What a Difference a Century Doesn’t make

My sister called me last night.

“Susie, we have a problem… Mom wants a kitten.”

The Mom she is referring to is our mother, who will be 106 in January. Mom lives in a lovely assisted living facility which apparently allows dogs and cats. Apparently, according to my sister, she read an article concerning how much longer people lived who had a pet. Which begs the question, “just how much longer does she intend to live?” Mom obviously envisions this kitten to lie quietly in her lap, content to be nestled in the hands of love, being petted, purring, etc. etc. etc.

Anyone who is at all familiar with kittens knows this is not their M.O. They are bright, energetic and curious about the world they inhabit.

I suggested that my sister, who has always been her favorite (no animosity there, really) enumerate all the reasons why this would not be the best of ideas.

  1. She currently prefers to leave the door to her apartment open. She would have to keep it closed so the kitten would not bounce down the hall possibly tripping someone, or get lost, or god forbid, pee or poop in the hall. Goodbye litter box.
  2. She would have to clean the litter box daily, assuming the kitten had not found other areas of elimination.
  3. She would have to feed and water the kitten daily.
  4. She could possibly be scratched by the kitten, which could lead to cat scratch fever, which my husband experienced. Not a pleasant two day stay in the hospital.

She did. And even added that perhaps she would like an older, more mature cat.

“No, I want a kitten.”

We took a different tack. Mom had talked about a woman who lived above her who had two cats. We suggested she visit the woman twice a week to get her cat fix.

“No, I want a kitten.”

She has an appointment this week, Tuesday to be exact, at the shelter. Nuf said.

Along with this mother born in 1914 I have a granddaughter, born in 2014. One hundred years difference. A century. What could they possibly have in common (other than me)? Well, I will tell you. They are both bright, energetic and curious about the world they inhabit. Sound familiar? They both like kittens, obviously, and they both have a penchant for buying things when one cannot get oneself to the local Walmart, or in mother’s case, the local mint. One is still ten years away from getting her driver’s license and one is ten years over losing hers.

Recently my son recalled an incident which gave him cold chills. A package arrived at his door and it was addressed to his five-year-old daughter, Isabella.

“Wow! Daddy! It really, really works!”

Isabella, on her “device” had ordered eight brightly colored, hair bows. Items Shirley Temple would have been proud to wear. I definitely recall, upon seeing Isabella with her screen, my son telling me “She can’t get internet on it.” Apparently, he was wrong.

My son, Rock, was shocked. How did this happen? How did she accomplish this? He was especially concerned when she announced that more items were on their way. What? Who? Why? And more importantly, how much?

My mother, at the same time Isabella was ordering her flamboyant array of hair adornments, was ordering several silver bars from an online mint company out of Ohio. Mother’s purchase was a tad more costly than Isabella’s .

When confronted, Mom said, “Well, I thought I would keep them until the price of silver went up.” Okay, good idea, except this woman is 106. Just how long does she think she’s going to live?

Am I seeing a parallel here about wanting a kitten?