"How old is Star?" Dylan asked last night as I sat in the guest bedroom reading (reading, always reading), while Star lay at my feet. "Eleven years. We got him in 1999, the year we moved to Sierra Madre.".."He's getting old.".."Yeah, and he has a bum hip.".."He does, which one?" Dylan looked at me, bending to pet the cat before moving over to lean against the desk. "I don't know. His left I think. You can see it when he walks up the stairs.".."Oh poor Star" and he moved again to pat the cat's head and stroke his back while I told him the story of Star's bad hip. "I remember when we got the cats," he said pausing,"was it a man or woman who was carrying a box full of cats into the animal shelter?"..
It was a man, with a laundry basket full of kittens and two kids in tow. School must have been letting out for the summer. We had just moved to a new house. New to us. The kids had begged for a cat, a kitten. I'm not a fan of cats particularly but relented and so headed with three young boys to the humane society (animal shelter). We parked and were walking toward the shelter. A conversation struck up, as it does between people with children in tow, especially between a woman with three boys who want kittens and a man with a batch of them. "You have a lot of kittens there." I must have said, stating the obvious. "Yeah." He replied and a look like shame (I remember) passed over his face. "We'll take two.".."You're kidding.".."Nope. The boys want a kitten and why not." And so, there, standing in the parking lot, shameless, the boys chose two black and white kittens and promptly named them, Star and Sparkle. We returned to our car, not stepping foot into the shelter, and went home. The man was nice enough to have an additional box in his car which he gave to us for transport.
And that was how Star came to us. Dylan continued leaning with his backside against the desk. We talked about memories of the cats and his Grandpa, who was a cat person so very much and this and that before he said, "Going to bed now mom.".."Okay, 'night.".."Goodnight."..And he turned and went to his room, closing his door.