Thursday, January 17, 2008

TJ the Boonie Cat

A few posts ago, I shared how sad I was on Christmas Day because of missing our oldest son, Teyler (19 years old). Well, it hasn't just been me who misses Teyler. Not having Teyler with us has been the hardest adjustment for everyone in our family. It has been especially difficult on the girls who adore the ground Teyler walks on. Teyler has never been the typical brother; he has always been EXTREMELY involved in the girls' lives. The girls are eight and eleven years younger than he and he has ALWAYS been a nurturing and attentive big brother. Even now, he'll call using my parents' phone (they get free calling to Guam) and will talk with the girls for an hour (not exaggerating) listening to them tell him all about their Polly Pockets, the cute way they fixed their hair that day, the cute outfit they put together, etc. I'm nearly snoring with boredom as they describe these issues ad nausea! Yet, I can hear Teyler in the speaker phone, excitedly engaging with them, "Really?" Wow!" "That must be so cool!" He's an amazing boy (I guess I should say man) and such a blessing to our family. It's a significant loss for all of us to no longer have access to him.

Now, I'm going to digress into another story that, I promise, will eventually connect with what I ju
st relayed. There is a lady, Evelyn, at Pacific Islands Bible College, who told the story of her boss, who was feeding two boonie (wild) newborn kittens, and some boonie pups. Boonie cats and dogs are all over the island. It is common for the mothers to abandon the litters. (I'm not sure why this is. Maybe the mothers die or are forced to leave in search of food?) Eventually, the boss realized she was allergic to cats and she was getting very sick every time she fed them. Evelyn asked us if we would consider taking one of the kittens. Right away I thought what a great diversion loving this kitten would be from our sadness over being separated from Teyler. Unfortunately, I knew we couldn't afford getting the kitten its shots and getting it neutered, etc. Conversationally, I mentioned that if the boss was willing to pay for all vet expenses, we'd take the boonie kitten.

This is the part where it all ties together.
Our family is now the proud owner of a little orange tabby kitten. Of course, upon his arrival, the naming debate began. Name after name was brought to the bargaining table, when lo and behold, the master of the house suggested "Teyler Junior," and thus "TJ" was christened. Immediately, that poor, scrawny, malnourished boonie kitten was bathed, shampood, blow dried, combed, and bejeweled (with a cute collar with his name). For about a week, he was terrified of all people and any loud noises. Now, TJ is the adoring "child" of Katie and Noelle. Besides his first dousing, recently, the poor thing has joined the girls for both a bath and a shower. They are smitten with him and he with them. And so, although we don't have the real Teyler, we have the next best thing, Teyler, Jr., better know as TJ!
"Every good and perfect gift is from above." (James 1:17b)


Brad Boydston said...

One of the cutest boonie cats I've ever seen. Great idea!

Steve Stinnette said...

I love your blog. It is so refreshing seeing the island and its ways through your eyes as you learn about it and make the transitions to living and ministering there. I sure wish I was there to get to know you better face to face. Praying for you. Anne Stinnette

Sophia said...

awww...i wish i had an older brother like teyler! with regards to naming the kitty, i would have opted for franklin the 2nd. please don't decide to give this little guy away when you get sick of him in a year or two. as much as i would like to help, its a little harder for me to take in a cat when you're all the way in guam!

Kye said...

What a cute boonie cat! It reminds me of some we've seen in Indonesia only this one is a whole lot cleaner and healthier!