we didn't know ruth at all when we knocked on her door.
the vet said she had kittens, and we were looking for a kitten..
he said her landlord told her some of her cats had to go.
she had 26 or was it 32?
her house was small, run-down, unmowed,
yard full of dandelions,
and ruth herself, when she came to the door looked run-down and unmowed.
she was sweet looking and slight -- boney slight -- like my aunt emma
but unlike emma she had a warmth and friendliness that lit up her face,
weathered more than aged.
she welcomed us and took us to meet her cats.
inside they were everywhere.
i tried not to look at her scratched up legs,
imagining it must be from the cats,
but was probably from berry-picking.
all sorts of cats came over to greet her when we sat down outside.
she greeted each by name, and they responded.
we looked at some kittens, all adorable,
trying to decide,
and then out came a tiny long haired white kitten with big blue eyes.
well, of course, that was the one! Our Kitten!
""oh " said ruth -- were we not supposed to see that one?
"well " said ruth, possibly thinking of her landlord.
"you can't take that one -- unless you take her brother too."
out came the brother - bigger, short-haired, white, blue-eyed.
well ok then, i will get a kitten as well. we'll take two.
and so we ended up with silky white ticklewhiskers
and sunny jim ticklewhiskers!
a year or so later ruth stopped in to see them.
she looked at grown-up sunny jim and said"he is the spitting image of his grandmother lulabelle!! "