love is a mirror

I don’t know that we will learn anything more important this coming school year than what Marble has taught us in the last five weeks.

Social, trusting, CRAZY about the kids — playing actual run-and-tag games with them through the house, up on her hind legs jumping to attack a cackling Béla — smiling and stretching to be picked up when Claudia comes into the room to gather her into her arms and take her to her bed for a nap together — she seems entirely unlike any cat I’ve ever known.

Marble is special, but that’s not the whole story.

Marble is the first true — and best — reflection of our household in its current form. Claudia, known for being hard to wake up in the mornings, can now be heard going downstairs hours earlier than usual; just to give fresh water and food to both the kitten and dog. Béla has learned to hold the kitten more supportively and to listen to the sounds she makes that clearly mean “put me down now” — and, the more he has respected her wishes to be put down, the more she trusts him and seeks him out.

Our elderly dog Danpung is both protective of, and somewhat embarrassed by, the kitten, who tries to engage her in very active play.

Marble shows us what the result of our own love and care looks like. The kids lower their voices so she’s not startled. They are gentle. They choose new toys for her to play with. They are generous. They clean her box. They are fastidious. And they have been given, not just a kitten, but the continued confidence that our home is a place where the most vulnerable things can grow and thrive. And they are part of the reason for that. And that has given them pride.

She is truly our little angel.

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