I once spent a most beautiful summer in Putney, Vermont. Although my skin is that of an urban flower, the rivers of my soul belong to nature. My arrival in Putney marked the end of the long strange trip of my junior year of college which had included the accumulation of a new fluency in Mandarin Chinese and a taste of adult pain that had included the cuisine of the death of a dear friend and two broken hearts; the one I broke and the broken one I carried with me. These dishes were seasoned with the delights of love in another tongue and the great peace that came with finding something I wanted to know with my great young heart and open mind. At the pit of the meal, was an accumulation of evidence that I carried equally the burden of adulthood and a serene liberation from the confines of childhood. So when the administrator of the school where I was working announced that staff was welcome to adopt newly born kittens from the farm, it was a naive and genuine newly minted sense of stability and responsibility that encouraged me to accept one of these most beautiful new kittens as my own. With great confidence that we’d always be living elsewhere, I named her Putney. At the end of the summer, she returned to Philadelphia with me and kept my feet warm and my apartment feeling like home until I traded in my tissue-thin stability for a one way ticket to China a year later. My mother, an absolute sucker for anything less than 30 pounds with furr, whiskers and a desire for catnip, stepped-in and mothered Putney for the next 13-years until tonight when I was given the great gift of the opportunity to accompany Putney as she took her last few breaths. As she started to drift, I reminded her of some of our most special adventures and I felt her purr and release under the palm of my hand.
Put-Put Girl! Put-Put Girl! Put-Put Girl!