When we told Emerson we were moving into this house last summer, she was pretty hesitant to leave the two little girls who lived downstairs. She kept saying things like “I don’t want our own house. I like to share a house.” We couldn’t blame her. There is nothing better than running into your yard and having two friends waiting for you. So we came up with the best response we could: “At our new house, you can have a CAT!” (We couldn’t have pets at the apartment)

So after months of putting off the promise, we came through for Emerson. Sparkle Elsley has arrived.
As far as I can tell, “Elsely” is after Emerson’s best friend, whose last name is “Hensley.” We don’t know if they’ll be such good friends next year, but the legacy will live on as long as our cat does.Getting an animal has actually been in the cards for a while. We were just waiting for the time to be right. I think it’s so important for children to have beloved pets when they are growing up. All the adults I have met who didn’t grow up with animals seem to be missing something in the compassion department, and when you lack compassion for something more helpless than yourself…. You get my drift.

That said, it’s Matty and I that are really having our compassion meters tested lately. From her meowing all night long on her first few nights here, (which we expected) to her peeing all over our clothes, bed, and walls, (which we didn’t) I think we have both had moments when we wanted to pack her back up in her kitty-carrier and send her down the river.

But the kids love her (of course they do – they don’t have to clean up after her) and she is a very sweet one. So after a couple of vet bills, three different kinds of litter, and blocking off areas of our house temporarily, I put my foot down. I like having a cat around, but I’m never going to be someone who buys cat magazines, takes my cat on vacation, sends photos of the cat dressed as a reindeer to friends at Christmas-time, buys clothes for the cat, takes the cat on walks, etc… The cat will use the litter we chose, eat the food we chose, not jump on the table or counters, not scratch the kids, and not pee in the plants. Take it or leave it.

I think she has chosen to take it, because we haven’t had problems for a week or so. As Emerson said to Matty the other day. “Daddy, now there are five of us in the family.”
As for the trees – there is no logging truck in our driveway to date. We can still hope for a cold snap – it is, after all, only the beginning of March – but we may have to live another summer in tree limbo. I have to admit that I’ve been enjoying the warm weather just as much as the next person. I’ll never be one to kick a gift horse in the mouth.
Ophelia has been enjoying her new boots – almost as much as she enjoys saying “BOOTS!” She still has a little trouble walking in them though…
This weather also makes me look forward to summer – a time that is less structured. School and swimming and music and all that stuff is nice, but after doing it all for the entire school year, it’s nice to just nice to wake up in the morning and have nowhere to be.

And the house is coming along. We’ve been working on the kitchen lately – I’m not sure what Ophelia is going to do when she can’t sit in the cupboards anymore.
Love that ugly linoleum! But it’s going to have to stay for now, because the beach calls…

And who needs a sling when you can just use a blanket?


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