It was a cold winter day when friends of ours let us know that a pretty calico cat had taken up residence at their house. They did what most of us would do: They took care of her for a few days while in search of someone who could give her a forever home.

My family had already decided Steven was in need of a cuddly kitty cat, so we told our friends that Steven would adopt her. Kitty traveled to my house to stay for a couple of days before being delivered to Steven on a Saturday morning when he wasn’t expecting any company.

I told him there was a surprise out in my car. He said he would like a surprise, and he guessed it was a box of rice krispie treats. I told him his surprise was indeed in a blue box, but it wasn’t rice krispie treats.

I turned on my phone camera so their first moments together would be recorded, and now I have a heartwarming video you would have thought was put together by a filmmaker promoting the adoption of pets.

I asked Steven what a good name would be for his cat. His first suggestion was “Kimpel.” He also came up with “Fluffy.” In the end, he decided we should call her “Kitty.”

When people ask Steven what his cat’s name is, it’s a bit confusing. Kitty is just a kitty, so we call her “Kitty.” Just like a lot of people in the community, Steven knows who you are. He may call you by your last name or by your maiden name. He may just call you his buddy. He knows you are in his tribe, and that’s all that matters.  

Those who have watched Steven and Kitty spend time together have stated it looks like the two of them hit the jackpot when they found each other. Married people could learn a lot from Steven. In fact, Steven’s ways would work in nearly every relationship, minus the verbal terms of endearment we hear him speak to her.

Kitty knows she is loved because Steven tells her so. She jumps on his lap and makes it known it may be a good idea to rub her neck. She often receives a bonus kiss upon her forehead.  Steven cannot hear the purr, but he can feel it. He calls her “Little Girl” and asks her how she is doing and if she is happy. 

It’s a funny thing watching people with their pets. They don’t speak the same language, yet they do. There’s a weird bond. You step on your pet’s tail or trip over them, but it’s okay. They remain buddies with the person who messed up. 

Perhaps spouses should treat each other the way people treat their pets – for certainly that would be the start of world peace.

Jim Carrey starred in the movie Liar, Liar back in 1997. He played the part of an attorney who could not tell a lie. It dawned on me that an even better movie may be a main character who plays the role of someone who must be happy. Somewhat like the way Steven approaches life – most of the time.

How would the movie start? Possibly when the main character wakes up in the morning and needs to love everyone, he would walk to the bathroom, and the first person he would see is himself in the mirror. There would be a smile. The guy would say good morning to himself. He would wonder where the idea came from that he is such a lovable guy.

Then he would look at his wife and think how beautiful she is. All the flaws he saw yesterday kind of went away. He feels an overwhelming sense of compassion for her and for all she’s been through. He doesn’t really understand what’s going on, but it’s a good feeling.

He sees her lying in bed with her morning hair-style. He gives her a kiss on the forehead. He tells her how much he loves her. He is a bit surprised at what he just did.

Then he walks to the kitchen and notices the dishes are still in the dish strainer. All those pots and pans are dry now, and he realizes there is something he can do.  

By then the wife has herself in the kitchen and wonders what’s up but is not going to question anything.

He pours a cup of coffee and smiles as he hands it to her. Breakfast is almost ready to be served. She is feeling awfully loved. The two feel peace in the air and see smiles on each other’s faces.

He asks her what she wants to do. She doesn’t have an answer, so he proposes that they just “hang out.” She says that sounds like fun. They decide to go for a bike ride and stop to watch a game at the little league ball field.

The main character notices how happy he is. Everyone around him notices it also. There are handshakes, hugs, and major pats on the back. People call each other by the wrong name, but it doesn’t matter one bit. It causes smiles.

They talk about all the projects they could do together. They want to help anyone they can. Maybe they could find a friend who needs help today. And needs help tomorrow. Projects get crossed off to-do lists only when capable hands are around for more than just a moment or two.

The movie reminds us there are people on this earth who feel most comfortable and safe in their own home. They are delighted to find out they have friends who have invited themselves over. Food is carried in. The table is set.

Someone prays out loud before the meal. They thank God for the chance to be together. They pray for a blessing upon the food before them and upon the love between them.

It’s possible for the lady of the house to get a few things checked off her honey-do list because the grown men, whom she refers to as “the boys,” will help her out.

The characters in the movie realize they’ve had a rather enjoyable evening. They start getting together every Friday night and sometimes in-between.

Board games don’t happen without people showing up, sitting down, and deciding to spend time together. Since the movie is about happiness, the writer makes his characters gather to play their favorite games – usually it’s Mexican Train Dominoes.

The actors in the movie realize they should be more intentional about checking in with those they haven’t seen or spoken with in a while. They call their cousins, and uncles, and long-lost friends and once again connect with them. They ask them what they’ve been up to. The person on the receiving end feels loved and cared for.    

Perhaps the screenwriter of such a movie should keep Matthew 25:40 in mind as he is writing the plot.

We forget that every move we make can be a positive move. As we do for others, we are doing unto Him. As we give, we are giving unto Him. As we take away, we are taking from Him.

As we speak, we are speaking unto Him.

Every morning, we have a new opportunity to become a happier version of ourselves. There is a Screenwriter Who writes our steps and tells us what our next line should be. There are no idle words in His screenplay.

Since we don’t always know others by their first name, we could simplify things by referring to them as our buddy. After all, we know they are part of our tribe. We can offer those around us the most precious gifts there ever could be: our kind words, our time, and our attention.

Certainly that would be the start of world peace. 

These two have shared many laughs
and have been friends since childhood.
Steven is on the right, and his buddy Kevin is on the left.
Steven’s calico cat – Kitty.
Notice the reading material in the background –
a stack of The Edgerton Earth newspapers dating back to the 1960s.

© Marlene Oxender 2022