couldn't have asked for a more perfect match, than you two.

Sending love, and snorgles, and hugs to you both,

Aria's Grammy

carrie said...

I'm giving her a big hug and kiss.

I opened a can of tuna and stuck some candles in it on Sunday. We lit them and sang Happy Birthday while the little dear squirmed and clawed and wondered why there were sticks on fire *in her food*.

Oh, and Mary? My dad got her a little plastic wand, though I think she would use it more as a scepter.

mary said...

Tell Aria to be very very careful...magic wands are not toys. : )
Your dad is silly. They are both blessed to have you!
/*******

carrie said...

No, I think you're safe. Aria nibbled the top part for a few minutes, and has since ignored it. She prefers to use her personality and charming good looks to cast a spell. :)

meow said...

That is so sweet, Carrie. I've never heard of a cat staying under the couch for that long--wow! Wish I was a cat mommy too... My place is too small. Instead, I must live vicariously through other cat owners.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote



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