We get a lot of email in the CatsAreUsTn@aol.com box. Usually it is an advertisement, someone selling something, questions about cats, unfortunately too often emails from people who want us to take their cats but ever so often we receive special emails. Special emails are those with photos attached of cats we have adopted to families and those families are sending us photos of their new family members as they grow up. We love those emails. But a couple days back we opened an email from someone named Susan Hill. We had not adopted a cat to her so we expected the worst … she wanted to give us her cat. In this instance that was NOT the case.
Susan HIll is the mother of a young lady named Kaylie and Kaylie had just celebrated her 9th birthday. Kaylie is 9 years old and loves animals! Her Mom says she always has since being a little baby. Mom said her first laugh was at a cat falling into a play sand pail. Mom said she thought the cat did it on purpose. Kaylie first thought of the birthday party idea when Mom asked her what she wanted for her birthday and she said ” well, I kind of have everything I need” and the idea was born to do something for someone else and kitty cats were at the top of her list. So at Kaylie’s party all her friends did just that … they brought cat stuff for presents.
She received cat treats, cat food, cat toys and all different kinds of cat things. There were all kinds of special things just for the cats at Cats Are Us.
Kaylie’s Mom, Susan, made an appointment with Suzanne, Cats Are Us’ Director, to come to the rescue and drop off all her gifts. Kaylie asked her Mom as she was coming up to the rescue, “Do you think there will be any cats there?” Upon arrival Kaylie waited patiently with a big smile on her face as everything was unloaded into the wagon they had brought with them.
Then she got to go inside and, yes indeed, there were so many cats to greet her!
Kaylie’s Mom says Kaylie was born very premature. Weighing only 3 lbs when she was born. She spent 2 months in the NICU and came home on oxygen and an apnea monitor. Kaylie quickly did away with that oxygen tube within 2 weeks. The doctors were happy and she flourished more and more everyday. Per Mom Kaylie was diagnosed officially with Cerebral Palsy when she was almost 2. Kaylie has been through one major surgery at 2 and worked hard through all the physical therapy throughout these years. Kaylie can walk in a walker also but steering is still a small issue. Kaylie’s parents hope this improves before she wants to drive. 🙂 Mom says the wheelchair is her most independent way of travel when we are out and about. Kaylie tests way above her age level cognitively and nothing gets past her. Mrs. Hill says “Believe me NOTHING!” She has dyslexia, so her reading isn’t always the best but she gets it. She may be shy at first but once she warms up to you, expect to hear a lot about everything. While she was at Cats Are Us yesterday she was scoping the place out and she does want to come back and donate some time to help the cats.
When I wrote her back after her first initial contact with us I told her she had a wonderful child for doing what she was doing and she must be one very good Mom. Her response to me was, “She appreciated the compliment but I am here to testify it is her changing me. Some days I see gifts in her that make me ask God how I am worthy to have this child. You see my husband and I tried to have a baby for 8 years before we got the gift of Kaylie. We adopted her. We knew the birth mother and got to be a part of the whole process. Even though she was born early. we never considered not completing the adoption process and she has been a gift to us ever since. Even when we went all over the US for certain therapy or procedures, she always wants to help. When she got a little older it was about helping the younger kids at therapy not cry. Just to tell them it was ok. Even if she fussed the day before. 🙂 Kaylie is my teacher most days of patience and selflessness and just joy of the little things. I think that’s what kids are supposed to teach us. I am the one that got this gift to take care of. ”
At the end of the visit for all of us it was all about the SMILE!