Wedding Gift- Column by Aleah Ward

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Early in August of 2017, I would have never believed that I would’ve taken something home from a family friend’s Harley-Davidson motorcycle wedding. It’s not like I caught the bride’s bouquet or anything. But instead I find two scrawny, flea-bag kittens in the crumbling town-hall parking lot.
They were little brown tabbies with green eyes, darting out from underneath the station wagons and GMC trucks in faded parking spots. It was obvious that the babies had lost their mom, and were no older than four weeks because they were as tiny as could be.
They were both noisy little girls, and had instantly attracted the attention of me and my family when we had arrived.
No one knew where they had come from, or how they had gotten here, but one thing that my family knew for sure is that we wanted to do what was best for them.
Minutes before the ceremony, my sister and I each grabbed a cat. Mine was easy to swaddle up, while my sister had to chase the other out from underneath a Chevy Malibu in a handicapped spot.
Despite the excessive noise and squirming of the kittens, the affair went smoothly, and following the conclusion of the ceremony, we had a young couple and two young girls watch over the felines.
My mother, sister, and I then heard rumors going around the reception hall that multiple people would be willing to take them home, or people thought that they were too raggedy, or thought to just set them back on the side of the road.
After improperly feeding the kittens baked beans and a saucer of milk, the mother of the bride gave us permission to take them to the humane society where they would find forever homes.
Prior to the car ride home, I had named them both. The one with the darker fur on her head was Olive, and the more cuddly kitten, Autumn.
They stretched their little paws, and kneaded our legs on the way home, until each of them fell asleep, and as they did this, I had a feeling that this was not the last time that I would see them, it was almost like a sign that my family needed to have one of these kittens, although we already had other pets at home.
During the reception, I decided to tell one of my friends about the adorable new friends we had made because she had been looking for a new pet at the time.
She arrived later that night with her younger sister, both beaming about their new family members, and thanked my family for letting them take care of the kittens.
As it turned out, we had not found a forever home for both of the kittens. Autumn had not been adjusting well to the house as well as Olive had initially. It was surprising to find that such a cuddly and timid kitten could cause so much trouble in just under twenty-four hours. She was taken back to my house where we planned to move her, yet again, to find another home.
During the last few days we planned to have Autumn, my mom thought that her name no longer suited her. She had become rambunctious and full of energy, not hesitating to bite my fingers and toes.
I suggested ‘Harley’, because of the wedding, but then silenced myself, I thought I could find a better name. “No, it’s perfect!“I love it” were some of the responses I had gotten when I had doubted my ability to name a kitten and we’ve had her ever since. Maybe her home was with us, maybe she belonged right where she was.
We had not expected to come home with a new pet from that wedding, we were glad that we did. She has brought so much joy to our lives, and Olive continues to bring joy to my friend’s family. and sometimes what you need isn’t always what you expect.