My Most Wonderful Christmas Present Ever
By Jeanne du Nord
On the evening before Christmas Eve, 2012, I put the final touches on straightening the house for the holiday. The tree was trimmed and lighted, the rooms were all decorated, and all that was left to do was tidy up.
I picked up a pile of newspapers to be carried out for recycling -- newspapers that I hadn't read in all the holiday hustle and bustle -- and there, right on the top of the pile, was a color picture of the most beautiful kitten I have ever seen. He was snowflake white with one blue eye and one green eye. Under the picture were the words ˜Adopt this kitten for Christmas. Call the Humane Society of Somerset County."
I melted into a puddle of love at first sight. After the death of my beloved HooRah several years ago, a friend had said, "One day another cat will come along and you will know when it is the right one."This was that day.
Then a terrible thought occurred to me. This is a three-week old newspaper. Suppose he has already been adopted or worse yet, suppose his time ran out and he was euthanized. Mercifully, I remembered that our local Humane Society has a no-kill policy. I had also heard tales that cats with one blue eye and one green eye are blind, deaf, or both. As it turned out, this condition, known as heterochromaticism, caused no problems for Alban.
I tossed and turned all night. I knew I shouldn't get my heart set on this kitten. But by morning I had named him Alban, an ancient Gaelic word for white.
I called the Humane Society first thing Christmas Eve morning and left a message. They called me right back. "He is available." I began breathing again. Then the lady said, "We know you from your books. We know he will be getting a good home and we would love for this very special kitten to have a home for the holidays." She gave me the phone number of Kathy Crossan, the Humane Society member who was fostering little Mr. Snowball, and we made arrangements for her to bring him to my home that afternoon.
When Kathy put him in my arms, he immediately snuggled up and began to purr. We set him under the Christmas tree and took pictures. Alban was home for the holidays.
As I walked Kathy to the door, we exchanged holiday wishes then embraced. I now also had a very special friend in addition to beautiful Alban, my most wonderful Christmas present ever.