Last Friday, I did a flashback post about Dusty and I's first home.
This story goes hand-in-hand with that time of our lives, and is a lovely, perfect memory of a weekend.
Britany, Bryce and I were standing outside of CBU's theater.
We had just seen The Taffetas, the theater's most recent musical.
Bryce had been in it, so Brit and I went to watch him and enjoy the show. Dusty would have come with us but he was really sick, so he was cooped up in our apartment getting some rest (playing video games in his pajamas).
An important tidbit of information to this story is that the theater was known for often having a few stray cats around it.
For whatever reason, kitten-sightings were very common around the back-lot bushes of the large building.
I had never actually seen them before, but had heard stories.
While we were standing and talking outside the building, someone (I don't remember who) came over and said they had found a litter of tiny black kittens!
We followed them around the building, and sure enough, there were several little kittens hiding in the shadows.
Brit and I were able to pick two of them up. One was a little squeamish, but the one I ended up holding was extremely chill and just cuddled up to me. My heart melted, because I have a horrible tendency to love and/or want any and every tiny animal.
We walked over to show another friend nearby, and I just stood there holding the little thing until we decided it was time to go.
Just then, we spotted the momma cat and the rest of the kittens running across the lawn!
I freaked out, because I didn't want the little guy that I was holding to be separated from them.
I put him down so that he could join them, but they were already fairly far away and he didn't move a muscle.
I must have had "the look" in my eyes, because both Britany and Bryce told me, in no uncertain terms, that I needed to leave the kitten and walk away.
I was having a horrible internal struggle, that can only be described as distorted motherly intuition.
But, I put the kitten down in the bushes and said goodnight to Brit and Bryce.
They made me swear to leave the kitten there, because surely the mother cat would be back soon. It will be fine, they said. No you cannot keep it, they said.
I began to walk away, and the most heart-wrenching cry came from those bushes.
I swear, I stood there for a whole minute, trying to force myself not to turn around.
Unable and unwilling to be so callous, I bent down and sat on my legs, trying to peer into the bushes to where I set the kitten down. I reached out my hand and whispered, "C'mere!"
Now, no one else was there that night.
The lawn was empty, the campus was closed, everyone else had wandered home for the night. No one can offer any confirmation or testimonial proof that this happened.
But that kitten sprang out of those bushes like it's tail was on fire, running full out into my arms.
And the rest, folks, is history.
While the walk home was really awkward, trying to come up with what to say to Dusty, it all just came out when I walked in and said, "Um, hi. We may have a problem. A really, really cute problem."
Dusty had always hated cats. He was not a fan. But really. Look at that face!
It was one of the best weekends of our lives.
After a while of intense discussion, we decided to name him Ambrosius.
I should say I decided to name him Ambrosius, from The Labyrinth, a masterful Jim Henson movie starring David Bowie.
Dusty hated the name, (and the movie), but since he knew we couldn't keep this kitten...he decided I could get the name out of my system.
A lot of our time was spent like this.
With a very sad, sick Dusty in the background
And he also loved to sleep.
They made quite a pair.
I've never seen a kitten conk out like Ambrosius.
When he was asleep, he was asleep.
One time when Brit was over, we lifted up his paws and dropped them while he was sleeping, and he wouldn't even flinch.
Brit and Ambrosius became instant friends, as well.
It was a glorious two days.
Ambrosius would sleep on our pillows, play with the little mini Christmas ornaments from the tree Lauren left with us, and was the smartest, sweetest, most well-behaved kitten I've ever seen.
We knew we couldn't keep him, but we pretended like we could for those two days.
We had no idea where we'd be going for law school, and we would be living with my parents for the summer while we prepared to move to wherever we decided to go.
We found a good home for him, and on Sunday night we met up with our friend to give Ambrosius over.
It was not easy. We had developed a most delightful bond with that little guy.
Getting home that night, to our kitten-less apartment, was a very sad moment.
For weeks afterward, we'd find bright little Christmas bulbs under the couch, in our cushions, and around our mattress.
Sometimes, even the most short-lived joys are some of the most special moments in our lives.
I remember I had to work or something that Saturday, and Dusty was alone, sick in the apartment. He kept texting me pictures of Ambrosius sleeping against him. It was such an expected little blessing to have little Ambrosius around that weekend.
And, I believe, it paved the way for Dusty to love kittens. :)
Thanks for running to me that night, Ambrosius.
I know you have a new name, a new home, and hopefully you're doing well.
But you'll always be Ambrosius to us. Crazy little angel.