Tuesday, June 04, 2024


I found this photo of my nephew, Layton, and me in 1992.  I was 10.

When I was 10, a stray cat unexpectedly entered my life. 
She had a beautiful orange fur coat that reminds me of my kitty, Sunday.
I named her Carmel.
 I'd sneak cat food from my cousin's backyard for their own 
beautiful Siamese cat, Pepsi. 
To this day, I'm not sure if they ever discovered my secret raids. 
I also used my mom's old Marie Calendar 
pie tins to serve Carmel's stolen food and warm microwaved
 2% milk in. I even prepared a cozy spot for her outside by
 laying down a beach towel to sleep on. 
Each morning, I would wake up praying Carmel would still be around.
She was with me for two, maybe three weeks.
Maybe two or three days? 
My memory is fading.
We would spend hours playing together, 
and she became a cherished part of my childhood.
One day, she disappeared, and I was heartbroken.

If you were to ask any of my siblings about my cat and her name,
 they would remember vividly. 
One day, my brother Andrew mentioned that he had spotted Carmel 
on his way home from work. I was so excited,
 "Where did you see her?
fully prepared to rush out on my bike to look for her. 
Then he said to me, 
"I'm pretty sure she was on the side of the road in the gutter.  
I think she got hit by a car."

I still, to this day, don't know if that was a joke.
(Was it Andrew? Was it???)

A few days ago, when I was certain we were giving Sunday away 
to our friends who have two little boys.
Me: "Yep, I'll bring her over this afternoon. 2:00 work for you?"
Also, me at 2:00 driving with Sunday in my lap and 
then coming to a screeching halt
 at the gate, reversing the car, and bringing her home.
I couldn't do it because I wanted her.
10 years old Stephanie wanted her.
Now, I'm reliving my Carmel glory days with Sunday.
I don't care; I let her crawl on me, lick my lips, 
and sleep in my lap.
I love it.
My 10-year-old self would be so proud and happy that, 
finally, after 32 years, I have another cat.
Yesterday, I bought her a little basket and put a 
beach towel inside to sleep in.
It's been three weeks, and she's still here.

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