It was the worst day ever.
A recent university graduate and single mother of a three-year-old, I had just moved to a tiny Nashville apartment and was about to begin my first “real” job as a reporter. That Monday, some 24 years ago, I awoke to a pitter patter – not of tiny feet, but rather a ceiling dripping directly onto the only business suit I owned. Blotting frantically, howling baby in tow, I dodged rain bullets only to discover sodden paw prints soaked into the upholstery of the car.
Could my day get any worse?
All the familiar sayings flew through my mind…”that which does not kill us makes us stronger”…”when the going gets tough…” “accentuate the positive…”
Nope. Things got worse.
Rain all day. Interview cancelled. Deadline shortened. Electricity outage. Phone line died. Two – count ‘em – two flat tires. Cranky, crying kid. All alone in a new city. Perfect time and place for a full-blown self-pity party. I let the tears flow.
In the midst of my tears, two huge eyes peeked at me from around the carport wall, then disappeared. “Swell,” I thought. “Now we’ve got rats.” The eyes returned, blue this time, surrounded by a miniature face. I froze; so did the critter.
Minutes passed before a miniscule golden body connected with the face to form an animal markedly resembling a Mogwai, one of the creatures in the movie Gremlins. A kitten, I realized as he edged closer and began meowing; apparently a hungry kitten based on the prominence of his ribs when he urged me to pick him up.
“A kitten capable of being loved back to health, to love and be loved in return,” he purred. “To be named Gizmo and grow into a constant friend and companion,” I purred back.
It had turned into the best day ever.
Janet Garey is a professional journalist, environmental educator, cat-lover and “AARParrothead” devoted to a variety of community-based projects which she either developed or supports. Janet, daughter Amanda, and granddaughter Alexandra rescue and find homes for hundreds of stray or abandoned cats, simply for the joy and love they receive from their feline friends. Born in New York City and raised in Miami, Janet lives in Nashville TN.