Today was the seventh birthday of my one and only son. The celebration was a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s. He had decided it would be there and so it was. And this morning I walked out and found my dear sweet cat Minnie dead on the side of the road.

I called my husband outside and asked, “What are we going to do?” He said we’re not going to tell him and ruin his birthday. We’ll tell him tomorrow. Although the arrangements were made, neither of us has been able to properly grieve. We played the parts of the happy parents. Because that is what parenting is all about. Hard choices made at our expense for the sake of the kid.

I received my little cat from the street. She cruised up on the porch when I had a six month old baby. And I decided to keep her because I wanted my kid to have a sweet cat. When I went to get her fixed, the doctor charged me for exploratory surgery because she’d been someone else’s pet and she’d already been spayed. She was our love bunny who never got cross with us. She came from the road and returned to it.

My tough couple weeks began with a dinner party where I learned that a man I respected had died. He’d adopted his junkie sister’s toddlers and still managed to ride a bus from a really tough part of town to work every day. Those children had the benefit of a true gentleman to love and raise them. And he was dead at 40 something of cancer. After I got home holding that ticket for my expired driver’s license, I cried. I decided, you can rolling around on an expired license and just don’t know it.

I could be mad at the street and the drivers on it. At myself for not imprisoning her in my house or at her for crossing the road. But in the end, licenses can expire sometimes with no chance to renew them. So, by golly, I’m gonna have more pets and love them knowing that I only get to borrow them for a while. One day my kid will leave and I’ll have no regrets. I only got to borrow him to become a better me.

Happy Birthday to my Lou Lou. And a sweet beyond to my Minnie.

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