When I was about 9 , I had two goldfish named Chip and Dale. Chip and Dale were your run of the mill goldfish. They were gold. They lived in a bowl. They swam a lot. They were normal in every way except one. They lived far longer than one would expect two goldfish owned by a 9-year-old.
It wasn’t until Chip and Dale finally met that large porcelain bowl in the sky that my mother let me in on a secret… Chip and Dale were really Chip and Dale 2.0. It turns out that during a vacation to Mexico, we left the care of our fish to the really nice neighbors who lived upstairs from us. These neighbors had a toddler girl who loved to feed the fish. In fact, she loved to feed them so much that she killed my fish. The father of the fish killer, determined to cover up the crime, braved the worst rain storms of the decade to find two gold fish that resembled Chip and Dale. He didn’t quite succeed, however. A while later I noticed that Chip had a small black dot on his fin that he didn’t have before. My mother explained it away (being a willing accomplice) and I believed her.
Fast forward almost 30 years and I find myself in a similar situation. You see, last week Swee’Pea lost her kitty. This kitty was given to her on her first Christmas by her Uncle Ben and Aunt Liz. This kitty has been her favorite ever since. She sleeps with it every night and takes it to daycare every day, tucked lovingly into her backpack. Last week, Kitty left for daycare and never came back. We assumed she’d turn up but she didn’t. We waited for ransom demands but none came. Finally, we decided that kitty wasn’t coming back. Swee’Pea took this news much better than Daddy did. We promised her that we’d let her pick out a new kitty. We even went to Target to look at their pathetic choice of kitties. We went home empty handed.
Then I remembered the wonderful internet. The same internet that introduced me to my wife. The same internet that allowed me to have a full compliment of forks and spoons. It could surely help me here. So Sunday night I went on over to eBay and poked around. And then, after numerous searches, I found it. A multi-colored Ty Kitty cat. I chose the “Buy it now” option and sent a nice note to the lady asking her to rush the order as a little girl was missing her kitty. It arrived yesterday.
When I presented it to Swee’Pea, telling her that I found her kitty in my car, she could not stop giggling with delight. She wrapped that kitty to her chest and held tightly. She couldn’t stop hugging her kitty. It was HER kitty and it was back where it belonged!
TheMonk, however, wasn’t so sure. He kept referring to it as “Swee’Pea’s new kitty.” (After all, it was spotless! No hint of drool or dirt anywhere.) I finally told him that it was, indeed, Swee’Pea’s old kitty but that Daddy had given it a really good bath. TheMonk grudgingly accepted this and all is now right in the house.
Someday she’ll learn that this isn’t her original kitty but like a little boy almost 30 years ago, what she doesn’t know now certainly won’t hurt her.
Swee’Pea with Kitty 1.0 at 20 months.