We went to my parents for Thanksgiving - over 20 people crammed into their 1898 farmhouse-style home. They live in the town where I grew up, in the house that I grew up in, and it is always wonderful to come home and see what has changed and what has stayed the same. I look around each time, and remember all the years of holidays and every-days before them, with different groupings of people, much of the same food, and different news and celebrations.
This time there was a turkey in the oven, and another one outside in a deep fryer manned by my brother Matt. Dad built a bonfire in the firepit I gave them years ago, and people wandered back and forth from the snacks inside to the fire outside.
Shawn disappeared early, after getting the kids so whipped up that he and they were all kicked outside to play. I wandered out later to see the bonfire.
While I was there a small kitten wandered up, crying at the little girls and looking very hungry and very cold. He jumped up to try to eatthe drippings from the turkey, frozen on a plate, while my dad explained that he was one of the wild strays born under the porch.
One thing led to another, and soon I was holding the kitten, and then bringing him inside on the porch where he stopped shivering and began purring. Of course we brought him home.
The big question was whether Max would accept him. I have always thought Max is lonely - he trys to play with us sometimes as if we are cats, but we never appreciate the flurry of teeth and claws. The first night and morning he hissed at the kitten in its carrier, and we kept them seperated in seperate rooms. Early that morning, he went around to each door, pawing at it to be opened, and I realized he wanted to check the rest of the rooms in case there were kittens in there, too!
Later that evening, he and the kitten began playing together through the door, batting at each others paws and chirping. A sighting, a meeting, and at their second meeting they began to play, and did not stop for two hours. They played for 3 hours that night!
Now they sit on opposite sides of the door when the kitten is put away, and cry for each other.
This Thanksgiving, I think we can say that we are thankful for new friends. : )