I heard my daughter, but it was in the back of my mind. You know, how when you’re busy doing something you think is more important and you tune people out? Well, she finally got tired of it.
She yanked on my arm and shook it until I looked at her and then said, “Mama, we need to let Miss Kitty play outside.”
“We can’t let Miss Kitty outside, darling. She might run away and get hurt.”
I watched as she processed that and then went back to work. It wasn’t long before I felt another tug on my arm.
“Mama, we need to get Miss Kitty a huge climby thing and put cat nip all over it so she can run and jump and have lots of fun.”
I looked at Miss Kitty lazing in the sun shining through the window and told my daughter, “I think Miss Kitty is having fun already.”
She peeked around me and watched Miss Kitty for a few minutes and then said, “That doesn’t look like fun to me.”
I wasn’t sure how to explain to a three-year-old that cats like to be lazy and that it is fun. I tried, but I never quite got through to her. It was when I saw tears well up in her eyes that I really started to pay attention.
“It’s ok, Honey,” I said, and gathered her in my arms. “I promise, Miss Kitty is having fun.”
“But she needs to have more fun, Mama,” she said. “She needs to have all the fun she can. We need to help Miss Kitty have fun every day.”
“I think Miss Kitty is very happy with the way we take care of her.”
My daughter shook her head. “It has to be better, Mama. It has to be the best home in the world, with lots of love and fun and cat nip. We have to make it perfect for Miss Kitty.”
I laughed and told her I didn’t know if we could do perfect but Miss Kitty wasn’t complaining. It was then that she got to the crux of the matter.
“But, Mama, we have to make it perfect because Miss Kitty can’t go to Heaven like we do. This world is all she has. We have to make her Heaven here.”
I wasn’t sure who had told my daughter that animals didn’t go to Heaven but I wanted to slap them. Instead, I hugged her tighter and we took a trip to the store. That afternoon, we bought the biggest cat tree they had at the pet store and several bags of cat nip. One way or another, Miss Kitty was going to have Heaven on Earth.