**With apologies to Susan Patron’s Caldecott-winning novel of the same name.
So Wordamour and her husband had a brief junket to Eureka Springs Friday and Saturday, a charming, fall-perfect town in the Ozarks, at a conference where Wordamour’s husband was giving the debut reading of his Van Gogh novel–Wordamour hasn’t even heard it yet. And just before his turn came, Wordamour’s cell phone rang. Oops, she’d forgotten to turn it off. She glanced at it before she cut the juice and saw two key things 1. it was Wordamour’s mother who was picking her kids up for the weekend and 2. it was precisely during the appointed school dismissal time. Uh oh. She was going to have to take this one. She ran out of the session to discover that, none of her kids were missing or had been swept away by the floodwaters that had risen during the torrential rain of the previous evening. No, the first thing she heard out of ther mother’s mouth was,
“Will found a kitten. It ran out from under a truck. What do you want me to do?”
Wow. Okay. No true emergency here, really, sort of, and Wordamour’s husband was about to start reading.
Well, yes, alright, let’s see. Wordamour is not about to tell her mother to just “throw it back,” at the moment. “Let me call you back as soon as John is finished reading.”
Wordamour’s husband debuted two scenes from the novel to a warm reception. Wordamour was especially taken by the playfully homoerotic scene between Van Gogh and another artist, who had agreed to sit for him as a model (VG found this a good way to get to know people especially other artists). Then she left to take a brief nap–she’d slept little the night before, dozing between episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, a surprisingly entertaining reality show about life at famous New York bridal outfitter–Kleinfeld’s. Either that or Wordamour just finds that the Flushing accents sound like, well, home.
Then a cat commercial came on and Wordamour suddenly remembered her promise and scanned the cell phone. 7 messages; oops. Turns out on top of the kitten acquisition, her mother had accidentally set off the home alarm system.
By the time Wordamour reached her mother, the alarm situation had faded into the background (three squad cars later) and the kitten regained center stage. Nana and her grandsons were in fact, at Petsmart at that very moment laying in kitten supplies.
“Here,” Wordamour’s mother handed the phone to our young kitten savior, “tell Mommy what happened.”
“Well, I was standing there waiting for Nana to pick me up and I saw him under this truck. And then the truck started and he just ran out, and Mom, he ran right to me! So I picked him up. His name is Lucky.”
“Really. You named him?”
“Well, first I thought he was a Max but Mackenzie said I should call him Lucky, because he’s lucky I saved him.”
“Why didn’t Mackenzie want him?”
“Her father doesn’t allow pets.”
“He’s so cute! Can we keep him? Please, can we keep him? We have to keep him. I saved his life. He ran right to me.”
And so it goes. One tiny part-siamese kitten runs out from under a truck and into family legend.
It happens like this every day in families all over the world, this hewing to the power of narrative.
And that’s the story of how we got lucky.