Nica Toña Part 3- The Reality
Last night when I was laying in bed, I was listening to the complete silence of my house. There was complete silence except for the “ding, ding, ding, ding” of Nica Toña’s collar. You see, kittens are superb hiders; almost like little ninjas. When a kitten is acclimating to a new environment it is almost imperative that they have some type of tracking device attached to them. (Hence the bell) You should also know that kittens are relatively nocturnal. By nature, they hide and sleep during the day so that they can learn to hunt and play under the cloak of darkness. Domestication of the cat has not changed these innate characteristics of felines. Nica Toña happens to be a first generation domesticated kitten, so this nocturnal nature is extremely strong in her. DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING… it is a small bell but in a quiet house during the hours of slumber, it is extremely loud. It rings with such fervor that it mimics the rhythm of an AK-47. I have told many people that it would not surprise me to learn that she is not a full-blooded house cat. I believe that she is part ocelot or puma or some other type of wild Nicaraguan jungle animal. All 3 pounds of her attack with fierce athletic ability and she is unafraid of my 22-pound tomcat. My hands are already scarred from her navy seal approach to my every move. Yes, I am cussing each and every one of you that made any effort to aid in the transport of Nica Toña to the United States.
There is also the matter of the cat box. I love cats. I really do. They are interesting, amazing, beautiful creatures. Their urine, however, is the vilest smelling substance on the planet. I HATE cat boxes. I hate cat boxes so much that I took a jigsaw to the door separating my laundry room and living room, cut a hole in it, and placed a pet door. I also took a jig saw to the laundry room door leading into the garage, cut a hole in it and also placed a pet door as to allow my cats access to their cat boxes which are conveniently located in my garage. My house does not smell like a cat box. Ever. Well, until now. As of now, I have a cat box in my bathroom because Nica is too small to maneuver herself out into the garage. It is disgusting. Although I scoop it at least once a day, I can still smell it. I hate it. I also hate that when I step out of my shower with wet feet I always seem to find the 1 or 2 grains of scoopable cat litter that have made their way out of the box and onto my bathroom floor. Yes, I am cussing each and every one of you that made any effort to aid in the transport of Nica Toña to the United States.
At least that was how I was feeling last night and when I got out of bed this morning. After making the kids’ blueberry pancakes for their before-school meal, I was tending to the family catchall countertop in my kitchen. Everyone puts everything on that counter for me to go through. I try to do this daily because I do like a tidy house. (My family pokes fun and calls me Kathy Clean-up because of my need for things to be just so) The counter acts as a central location for the items that the family needs for me to take care of. Mail, school papers, permission slips, and to-do lists… they all end up on that counter. Anyway, as I was sorting through papers I came across a holiday project that Camille had completed at school. In one of her classes, they had made a snow globe fashioned from paper and plastic. It was pretty neat. It even had a picture of her inside of it. She was smiling and waving at me through the manufactured snow globe. I liked it and felt a twinge of guilt in my heart as I picked it up and placed it into the pile of items I was sending to the recycle bin. (I absolutely cannot keep every single art project that she brings home. It is ridiculous. I just can’t do it.) The next item in the pile was the story that acted as a narrative for the snow globe project. It said, “If I lived in a snow globe I would make snowmen and drink hot chocolate, wear gloves and a scarf along with a jacket. I would eat ginger bread and always say hello to my neighbors. So I could sleep, I would live in a ginger bread house and I would have a cat named Nica who lived with me.”
And then it was gone. The resentment that I had for all of you that aided in the transport of that sweet little jungle-cat from Nicaragua to my home had disappeared. I remembered that you all helped heal the broken heart of my child who was incorporating the memory of the kitten she had left behind into her schoolwork. I remembered how sweetly and intently Camille had listened to the story of how Nica had missed her initial flight to the US and had to spend the night in Houston. How she had felt so sorry for Nica when I told her that the kitty was so freezing when she first arrived to the airport because she wasn’t used to the cold temperatures. I thought about how I had allowed Camille to read my blogs the day after she had arrived to find Nica on the front porch. How she had cried when she read them. I thought about how every single time I call out for Nica in our house when Camille is home she says, “Nica is with me mom.” That is always the answer, whether she is curling her hair in the bathroom or studying in her bedroom. I remembered how after looking at the list of donors on the GoFundMe website she said, “Wow, mom. I feel so…. so…. loved.”
So to those of you who made an effort to aid in the transport of Nica Toña to the United States, I am not really cussing you. What I am really doing is thanking you. You made my daughter feel loved and showed her that dreams can come true. You also showed her that together, people could make the impossible possible. As for me, I have been a little overwhelmed throughout this adventure. After 41 years of always trying to do the right thing, always trying to help others and always searching for a purpose, I was feeling a little tired. I was feeling a little lonely. I was feeling a little lost. I was feeling a lot like George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life when he was on the bridge in the blizzard wishing it would all just end. And then I went on a mission trip to Nicaragua and my daughter met Nica Toña. And then my friends and family came together to help me salvage my daughter’s sense of hope. And now I feel like George Bailey at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life because all of you have made me feel so very special, too. So thank you again and again and a thousand times over. Thank you. In the words of Camille Morrison, I feel so…so… loved.
PS- The snow globe project and story are safely tucked away with our Christmas memories to cherish.